Struggling With Grief
By Karen Sandoval CZT on October 09, 2012
A lot has been going on in my life (and mind) in the past few weeks. My next door neighbor lady fell while she was tending her garden. She broke her hip. She knew it was broken because just a few months before, while they were on vacation in Germany, she fell and broke the other side.
She seemed to be doing well prior to that last fall. I saw her walking up and down her driveway a few times soon after her first hip replacement. She told Michael that her hubby would kick her butt if he knew she was out doing that. Our subdivision was built on a glacial bed so it's fairly hilly, and our homes are built on small hills.
The day she fell out back, I expected her to go to the hospital and have another hip replacement and be back on her feet shortly. After all, she was doing so well so soon after the first one, she was gardening!
Can I mention here that we are not close to our neighbors? We are friendly of course, you know, fence talk like: Hi, how are you? Your flowers are beautiful. What is the secret to growing tomatoes? Things of that nature. Ha, nature is a good word to describe Maria, she was such an amazing gardener. They dairy farmed all this land (that is now our subdivision) from the time they immigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1950's.
The Kleins donated the land to the west of Rural Home Cemetery, which is east of us. You can see he cemetery in my daily morning instagram photos.
In the last few years, I've decided I want to be cremated and tossed into the woods near the hole I eagled at Edgewood Golf Course. Prior to that, my wishes were to be buried in God's Acre at the Lititz Moravian Church. But I changed my mind because I don't want to be so far away from hubby if he needs a place to go grieve. And the 7th hole of the Oaks is a place he already visits often. Without me now. Because I gave up golf. Because I'm afraid I will hurt my back again and have to life with that crippling sciatica or face another spinal fusion. But my mind is wandering here.
I'm having these feelings because of my grief and struggling with thoughts of death and that life isn't permanent and is there really a hereafter and a big man in the sky waiting for us when we take our last breath?
Maria died a few days ago. I visit her gardens often during the summer and shoot her flowers. I used to ring the bell and ask, but they always say yes, so I just wander over there when I'm out shooting in my gardens. I wanted to get some photos of her flowers before we had her first hard freeze and before she passed. I didn't want her flowers to die, her last garden to freeze before I got some photographs. But I didn't want to intrude either.
You see, when Maria went to the hospital with her broken hip, they found she had cancer. Uterine, ovarian, I'm not sure exactly what, but it was her girl parts, and she was so far gone she didn't want to fight. Her hubby called us when Maria decided she just wanted to die now, and he told us she was in hospice.
They are very close to their children, and the kids have been with Robert since Maria's diagnosis. It was such relief to me for him, to see their cars there every day. I'm not sure how he's going to be without his wife. They were such a sweet couple. Like living Hummel people, if you can envision what I am saying. Both of them were always smiling and happy and seemed so content in their retirement from dairy farming. They traveled a lot. I'm not sure how old Bob is, but Maria was 79 when she passed.
Now she's gone. We didn't go to the funeral. I suspect funerals are hard for my hubby, because he said he just couldn't go. I wanted to go for Bob, to give him our support, to let him know he's in our hearts and minds. But we didn't go. We sent flowers. He didn't want flowers, he wanted donations to the Hospice that cared for Maria in her last days. Maybe we can still do that. I'm sure we can.
You never know when your number is up do you? When you will get hit with that life changing news that now your life is coming to a close. I guess if I had my choice of ways to die, I would want to have some time to wrap things up, but we aren't always that lucky. For some, they leave their house for the last time and are taken in a senseless auto accident. You just never know.
In honor of my dear neighbor Maria, I hope you enjoy the florals today that were blooming because of her touch. I'm going to have a canvas made for Bob, and give it to him when we can muster up the courage to walk over there and visit.
It feels good to get this out of my head. Now I just need to let it go and think about different happy thoughts.
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