The Farmer's Wife: Starting a new year, mourning friends


Tonight, Monday, the organ has been dusted and a book of hymns pulled out of the bench, but it has still not been played.. First, of course, I had to take down Christmas stuff; not as much fun to take down as to put up.. Then, I don't know, I guess I got busy with other things.

Reading for one; during the week between Christmas and our family gathering, I pulled a Mitford book about a nativity set from the shelf and now, I'm rereading them all. There is typically a Christmas chapter in all of them, but it's just the descriptions of the town characters that make me chuckle.. 

Also, a week ago tonight, I watched as the athletic trainer for the Buffalo Bills did CPR on their 24 year old player for ten minutes!  I also understood the AED was used.  And within a few hours, it seemed, he was asking, who won the game?  The doc had the right answer, “you did, you won the game of life!” I don't typically follow pro football, but I was pleased to see his team beat the Patriots yesterday, too.

Of course, I think a lot of us were hoping Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs could defeat Georgia this eve, but that is not going to  happen. I heard on the news this evening that SIX players from his high school in Council Bluffs are playing in the NFL. That's some kind of percentage.  

As I look back on 2022, I am mourning more good friends; one relatively new, the other, very old.  The first had joined our church only recently when I learned her husband had died of a cerebral aneurysm. I took a pan of brownies and went to visit. We were the same age, had graduated from small schools, had a lot other things in common, and just got along. After Mike died, she was even more important to me. For one thing, she would pick up lunch and eat with me. 

However, she spent a long year being treated for cancer, and having whipped it, was enjoying living in a nice senior facility here in town. I even enjoyed a Sunday brunch with her there. And Kay and I took her along to Maundy Thursday services; the first time she had been in church for months. Shortly after, a woman at her table in the dining room was quarantined for COVID.  Soon, my friend had it, and was very sick from it. She never really recovered, and I'm still missing her.

The other friend was a patient of mine when she had her first baby, 62 years ago.  She later moved back to Lincoln and since we had birthdays one day apart, usually had lunch during that week. Later, a third gal who had worked at Lutheran hospital joined us because her birthday fell then, too. 

The woman whose baby I was there for also had COVID, at home. She said she slept for a week! But the next week, she thought she felt pretty good and made plans to meet friends for tennis the following Monday. She never got there, and a daughter found her at home, in her bed.  To be sure, we all would like to die like that, but it's an awful shock for the family.  

So, the darned virus is still wreaking havoc, and I'm missing more and more folks. The latest: a high school classmate. There were only fourteen in our class, and now, ten of us are left. It's a sobering realization.  We definitely are not getting any younger. We remind each other to cherish each day, but don't always do that. 

Actually, as I watch the flooding on our west coast, I'm thanking my lucky stars, again, I live in Nebraska! Although they could certainly send some of it this way! Time for basketball!