New Beginning – January 1, 2022

January 1st, 2022

gratitude

I have pretty much been in a daze since April so I missed most of this year.

I survived Thanksgiving, Leland’s November birthday and Christmas! I call in a win. I did really okay – until Christmas. I solved that by planning to simply ignore it! 

My 9′ tree is too tall for this house. Leland loved decorating for Christmas so I didn’t even unpack anything (it was in storage so I couldn’t have found it anyway). I planned to simply thank God for His son and call it a night. I was going to be a semi-scrooge.

Friends had other ideas. One sent me a goody box with odds and ends – things I love – but each one was wrapped up in Christmas paper and I wasn’t allowed to open them until Christmas morning. She gave me something so special – something to look forward to besides spending a day missing Leland. Thank you, Shelly.

One gave me cash and commanded that I only use it to buy what I needed for a special Christmas dinner. So I did and had a very special meal. without slaving over a hot stove or choking on it because I was crying too hard. Then she turned around and sent me provision such as a case of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, and the like. Thank you, Carolyn.

My neighbors (whom I really don’t know) checked up on me.  People texted or called. There were so many little things that made the week extraordinary. No one would leave me alone so I wasn’t allowed to be a semi-reclusive scrooge.  Thank you to Mona, Susan, Michelle, Barbara, Joshua, and so many others.

Going into this New Year, it is a time of new beginnings. NO. I don’t want to go on without Leland – what’s the fun in that? But since he decided to party hearty in heaven, I decided I was going to live. 

Thank you to everyone who has kept me in their prayers. Thank you for showing me the love of God. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for checking on me. Thank you for being a sounding board when I needed one. Thank you for your words of wisdom. Thank you for financial and material help. Thank you for just showing me how blessed I am.

Most of all, thank you to God, who challenged me to live. 

Yeah, and okay – thank you for not allowing me to be a semi-reclusive scrooge.

zazzle.com

 

He Said, “Dance With Me”

October 31st, 2021

In a little over a week, it will have been 7 months since Leland moved to heaven without me. I still remember sitting there arguing with God that I should be able to come on, too. He disagreed.

Seven months later, I can report that I am going to live and thrive. I can say that without feeling guilty (finally). I am able to breathe without it feeling as if I have a broken rib, pain. Breath that hurts because of the agony in my heart. 

My son Josh, Mr. Bossy Britches, has taken up the mantle of quoting his dad’s wise sayings, and throwing in his own. While dealing with his own pain, he constantly preached to me that I was going to make it. He would nag that I couldn’t insult his dad’s faith, memory, or who he was and what he stood for, by falling apart. 

Yes, there were times I wanted to smack him. I didn’t. He was right and we both survived.

No, I didn’t feel as if I could go on, putting one foot in front of the other. There were times I did not want to get out of bed but I had to. It hurt so badly that I spent a lot of time just sitting and staring. And, as my friend Susan told me after she lost her 46 year old son to a stupid surgery accident a month prior – it’s perfectly okay to just sit.

I still don’t leave the house much, but I do leave. I still don’t want to talk to people who knew us, but I have. I am just now able to read people’s emails sent to me from back then; I just couldn’t in the beginning.

I still have a little bit of trouble looking at his many pictures. I can’t listen to his playlists of all his favorite songs. These things just overwhelm me with memories right now. But that’s okay, too. Someday they won’t hurt. 

I heard this song today. It is one I found to give to Leland. It was a way I expressed my love to him – finding songs that fit our relationship (and vice versa). He loved this song because it expressed who he was. He was always asking me to dance with him. He always worked to keep “the world” away from us. He protected what we had.

It doesn’t hurt, this song. It is one of the sweeter memories I have of him. I am pretty sure somewhere in past posts, I had already shared this song.

Today it is a poignant memory with the definition being, ‘something that is moving or touching but also slightly painful.”  That describes this memory – it hurts so good.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me. I am grateful.

♥♥

One in A Million… Him

August 20th, 2021

 

I only had 27 years with the love of my life. We didn’t meet until we were 41 and 42. I often wonder, since he moved out and went to heaven, if I would rather have had 27 years then lose him – or would I rather have not had him at all so that I didn’t have to deal with the pain of life without him.

This song was one of the ones we loved to dance to in the living room, candles, usually fireplace fire, romance. I would always try to sing it to him – he loved my voice – but every single time, I choked up and couldn’t get past the lump in my throat. He loved that, too.

I don’t know if I told you this story or not, but he couldn’t dance. He had no rhythm and no matter what, just couldn’t find it. This is the type of man he was:

The first Christmas after we married (in March), his office was having a huge party at the country club. We got to dress up (he wore his suit, and I glittered). After we arrived at the country club, he sat in the car for a minute, then confessed: “I can’t dance.” 

I said, “Okaaay?” – and he went on, “I know you love to dance. I wanted you to have a wonderful time tonight” and I tried to interrupt to tell him that just being with him was wonderful enough but he went on:

“I asked God to teach me how to slow dance. To help me to move enough that we could dance without me embarrassing you.”  I said, “As if…”

And that evening was everything a woman could dream of. Dancing in the arms of a manly man who loved her enough to admit he couldn’t dance, and admit he asked for supernatural help.

No, we didn’t dip and swing out.  We wouldn’t have won any dance contests, either. But if there was a prize for the most romantic man and gesture ever, he won. That night was magical.

He moved slowly, with a slow type of rhythm. He moved his feet correctly. He held me so close and whispered sweet love words in my ear… well no, not really. He was 6’2″ and I was 5’1″ so he would have had to lean over a LOT.

So the truth – with or without him. 27 years or none. I choose the 27 years I had him. I had something rare, something few people ever find. Yes, it was cut short but I was able to experience a one in a million him.  I am grateful.  

A One in a Million You Lyrics

When You’ve Had Everything

July 30th, 2021

(Those who read my other blog, this is essentially the same post)

 

So adjusting to living without the Love of My Life has obviously been hard.

I am OK as long as I don’t look at pictures of him or listen to his voice mail.

I am OK as long as I don’t drive by the house he remodeled just for me.

I am OK as long as I don’t think of all the amazing things he did for me over the years, like plant me flower gardens.  I was a very spoiled woman. I dedicated this song to him, from a woman’s point of view. Unfortunately this time, we can’t see this through together.

I was blessed with a love that few ever have. I have discovered Leland really was all that. He really was my EVERYTHING. I sometimes wander the house here missing his voice, his thoughts, his humor, his chasing me, his scent.

So when I found myself having trouble sleeping because he wasn’t by my side, I didn’t know what to do. I always reached out and touched him at some point during a night. Or if I got up to go to the bathroom, I’d get back in bed and reach over and touch him or pat him on the butt. Something. And every time I hit bare space it hurt.

I actually prayed about it and this is what happened: I needed to put something on the bed, in his place. Something that wouldn’t hurt. This is the perfect solution:

Yes, that is a big fat snowman sitting where Leland used to sleep. There are two purposes to putting him on my bed.

One is because now, when I reach out to touch Leland, my hand finds a fuzzy leg, arm, body – and I chuckle and go back to sleep. It makes me smile and it is peaceful. No, Leland isn’t there but… he shouldn’t have left me all alone because of…

The second reason – I used to have a massive snowman collection. He constantly threatened the poor innocent snowmen. (Don’t worry. It was just a tradition. No snowmen were harmed [smile]. I dig out the snowmen for Christmas time and he’d mumble threats.) 

He was going to blow torch them. He was going to drag them out to a desert and bury them in the hot sand. Chase them down with the lawnmower, weedwhack them – he was always coming up with inventive ways to get rid of the snowmen.

It is poetic justice: Leland left me – so I put a snowman in his place. The snowman works because while it can’t replace Leland, it makes me smile when I touch it in the night. Peace. 

Freedom, Blood and The Flag

July 4th, 2021

We, The People

I’m not going to give you a long history lesson on this day celebrating America’s Independence Day (which is not a movie with actor Will Smith although it is a good movie). So many have no idea of the sacrifices that were made for the freedom the United States of America enjoys. Look it up

In brief, John Adams was a leading advocate for independence at the Second Continental Congress and a member of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress resolved on 2 July 1776 “That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States.” 

This is an excerpt (page 3) from a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail Adams right before the Declaration of Independence was declared on the 4th of July. 

“I am apt to believe that it (independence) will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

245 years later, we still celebrate.

Our troops fought for freedom during The Revolutionary War. Hundreds of thousands of men shed their blood and died to protect our freedom. Many subsequent wars were fought to maintain our freedom. More bloodshed.

Our Flag is a representation of that freedom. Our Flag represents ALL Americans. To dishonor the flag is to dishonor what it cost for that flag to exist (Keith Moore, FLCS, 7-4-21). 

The Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem – all bought with blood. All represent every American, equally. Leave our Flag – our freedom – alone.

Go find out why we are free here in America. We always will be no matter what it looks like right now. Why? Because  

WE, THE PEOPLE ARE STILL HERE.

♥♥

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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, “Had a Declaration…” [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Eagle, Flat, Independence DepositPhoto.com 16860697_l-2015
Fireworks DepositPhotos.com 18417147_l-201
Ray Charles at 50th Presidential Inauguration Ball for Ronald Reagan (1/19/1985)

Happy Fathers Day Leland Loyd and Wayne Cook

June 20th, 2021

(Taken from Anointed Word Ministries website today. If you follow that blog, this is the same post)

Dunking Time

Today we celebrate fathers. Even though Joshua’s father moved to heaven two months ago, he still honors Leland W. Loyd on this day. My dad, G. Wayne Cook, moved in 2004 but he had great impact on Joshua (and, of course, me).

Leland was an incredible father – but he really didn’t start out that way. He had to learn how to be a godly father. When you don’t have a good (or any) role model you don’t really know how to function as a father. It’s a black hole. A total lack of knowledge.

But he learned. How? By spending time in the Word no matter where he was. By learning the way a REAL father was supposed to be. God taught him. Here he’s on vacation.

Reading Bible in Beauty

He had NO concept of a father’s love. He never experienced it in his life. He had to learn from God that he was loved, unconditionally and totally. He (MOST VITAL) also learned to forgive the past and everyone in it, including his own father’s lack (and who died at 40 when Leland was young).

Once he got that down in his Spirit, he began to understand a Father’s love and a father’s love. He began to apply what he learned from his Father and became the most amazing dad.

Work Consultation

Josh was also blessed because my father was a huge part of his life. He was also a wonderful influence on both Joshua and Leland. Leland often said Wayne was his best friend and mentor. He learned from my dad by watching and experiencing his love.

Yes, Josh even learned about taking the trash out. Even if it’s raining.

But. Even if you didn’t have the good influence of a father – or even one at all – or even several because there were multiple marriages – or boyfriends – or abuse or ??.  I can’t think of all the different ways someone can miss out on a godly influence in the form of a father. 

The important thing, like Leland, you do have a Father. He loves you. He will always love you. He believes in you, Supports you. Guides you through this life. Wants the best for you.

If you don’t know Him, He is just a “call” away – just talk to Him. Just tell Him you want Him to be your Father. 

If you do know Him but never thought of Him as YOUR father – ditto – call on Him! Tell Him everything. Talk to Him about anything you want to. He is there and He is listening – just like a dad.