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At 10:20am on November 9, 2009, Steve said…
Hi Karen, It's good to hear from you again. I'm glad to hear that you had such a nice visit. People don't always seem to know how to react to you, it's good that someone asked about Fred. I know it can be hard, but I find the tears are also healing. Our spouses were such a signifcant part of our lives and it helps when others ask about them and we don't feel they're forgotten. They never will be.

The Dr. has adjusted some of my medications and when I take them and it has made a big difference. This past week a couple of my youger ones have been a little weepy though and I can't believe how well I handled it. Have to give God all the credit! Cindy was always the nuturing one, but God gave me the strength and compassion they needed.

This past Sunday, more of the people in the Church were finally able to speak to me and that made me feel better. There are a few that tend to avoid me that were really good friends before- they really don't know what to say- I've done the same to others in the past- so I don't hold it against them.

I think my stress level at work is what has been pushing me over the edge. The Dr. and counselor are considering taking me off work if things didn't improve- but it looks like they are. But, sometimes when it rains, it pours.

Last week, on the way home from work one night, a deer ran into the side of my car and caused quite a bit of damage. Dented fender and door, broken windshield and passenger side mirror. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I also have another vehicle, so it hasn't effected me too much. For some reason, it didn't even seem to bother me. Seems like such a small problem.

I just took the kids on a vacation to TN in July and they had a good time. It was too soon for me to enjoy it and it was hard- but we had planned to do it as a family even before Cindy died and I knew she would want me to go with the kids.

Thank you for all your prayers, I just know that the prayer of others are making the difference for me and I'm forever grateful. May God Bless You and I will pray for you as well.

At 11:22pm on November 8, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Hi Steve! I hope you are doing better. I feel better after my vacation. I think I am fearful of doing things by myself. Like flying on a trip. I was all alone. I had to make all the decisions. I am home now from my trip now and I am feeling somewhat better. My friend is one who questions everything so she wanted to know all the details from the beginning. Whoa! There were many tears shed this past week, which I think were healing. We also saw alot of her family. I told Sue (my friend) that at the one gathering, I felt like I was the elephant in the room. Everyone knew I was there and what the deal was with me, but no one wanted to talk about it. But, At another visit, her son-in-law came right out and asked, "So Karen... tell me about Fred!" it was refreshing, but also very hard. They were so understanding, and I think it helped me emotionally. Although, after I got home and called my daughter and told her about the "tell me about Fred", I started to cry.
Today I went down to see my daughter and son-in-law and my grandchildren. I missed them so much. I surprised them.
I hope you are doing better. I am still thinking about you and saying a prayer for you. How are you really doing???? Maybe it would help to take a vacation.
Let me know if I can help!
At 12:24am on October 30, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Hi Steve! Sorry to hear you have had a rough time. I know how you must feel. For quite a while I got phone calls and visits frequently. Now, days will go by without my phone ringing at all. I try to keep busy during the day, but there is only so much a person can do in a 3 bedroom townhouse. I need to get back into church work and hobbies. I haven't anything like that for a long time. It's hard to just jump back into it. People at church are very happy to see me, but I dont get a call if I'm not there either. Although..I think you are more involved than I am. I jump around too much. Some sundays I'm at my home church, or I may go to my daughters and son-in-laws church, or sometimes I go to the church where Fred was the Pastor. Maybe it's my way of non-committment or not letting people get too close. If that is what I am doing. Most people don't really want to know how you "really" are doing? My work is a way to escape people too, since I work 3-11 I dont get together with others very often. Well... I want you to know that I am thinking about you and saying a prayer for you also. Well - I am tired so I need to hit the sack! Goodnight! Hope things perk up for you! Karen
At 12:25am on October 27, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Hi Steve, Hello! I haven't heard from you lately, so I thought I would contact you. I hope all is well! I have been okay! Not too much going on. I am getting ready to go on vacation next week. I will be traveling to Georgia. It will be nice to get away. I have a question... Have you ever had feelings of anger toward your spouse or God or family over your loss, and all the "stuff" that you have to do now that they are gone. I have! I'm not angry for long (just briefly) but I do feel it at times. What do you think? Thanks for listening! karen
At 11:51pm on October 15, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Hey Steve, How are you? I hope you are okay! I have had a kind of a "blah" week. I have a slight cold - mostly sinusitis, but I just feel worthless, except for work. I havent had much going on this week plus the weather has been cold and damp (rain). But I find my mind wandering into my memories of Fred. It amazes me how much comes to mind so quickly. Sometimes I cry, and other times I just miss him. I wish I could talk to him again.
Hope you and your family is all okay. Are you going to get a flu shot? How about H1N1??It's already going around here! Have a good weekend! I have to work! karen
At 11:54pm on October 4, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Steve, Hope you had a good weekend. I had to work but I went to church at the church where Fred was Pastor at. It was nice to visit. I love the people there, they are so caring! And the new Pastor is very nice and welcoming to me. I also met his wife for the first time today. I was afraid to go as I didn't want to intrude on their ministry. He calmed my fears about that. I thought if would be hard to go there, but its not. It is harder to go to the church where we went to for so long, before he went into the ministry. I don't really know why, but everywhere I look I see Fred. He was so involved in the church. He was treasurer, trustee, Head trustee, secretary.... I think he held every position in the church. He was a natural leader. (Too controlling though) I like to say his "fingerprint" is left all over that church. They are going to dedicate part of church (a newer wing) to him as he was instrumental in seeing it built.
Well - have a good week! Thanks for listening! You are in my daily prayers! karen
At 12:14am on October 3, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Steve, I was off today as I have to work this weekend. Some days when I am off I feel like "what should I do??". I live with my daughter who is 24 and has a life of her own. My home doesn't get very dirty to have to do much cleaning and I hardly ever cook any more. So I paid some bills and straightened up some. Got out a few fall decorations and went and had dinner with my Aunt and Uncle. I am beginning to feel like my life is a waste and I need to find my niche again. I definitely lost it this past 2 years. I also went to the cemetary and cried. (crying now) I never got involved in any grief programs. Maybe I should have, but after listening to what you just said, I 'm not sure... I really need God to direct me at this time. Maybe I need to heal some more first. I just had a thought... "Be still and know that I am God!".

I wanted to tell you a story about someone I know. This man has also has 6 children. A few years ago - I think in 2004, his wife (who was nursing there youngest) found a lump in her breast. Had bilateral mastectomies, cancer had spread. Went through lots of treatment and passed away in early 2008. He also went to the church I currently attend, where we raised our children. He just announced that he is getting married again - around Christmas time. I am happy for him. I had a very hard time talking to him the first few times. He was very compassionate and caring, but when I talked to him my emotions exploded and I would cry like crazy and apologize. It was too much to think about and too hard. I can now talk to him and I search for him in church. It's like we have a secret connection. I also search out others who have lost spouses. I feel they are the only one who really understand.

I am going on vacation in November. My best friend from H.S. invited to visit her. She and her husband live in Georgia, so it will be warmer. I think I need to get away for a while, and I am looking forward to it. She and her husband were the with me the first time I went to the cemetery after the funeral. That was 3 months later. I couldn't go for a long time. I have been there many times since.
Hope you have a good weekend. Enjoy your children!
At 11:46pm on October 1, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Steve, Praise God for our faith! I too question God's intentions, but I never lost my faith in Him. I have cried out to God and sometimes when I read the word it touches me so much that I can barely read on as my tears cloud my vision. I feel comfort in the fact that the He is always with we and He will never leave me nor forsake me. I have held onto that verse a lot.
WOW! Six children! Amazing! I have two children. The youngest still lives with me age 24, and my oldest is married x 5 years and I have 2 grandchildren... twins girls born 3 weeks after Fred died. They are such a joy to me and have help me get through some rough times, like holidays. They dont live as close as I would like - 1 1/2 hour drive away. (my son-in-law is a Pastor also) They have all been very supportive. But - as you know ... the loneliness creeps in quite a bit, especially at night when you crawl into bed. Even though Fred was sick he would wake up when I got home from work and we would talk. Even if for just a few minutes. That's what I miss the most, I think. Well, I am getting tired. That's all for now! Goodnight! karen
At 12:27am on October 1, 2009, Karen Mitchell said…
Steve, Thank your for your condolence. I also wish to add my sympathies to you in your loss. I had to move about 3 weeks before he passed away. You see he was a second career Pastor. He was an electrician at one of the steel mills in our area for over 28 years. When he was about 45 years old he decided to go into the ministry. He stayed at the mill till he finished enough classes to get a license to minister at a church. Anyway he was only a Pastor for 2 years. We had sold our home and moved to a small town about 45 minutes away and took a church there. He wanted to continue at the church as long as he could - which was in January. By mid Feb. we moved to the town where I worked and closer to family. He only lived in our new place (townhouse) for 2 weeks before going to hospice. Then 10 days later he was gone. My whole world has been turned upside down these past few years. I long for things to call my own. I feel insecure and weak at times. I work 3-11 shift at the hospital close by and that (sometimes) is the only reason I have to get out of bed. I have many friends and family who are supportive, but there is still an emptiness that no one can fill. I had to have others help me move a lot of his things as I couldnt do it myself, and I had to do it ASAP. I wish I could have taken more time with some of those things, but I could not. Maybe it's better. I dont know. His hardhat from the mill makes me cry! I understand and hope this has helped you some too!

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