I’m very glad the last few days are over. “Everything is out of control,” I bellowed to my daughter over the phone. Then I listed legal and financial paperwork I was dealing with and added that I needed a window washer and someone else to check my eavestroughs, and did she remember my evergreens are dying and did I tell her that my association is supposedly checking on it and no I don’t know if they’ll pay for replacements if indeed they are dead and what a shame that would be because I have four of them and I can’t believe if they were dying while Dad was still alive he wouldn’t have noticed them, for sure he’d have told me, and now my flower beds were full of leaves so did I need someone to blow them out and what do you do with annuals anyway, do you dig them out or just let them die in place and wait until spring to see what comes up and then do you know what happened at the gas station today, I drove Dad’s car for a change and was way out in the boonies where I had to vote and all of a sudden I saw a message that my gas tank was low and I’d checked but hadn’t known how to read the display so thought my tank was full, so I had to turn around back to the town because I knew there was no station for the fifteen miles back through the corn fields and when I pulled up next to the gas pump I didn’t remember how to unlatch the gas cap—I’d filled it once since Dad died, but didn’t remember, so people were lining up behind me as I was pushing on everything that had a light on it on the dash when I finally figured out I better move the car and park away from the pumps and get out the manual to find out how to get the gas cap open which I did and presto I returned to the pump and joyfully filled my tank and then you wouldn’t believe what happened to me at my book club, I drove my Beetle and had pulled up in front of the gal’s house where we were meeting and couldn’t get my key out of the ignition and I was so miffed that I jerked the steering wheel back and forth because that sometimes works if that is locked but nothing was happening and another gal coming to the book club parked across the street from me so I opened the door and hollered, “Sue, I’m in great need of help, I can’t get my key out of the ignition”, so she walked over and stared one second into my car and said, “I think you need to have your car in park first…” I was still in drive, so I told her I needed to be taken care of, my week was not going well, and she took me by the arm and assured me the group would take care of me….
I could hear my daughter sigh. “Yes, it sounds like everything is out of control,” she said. I caught the chuckle in her voice and knew she wanted to add, “Is there anything else on your mind today?” But she didn’t, kindly.
Well, daughters are wonderful listeners. And I want to tell all impending “solo elders”—a term I read recently that sounded better to me than “widow”—to plan ahead to have good listeners when you are thrust into this state. I’ve been functioning well, I think. Not the best, but at least I didn’t feel so out of control as I have the last few days.
After I hung up with my daughter, I checked for an email from my Bible Study leader and, would you believe it, our study for the next day was going to be on CONTROL. I had to giggle because this was another clear example of God’s grace plopping into my life when I least expect it. I read the lesson and learned that needing to be in control was a selfish thing. I could just let go and let God. Irreverently, I thought I’d just invite God over and hand over my list of what had to be done. But I was assured the next day at Bible Study that God probably wouldn’t show up in person but would surely help me with my trials if I would just stop and pray.
All things are possible, don’t you know, with God’s help.