an arch wherethro'

"I am a part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch wherethro' gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move."
Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Location: Searcy, Arkansas, United States

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ASCDS (10/16/2017)

Ian said he was coming to NLR for Scottish dancing tonight. He said he wanted to take the class and I paid the $60, but he has not come consistently. I thought, after the events of the last several days, that he would come if he could get out of his class in time. I saw he was at the house at 5:45 so I was glad he would be coming. It is now 6:29, and he’s still at the house. He has no intention of coming but will tell me that his class didn’t let out in time, or some other made-up excuse. I so despair for his future.

I checked around 9:00 and he was still at the house. I knew, deep down, that he would leave before I got home, and that’s exactly what happened. I don’t know what time he left because I was driving back to Searcy. But leave he did, and he will be out late, so I’ll go to bed. Oh darling girl, I miss you so desperately.

He was home before midnight so maybe we are moving in the right direction.

Win & Loss (10/15/2017)

On Friday, Ian did not get up and go to work after staying out very late on Thursday. Unfortunately, I left for ArkSHA at 5:45 am so I was not there to help. He lost his job as a result. I’ve known it was coming, I’m just surprised it took so long. Thus he lost his recommendation from the only real job he has ever had. On Saturday, he won 2nd place in the King of the Crag competition. He told me about both tonight. I want so much to celebrate something, anything with him. When I tried to talk about the job and prospects he smarted off and I told him to just go. I so want to celebrate something with him.

Friday, October 13, 2017

ArkSHA at Hot Springs (10/13/2017

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou

The above quote was used during one of the presentations At ArkSHA. It is indeed profound. I am at the ArkSHA Convention in Hot Spring again. It may well be my last while working for Harding. Keri and I always had such a good time when we went down for this. She usually had a massage and we always visited with such great people. For 11 or so years, I was on the ArkSHA Board and very involved with all aspects of the Convention. The younger ones have taken over and it was a good meeting, but I couldn’t help but remember being involved with all the hustle and bustle. There were a few of us old hangers-on. Martha Allan, Gretchen Hicks, Sharon Ross and Kathy McDaniels were all there. Kathy even presented with the Clinic Directors. Jan Traughber and Jennifer Fisher represented us well. Melanie (Lowry) Meeker is now on the Board and will be putting on the Convention next year. It’s in good hands and it’s time to let go. Being in Hot Springs with Keri was sad.

Gus Blass Scout Reservation (10/6/2017)

I’m back at Gus Blass for the first time since I drove away with Keri in March. I’m back for a weekend Cub activity. Our cabin is still there and Keri’s hummingbird feeder is still hanging on the porch. I’m in the room at Reynolds I lived in the first summer Ian and I were on staff. It feels strange to be here without my darling girl.


I didn’t sleep well so I’m sitting at the check-in tent at 6:30, waiting for Cubs. It’s quiet and I find myself dwelling on my Keri. She so loved it here and we were always involved in some adventure or another. I’m understanding the term “bittersweet” more and more. I almost feel she’s with me (and so want her to be), but I’m glad we had our time here and that is calming.

Jesse (9/29/2017)

“Some people say time heals all wounds but i disagree some wounds are so deep that all you can do is learn to live with them... it will get easier with time but the scars they leave will always be there..... i love you Jeremy M. James and i can only hope and pray that with time you will learn to live again.”

My friend, and the child of dear friends, Joey Hacker, posted this on Facebook yesterday. It is so perfectly said that I had to copy and place it here. Jeremy and Jennifer lost their son, Jesse on Friday. I don’t know all the details but apparently there was bullying and Jesse took his own life.

Eggnog (9/30/2017)

Walmart has their eggnog out. I have been dreading it (and looking for it) because that was always such a treat for Keri. We would always treat ourselves to the first carton we saw.

Goodbye Mamaw (9/26/2017)

I don't dream much, or if I do, I don't remember them the next day. However, I woke up to a dream this morning of my grandmother, Gladys Rusk Chrisman, my Mamaw. It was bizarre and involved getting a riding lawnmower on the balcony of a nice hotel and the struggles to get it off. From there it evolved into all of my family coming to the hotel to see us before we headed out for a flight, all still at the hotel. I was going to travel with Alesa and Dave Garner but I got separated from everybody at the hotel. When I finally made it back to everyone on the ground floor it turned into the gate at the airport and my Mamaw was there to see me off. We walked together holding on to each other, talking, until she gave me a few pieces of candy. Then I woke. It was a sweet dream which fills me with longing. It may be an emotional day.

What Can I Say (9/25/2017)

Ian went with me to the Mandela and Art of Africa opening last night at the Clinton Library. He slept most of the day and seemed unable to get ready. We left 35 minutes after we planned. It was a good evening but he went out after we got home and didn't get back until 1:00 AM. Now he is not getting up. It is now 7:04 and he was supposed to be at 7:00. I have no idea what is wrong with that kid.

The End of Troop 96 (9/19/2017)

I'm sitting at, what appears to be, one of the last meetings of Troop 96. Ian has tried valiantly to keep it going but has been unable to get any parent support. We had counted on a large group of Webelos Scouts to come over from Pack 98 but discovered that they have formed their own Troop. Unfortunately, Willie Abrams and Jack Exum were/are involved with the new Troop 98, so Ian and I feel that we've been betrayed. The District and the Council helped with it all so we've just been kicked in the pants. Add to that the fact that there is only 1 Scout here tonight. Ian is teaching the Metal Working Merit Badge to Ben because no one else chose to come. I've sent an email to Jay and Rusty (our DE) to ask about the process of disbanding. Once I receive that, I'll talk to Ian and Sue Bufford about what we need to do now. One more cause for Ian's severe depression.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle will always be a special place for me. When Keri and I were planning to go to Europe for the first time in 1993, I asked her to make a list of things that she absolutely had to see or do. She worked on it for awhile, and finally came up with only two "absolute necessities", Eilean Donan Castle and the Sound of Music tour. Of course we did both. Whenever I see anything about either, I instantly think of Keri, and us there. This photo of Eilean Donan appeared on Instagram today and, of course, I'm transported back to 1993, in this exact location. Happy memories!!!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Teal Light Night (9/8/2017)

Tonight was the Arkansas Ovarian Cancer Coalition night at the Clinton Library. Keri and I had such a good time last year and we have gone every year. I felt the need to go. Tammy Higdon and Renee Gentry were there with Alesa. Jessica James was there with a friend. Eddie Shields, a friend of Keri's from Pleasant Valley who lost his wife to ovarian cancer was there with many of his family. It was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I'm so glad I went. The bridges in LR were lit up with teal lights and there were three luminaries there for Keri again this year. Last year Alesa, Lauren, and the coalition had luminaries in honor of Keri. This year, Alesa, I, and the coalition had them in memory of Keri. During one of the videos, there was a picture of Keri and I went to the Facebook page and there were several of her. She is remembered. I AM glad I went.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Ian Worries, Chapter 479..or whatever (9/6/2017)

My worries for and about Ian continue. Ian is ill. He's not eating, etc., but I can't get him to get any sleep. He could not get up and probably barely made it to work. He turned his phone off sometime during the day and hasn't come home. I found his house key in the bathroom and asked him to come get it and I haven't heard from him. Who knows if he will come home tonight. Another sleepless night for me.....

We Remember Them (9/5/2017)

We Remember Them by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, We remember them.

Bad Day ... Bad Bad Day (9/4/2017)

It's been a really hard day. Ian seldom comes around anymore. He spends most of his time with Sarah. He did come home late without his key (after I was in bed) and, since today was Labor Day, stayed in bed this morning. Of course I had to work. He spent the last three nights away. I guess this is now my life and I'm very emotional about it. 

I was very emotional about everything at work today as well. I wish I had retired but I stayed on for Keri. Now she is gone. I'm glad I outlived her so I could take care of her those last several years but I wonder if there is anything left for me. I planned for a trip to London after Christmas but I can't even get Ian interested in doing that with me. I've been trying to get him to sit down with me for weeks to fill out the paperwork for him a new passport, but he can't be bothered. I finally did it myself and layed it on his bed. I think now it would have been better for me to go by myself. He has his life, and I guess he should get on with it. I'll take some sleeping pills and go to bed. That way I won't lay there worried about him. I wonder if he will even bother to come home tonight.

Goodbye Mr. Parks (9/3/2017)

I came up to Mom's yesterday to help with the yard. In casual conversation, Mom mentioned that Mr. Mac Parks had died. When she showed me the obituary, I realized that he had died shortly after we talked with him on Saturday, August 12. He was at his usual post at the exit of Walmart and his last statement to me was asking if I would be at Church the next day. Apparently, he wasn't feeling well and went to his truck during break. That is where they found him. He was such a kind man and I enjoyed knowing him all these years. His daughter Mittie was one of my undergrad students. He will be missed. 

Ian has deserted me. He is 20, but he appears to have moved in with Sarah. Of course, he doesn't talk to me about it. He just leaves me awake at night waiting for him to come home. This is certainly not the life I had expected to lead. Of course, I understand that "home" is not where he wants to be since his mom has died, but it breaks my heart.

Depression (8/30/2017)

Ian is depressed. I hope to call Richard Duke tomorrow and make an appointment for him. He called in this morning so he wouldn't need to go to work. I asked him to come home for awhile tonight so we could talk. He did but cried throughout.  He does need some help. He's starting to lose weight.

On My Honor (8/22/2017)

Tonight was my first Troop 96 meeting in about a year. It was a little bittersweet because Keri's death allowed me to return. Nico and Gio are back but the other faces are the same. They are planning camping trips and other activities but still have no adults to accompany them. Nothing has changed, except that there is now a Troop 98. Willie Abrams, Jack Exum, Holly Money, and all the kids and parents from Pack 98 have created a new troop. Now they are asking us to pair with them (so they can use our equipment, I'm sure). I was writing Jay Niederbrach an email when he walked in. I unleashed my frustration but of course it's not his fault. Ian feels especially betrayed by his friends and by the Council. What should have been a positive evening just fed my depression.

We Saw It, Darling Girl (8/21/2017)

Ian and I went to see the total solar eclipse. We drove to Farmington, MO and stayed with Enola's sister, Debbie. The media had talked about the crowds and how difficult it would be, but we never saw any crowd. It was just Ian, Debbie, and I, with our eclipse glasses sitting on her back deck. She even grilled some hotdogs. It was perfect. So we did see it, like we planned so long ago. If only Keri had been with us. 

When did I start calling Keri "Darling Girl"? I think it was when she stopped talking back and our conversations became a monologue. I really noticed it during those last several weeks.

Killer Cat (8/10/2017)

Ian and Sarah worked for much of the afternoon cleaning up the library. They found all kinds of things that Keri had stashed. There was a beautiful shell chip and dip tray, stacking bowls, and some Mardi Gras serving plates. I will keep the plates, Sarah took the bowls and I guess I'll send the chip & dip to Goodwill. I hate to but I will probably never use it. 

I guess all the activity threatened Allowat in some way because he got more and more aggressive. He kept following us around hissing and he finally went after Ian and bit his hand hard. I then swung a shirt at him and he came after me and scratched my right arm badly. It got worse and he came after my leg as I was trying to get by and I kicked him into the air. I don't know what is happening but I am going to have to get him neutered and declawed.

Goodbye Glen Campbell (8/9/2017)

Glen Campbell died last night. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's for many years and even went on a last tour. He became the face of Alzheimer's as we were dealing with everything. Several of the tributes today have brought tears to my eyes. 

Steve just called and we had a good visit. He kept asking how I was and I just lied through my teeth as I said, "I'm OK." I guess that will be true for the rest of my life. 

After our talk yesterday, Ian sent me a text around 11:00pm that they were watching a movie so I thought maybe he heard me. Then, when I got up around 6:30, he was coming through the front door. He hadn't even bothered to call or text and say he wouldn't be home. I give up! I absolutely give up. 

"I Always Tell You What I'm Doing" (8/8/2017)

Ian and I are unable to communicate and it seems to be getting worse instead of better. I came home yesterday at 3:00 and Ian and Sarah were cleaning in the bathroom. It upset me because I've asked that she not spend time in this horrible house. I picked up what I needed and headed back to the office. Tonight, he said I was never here when he planned to be so this was two sided. Maybe we can get through this but it certainly won't be through conversation.

Monday, August 07, 2017

The Hollowness Continues (8/2/2017)

I told Ian to come by my office on the way back into town after work. I now realize that is the only way I can see him. He asked for $120 yesterday to change the oil in his car and have his tires rotated. When I looked at his account (to make sure he had enough money) I saw that he had paid out $115 to one of his friends. He explained that this person worked at WalMart and paid for the job with his discount. I hate to be suspicious but he has burned me so many times. He also said he didn't feel good so didn't want to eat with me. He was going straight home. I went to church and got home at 8:30. He wasn't here and hasn't been all night. It's now 10:35. Why am I not surprised? I miss Keri more than ever and Ian spends as little time at the house as he possibly can. It may well be his coping mechanism but it leaves me so alone. I need to cut him loose! He was such a help to me while Keri was alive, but now he is draining all the life out of me. I worry about him all the time. He absolutely refuses to keep me posted about his whereabouts. When he does tell me something, he's never where he says he will be. He comes home extremely late, usually midnight or later and I lay here worrying about where he is and what he is doing. He's supposed to be at work by 7:00 am but he almost never gets up on time and I feel obligated to beat on his wall and get him up, but he usually ignores me. Makes me feel so insignificant. The only way I can get a good nights sleep is to take some sleeping pills but that's not good for a diabetic and hepatitis survivor. So I just stumble around like a zombie. I've explained this to him several times, this afternoon included. He assured me he would come home and get some rest himself. Is he here? Of course not.

Insurance (7/31/2017)

It's the end of July and Keri has been gone for about 6 weeks. I have received her $10,000 State Farm Life Insurance and her $30.000 Harding Life Insurance. I have put them in the bank to help fund our house repairs which I now must do. I meet with the Social Security people tomorrow to get advice on what to do now. Ian has been away for 4 days and nights and popped in for a few minutes and then headed over to Sarah's. He said coming into this house made him cry because he "expected" Mom to be here.

I Need Help (7/29/2017)

I think I need some help. I just see no purpose in anything. I don't want to be with anyone but I get upset when I'm excluded (or perceive that I am). Ian no longer needs me, except to pay for thing and is always off with his friends (as it should be).

Bags and Boxes of Memories (7/28/2017)

I have spent the day going through stacks of cloths deciding whether I will keep them or distribute them. I have a bag that I'm giving to mom. These include most of the White Stag items I bought for Keri. Every time I went to Walmart, I went by the White Stag table to see if they had anything new. If they did, I would often buy it, even if Keri didn't need it. It made her, and me happy. I still go by and look. The day I buy something I promise I will seek professional help. The other bags went to Goodwill. It was hard. It was hard! There were some items that I just could not take, like her Hudson Bay Blanket coat. I will keep that, at least for now. I'm about to take it to the cleaners along with Keri's Philmont jacket. Needless to say, it's been another day of tears!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This One's For You!!

Ian's wallet ended up in a neighbors drive so I took it out to him at his job in Steprock. He is still working for Metal Roofing Supply. It's my first time out where he works and that place is huge. On the way home I went to the Bulldog Drive-In in Bald Knob. Keri and I used to come here every Sunday night after church. I've only come here once since Keri died. Ian and I came out. This time I got a strawberry shortcake to eat, all by myself unfortunately. Keri and I always shared one. (I posted earlier how the bowl would start out in the middle of the table and work its was to Keri's side.) I ate the entire shortcake this time, and the bowl stayed in front of me. What I wouldn't give to be able to share one with her again.

Watermelon Yogurt (7/25/2017)

Today went well for most of the day. I worked at the office and met Ian for supper at Chic-fil-A. (It's Christmas in July at Philmont Scout Ranch and I remember our celebration. It was always a big deal with a Christmas tree in the dining hall and a gift exchange.) After supper,
I went to Walmart to get some groceries and discovered Watermelon Yogurt. Of course I immediately thought of Keri and how I would love to take some home to her. Tears popped up the rest of my time at Walmart.