10.01.20 So much has changed

So much has changed since Roy passed away.

I’m not sure how clearly written all of this post is. Losing a spouse for me is like losing a leg. Please love your spouse with all your heart, do right by them and thank God for them every day. One day they will not be there.

The amount of “things” or “stuff” that Roy had is overwhelming to me. A little example of this is I went through one small drawer and came up with three laser pointers. I never needed to know what any of it was before now. I just knew that if I told Roy I needed something a short while later he would produce it. I will miss those times when I shook my head and just wondered how did he have that and where did he keep it. It will take months to sift through his goodies and figure out what to do with them.

I’ve been watching the Saints games without Roy which I’ve never done before. No one can say “Rip their legs off and throw them in the stands” like we could.

I watched the first Presidential debate without Roy which I’m kind of happy he didn’t have to watch.

Even though it is in the future I will vote for the first time without Roy voting with me. He must be so upset that President Trump will have one less vote.

Roy was always the one to cut our grass. My neighbor Daniel has been cutting my grass and Chip cut it yesterday.

I previously washed a load of laundry every day or every other day. Now I wash a load once a week.

Our dishwasher died last week. Roy and I knew that was coming and discussed ordering a bamboo dish drainer. Now either Chip or I wash our dishes by hand. The dishwasher now serves as storage for 3 of my larger cooking pots and lids.

Chip has been trying to help me figure electronic things out when they don’t work right where I used to just ask Roy and he’d walk into the room and things would magically fix themselves.

What used to be Roy’s computer room is now a guest bedroom. Some dear friends gave us the queen size bed. I ordered a 5 drawer dresser to fit between the two closet doors. A headboard and nightstand are coming to complete the bedroom.

Roy didn’t like chicken and dumplings so we didn’t have it but once in a blue moon. I love chicken and dumplings (my favorite food) so I made a big pot last week and enjoyed every bite of it. Having the delicious smell of chicken and dumplings in my house made me cry because of what it represents.

Roy loved petite green peas and I didn’t like them AT ALL. He’d always offer me some and I’d always say “I ate some while I was cooking so you eat the rest.” We always had several cans in the pantry. He also loved Louisiana Hot Sauce but I didn’t like it. Those have been taken out of the pantry and given to my precious daughter in law Misty because she loves them. Not having green peas in my pantry almost feels liked I’ve sinned it was that important to always have some on hand.

Roy’s computer desk and all his computer, server, two printers, and accessories are now living in my rock room. When I first tried to use Roy’s computer it ran really slow. Remembering Roy’s advice to restart a computer if it was running slow I did that. It restarted and a black screen (see photo below) told me. STOP BEWARE. Well, Chip and I both tried to get it to work and it still doesn’t. A young man who is a computer guru is coming Friday to see what he can do to recover Roy’s files.

I have been able to access Roy’s emails from my computer online and have contacted everyone that I needed to ask them to send future communication to my email. So many things that Roy always handled are now mine to figure out.

We always enjoyed our coffee in the morning together either on the front or back porch. Now I drink mine alone wherever I land.

Since I can’t get into his computer I am sure hiding there is the list that I know Roy had of all his passwords.

I’ve sold Roy’s drone and received payment for that today. That was a rough one because that drone gave him so much happiness getting to fly it all around the place.

Our ducks, Peep and Chickie are getting picked up by their new parents on Friday. We’ve had Peep for a year and Chickie since July. I have to cut back on the things I am caring for so I am happy I found new parents for them.

Chip and Misty’s dog Samson lives with me a lot of the time now. He’s a joy and a lot of comfort all rolled up into all 3 1/2 pounds of him. He doesn’t mind when I cry and when he puts his head down and I put my head down on his it is oddly comforting. A cute doggie fence will be ordered for him so he can enjoy the outdoors sometimes without us worried he’s roamed off.

I am planning to go to an in-person worship service at our church this Sunday for the first time since February.

I am doing lots of decoupaging and painting of wine bottles, glass trivets, glass dinner, and lunch plates instead of the rock painting I use to do. I plan on selling some of my creations which I hadn’t considered before.

I now have a beautiful potted plant in my living room that my sister’s family sent to the funeral. The plant that Roy’s brother’s family sent was divided into three plants and pots. They live on the coffee table on the patio.

I can’t tell ya’ll how much I cry and cry while writing these. When the internet representative just left having reset our wifi password I was able to wait until he was out the door before breaking down and crying. It just felt so wrong to have someone else reset something Roy did originally and maintained always. I am really hoping this helps someone else know that the strangest things will set off a crying spell and a hurt heart feeling. I’m told that’s normal. Well, I don’t like this new normal. I don’t what I’d do if I didn’t have God walking by me through this journey.

I go for a couple of days actually being happy and think I am doing this grieving thing well and then I find his tiny harmonica and remember him playing it and just fall to pieces. What wonderful memories we’ve had. That’s not saying I didn’t want to push him off the roof sometimes he was so bad but I know that’s normal too.

I deeply appreciate all the friends and family who have sent me cards, called me, and visited me. You are dear, dear people. I know God is putting you in my life in that specific way to help me.

Please continue to keep my family in your prayers. I’m hoping to run out of things to share in the near future.

Dear Followers, Please bear with me as I make mistakes

To all of my wonderful BECAUSE HE LIVES followers. Please bear with me as I make mistakes like publishing a very unfinished blog post like I did yesterday. The correct version was just posted so I hope you will go read it.

I don’t even remember clicking the publish button but when I got in bed last night and reviewed my emails I saw I got one from myself with a link to the incorrect version.  I was too tired to do anything so here I am the next day sending this message to you!

Thanks for your support and for following my blog. Just hit me that it is my blog now, not our blog like it’s always been. I ask for prayers from each of you that I will be able to rest more. That specifically will help me a lot.

Thanks guys and gals! May God Bless Each of You.  Now go Make that Chili!

Rosalyn Chauvin

09.29.20 Make the Chili

I have thought a lot lately about how married couples should make more of an effort to do kind things for our spousea.  In our later years, Roy and I did loving-kindnesses for each other but gosh I wish I had done more of it.

That man worked so hard for our family for so many years.

In our younger years, we both had full plates with working full time and raising two young men so a lot of this wasn’t done back then. I wish I had. As we aged and retired it truly was the little things we did for each other that put a smile on our faces.

While thinking about wanting to encourage those who are blessed to still have their husband a dear friend of mine, Annie Johnson posted this on Facebook. Every single word in this grabbed my heart and I just had to share.

A good friend of mine unexpectedly lost her husband.

A couple of months later we were running together, chatting about nothing.

She asked me what my dinner plans were and I told her hubby wanted chili, but I didn’t feel like stopping at the store.

We ran a few more minutes when she quietly said “Make the chili.”

It took me a few minutes to realize we were no longer talking about dinner.

It was about going out of your way to do something for someone you love because at any moment, they could unexpectedly be taken from you.

So today I’m sharing with you that wisdom handed to me by my dear friend, that I’ve thought of many times since that day.

Next time someone you love wants you to go for a walk, or watch a football game, or play a board game or just put your phone down and give them your undivided attention, just do it. “Make the chili.”

Love deeply and selflessly.

“What a wonderful God we have who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.” 2 Corinthians 1: 3,4

 

09.25.20 Swapping phones

Since swapping phones with Roy’s I haven’t been able to hear the phone ring. I also couldn’t tell who was calling. The calls coming in on my old phone had names and ringtones associated with them. On Roy’s phone only numbers showed and who knows people’s numbers any more. I figured it was something I did to it since my phone had a tendency to lose icons, move icons and other things that were really the result of me putting my phone in my purse without turning it off. That was one of those things that Roy was so patient with me. He’d say hand me the phone, he’d fix it and hand it back. I was imagining him in Heaven saying “oh goodness, she’s at it again.”  That’s just one of the things he patiently fixed for me so many times.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours removing numbers from Roy’s phone that I don’t need and adding names to numbers so I would know who calls and text messages were for.

This morning Chip helped me communicate with a Samsung representative who did his magic and now I hear my phone ring and texts come in!

Then I think the last thing I needed to do having to do with phones, is to change my regular phone plan to a prepaid phone plan. It’s now $35 a month, in three months will be $30 and in nine months will be $25 a month!

In between all of that I cried and hated each change I made.

My phone number is still 985 320 8640. It is set to Do Not Disturb from 8 pm to 10 am every day. It doesn’t even vibrate during that time. It helps me sleep well to know I won’t be woken up by the phone in the morning.

I have been thinking about a lot of things I want to write about so you’ll probably be hearing from me more often for a while.

Please continue to keep my family in your prayers. We all miss Roy’s presence in our lives so much.

I hope each of you has a wonderful weekend and that our LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints win big this weekend!

Psalm 18: 1-3  KJV  I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

 

09.20.20 Grief, Social Security and Verizon

Last night, Saturday, I felt such deep grief and cried missing my husband and knowing I will not see him again until I die and go to Heaven. I miss Roy’s presence. I miss his joking and picking on me. I miss his love for me. I miss him reminding me to take my medicine in the morning and evening. I miss his comments throughout the day keeping me on track with my brain. I miss him putting his arms around me when I was having a hard time with my brain. I miss singing with him on Sunday mornings at church whether at Church on the Wall or church in person. I counted on all that and more from Roy and I miss them all. I have so many questions for him about how to do things and where things are around here. I don’t do figuring out things well anymore and I so wish I could have one last visit with Roy, just one last visit.

I started having a few good hours each day and then yesterday happened.

I called Social Security on Tuesday to find out how much of Roy’s Social Security I would be eligible for. and to let them know of his passing away. They took some information and scheduled the official phone interview at 1 pm Thursday.

They called right on time and after asking several questions the Social Security representative asked me to hold while she analyzed everything.

When she came back on the line she informed me that I would be receiving the lump sum burial benefit of $255. And that I was not eligible for any spousal benefits.

My brain froze up and I knew I must have heard her wrong.  I asked if she meant I would not receive any of Roy’s social security benefits.  She said that was correct.

Because I receive a little retirement check from the State of Louisiana it made me ineligible to receive any of Roy’s Social Security benefits.

Even before hanging up with Social Security I was beginning to cry and was just flat out stunned. Mostly my reaction was because Roy would be so upset if he knew that’s where his death left me financially.  After thinking about it for a bit I know that while I won’t be rolling in the dough I will be okay financially. I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy. I am sharing this so that others will know to check into where there spouse’s death will leave them as far as Social Security is concerned.

When I mostly recovered from that shock Chip took me to Hammond to take care of some things and pick up something I needed. Last week we went to Walmart and yesterday was only the second time I’ve been away from the house since Roy passed away.

We brought my cute little buddy Samson back home. He’s kept me company and I am now looking for a smallish dog for my forever buddy.

Since Roy knew I shouldn’t be driving, he most all of the time took me wherever I needed to go.  Roy not being there like he used to be while I as in Hobby Lobby and GoodWill made me so sad. Chip can’t help that he’s not Roy but I hope he knows how much I appreciate him taking me places on his day off even if I didn’t always show it.

I spent an hour in Hobby Lobby walking up and down each aisle.  That is usually the best therapy for me since I love that place.  It was some help yesterday but I just kept thinking Roy is out in our truck waiting for me. He wasn’t outside waiting for me and that brought sadness to my heart all throughout the store.  I did find some cute things to use in my wine bottle decorating. Chip sweetly replaced my debit card with his when it came to checking out.

The main reason we went to Hammond yesterday was to find out information from Verizon about moving my phone number to Roy’s newer phone. And to find out what my bill will be if I remove his number. The young Verizon representative was very nice but having to say the words to him that the phone number I needed to cancel was because my husband passed away was just overwhelming. The young man is very good at what he does and was very kind to me. I now am using the physical phone that was Roys but it has my phone number now. I was prepared to move over to Consumer Cellular but I was happy with the plan changes the young man recommended so something good came out of that.

Back home trying to get accomplished what the young man said to do has been frustrating. I did get Roy’s phone number disconnected though just not the part where I change the type of plan which will reduce my bill with Verizon. Chip said he’ll handle the part I couldn’t do that made me frustrated.

Each time I accomplish something that is necessary since Roy passed away it brings so much grief and hurts my heart.  I miss my husband so much.

I did get to shop on my outing with Chip which means fun things for me at home and a couple of new blouses even if they are Good Will blouses!

I know that every single thing I am going through will be used to bring God Glory and it will all work together to be for my good.

It is now Saturday and I’ve made some progress on separating paperwork and getting some of it filed where it belongs. Some of that was medical papers for Roy the last month he was alive. I am saving them just in case they are needed. Looking through them brought all the difficulties Roy had during that time to my memory.

When the paperwork got to be too much for me I started working on some decoupaged plates and rocks.

Roy did not like chicken and dumplings. To show you how much my mama loved Roy, when she cooked chicken and dumplings for us she’d cook some fried chicken for Roy. Chip and I love chicken and dumplings so I made us a nice size pot today.

I am planning to lay low next week by not going anywhere or having anyone over. I’ve loved my visitors this week but I feel I need some downtime for a few days.

I find some days now are harder than when Roy first passed away. I was in shock at first, very much in denial that Roy’s gone for good. I can’t say this enough that I don’t know how to do life without Roy, my best friend by my side.  I really don’t want to have to learn but it is what I have to do now and I continue to ask ya’ll for prayers to get our family through this.

Thank you all, Rosalyn