My prayer just now was desperate: “Dear God please do not let He-Who-Took-Long-Steps see his lawn right now!” Desperate measures call for desperate prayers. The grass was high. It seems just yesterday it was covered with 3 feet of snow. Todd said he was thinking of hooking his mower to his snow blower.

Lois Olmstead

We got our mowers serviced. Mom got on hers right then and mowed away. With a busy week ahead, I was hoping for more snow.

I came home from work today, changed into pajamas and fixed an omelet for supper. I looked out on the lawn. It grew before my eyes. With rain coming over the hills, I donned my bibbed snow pants over my pj’s and slipped on my yellow rubber boots. I will admit I had to call my mom to get going. Then I mowed. I will do better next time.

It helped to be outside. My emotions have been shattered this week. The days I have been counting down, have arrived. Day 365. One year. Kevin called me at 6 on the morning of the 19th. He said, “Mom, I just wanted to pray with you before I go to work. The next nine days will be tough for all of us.” His dad was air-lifted to Billings this day. The next nine days we were with him in the hospital, being normal, all of us, including He-Who, thinking this was just a detour on our family journey. Then we would all be back home going on with our lives.

That was not to be. God took him home to heaven on the 28th. In the morning we visited. He dozed off and on before a short heart procedure. Back in the room he had to lie flat for two hours. He asked how it went. The doctor told me they would keep him in the hospital longer. A heart specialist was coming the next day. He said the days ahead at home were going to be hard. I heard those words but my heart said it would work out OK.

I stood by the bed, saying, “They have a specialist coming and you will stay a few more days.”

He-Who said, “Well that should be better.” Then he looked up at the ceiling and said, “They should have a TV up there …” and in minutes, God called him home to heaven.

I am so thankful for the years we had. I am so thankful we were “normal” together those nine days. I am so thankful our sons were with us. I am thankful the weeks we had before were “normal.” I would change none of that. I have read his journal for April over and over. He was glad I got new glasses and could see better. He wrote about us seeing a herd of elk along Brackett Creek … and how glad he was to find “a red flipper waffle iron” for my birthday. I am so thankful for those normal days.

I have cried buckets this week thinking if I had those nine days back I would not sleep a wink. I would hold his hand and not let go. I would talk until he would be telling God, “I’m ready now!”

Remember me telling you about our two rooms we built in our garage? His room was for his man cave. Mine was my sewing room. I said, “Why don’t we cut a hole in the wall so we can talk to each other?”

“Not a chance!” he said.

Yes, normal days. Real life. I am so thankful for every day together, the days we liked each other and the days we didn’t. I could not have made it one day without God’s care for me, and all of you helping me along this path. My verse today is his, John 8:12. “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Day 365.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.