Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


First, I want to say, if you are reading from anywhere in Oklahoma, I am so sorry for your misery. Of course, if your home was destroyed, or someone you loved injured or killed, you are, without a doubt, not reading my blog today. But still, my thoughts are with you. With all of the sadness we experienced in the last week with the death of my husband's father, I can not imagine that multiplied several times over and done without at least the comfort of a soft bed at night and good meals to nurse our hurting hearts.


Yesterday, we buried my father-in-law. He had a full military burial, following the funeral Mass.

If you have never experienced such a thing, I can tell you it not only is one of the most beautifully patriotic things to witness, but also one of the most moving. All I can say is I am out of tears today.

I told my dear neighbor yesterday that it is hard to lose someone close, very difficult to see your husband mourn the loss of his dad, but it is nothing like watching your children mourn. I won't get into it here, no need to relive, because you know what I mean. Only to add that those beautiful young Marines made it a proud moment, but infinitely more emotional.

Doug came home finally late yesterday after spending the afternoon at his mom's and started working outside on one of the cars. He said "Germans work through their grief" which I'm pretty sure is not true (not true or untrue -- we all deal with grief differently; I'm sure some Germans go to bed), but I have enough work around the house to help him through this tough time.

I was honored to plan my father-in-law's funeral Mass. Doing so gave me a lot of thoughts about what I would want for my own Mass, as well as some thoughts about how different parishes allow you to plan the funeral of a loved one. All I have to say about that is be sure the parish you are in suits your faith life because when you have your funeral at that parish, you may get what they like and not what you like, all within the confines of a proper funeral Mass, of course.

I plan to put in writing what I want at the time of my death. My husband and I are probably polar opposites here, and though I think much of the process is for the survivors, I don't think it should necessarily be done "their way." I want a simple funeral Mass and that's all. I have spent more than enough time in funeral homes in my life. No more.

Do you have your funeral planned? Do you find it too uncomfortable?


In other news...Josh asked Taylor to marry him last week. 

It was bittersweet. 

When Joshua and I were driving home from picking out the ring, I asked him if he had any idea when he would ask her. He had originally thought he would wait until autumn. But he answered that he wanted to ask her before grandpa died. He wanted grandpa to know he would be happy. 

I know.

On Wednesday evening, he asked Taylor to marry him at the Greek amphitheater on campus. He called me to tell me and asked me to tell his dad, who was sitting vigil at his father's side. Doug told his dad, and I believe he must have heard him. Joshua was named for him (Joshua Paul) and Joshua is most like him of all the grandchildren. I'm certain it made him happy.

But, in the bitter days that followed the two young lovebirds kind of lost the joy they had achieved. We are planning a big party now to help them celebrate.

They plan to wait until after graduation in two years, but wanted to commit to each other for their college days remaining.


Today we're back into the swing of normal life, school, laundry, doctor's appointments. I spent the days before the calling hours and funeral prepping clothes, between planning the funeral and mapping out photo boards. It takes a lot to purchase, launder and ready clothes for a medium-large family. I can't imagine doing it if the death had been my husband or a child. It's a great favor to offer a friend, though with adult children a little harder. I had to hit three department stores to find trousers for Noah.

There are loads and loads of towels and sheets to wash, and post-funeral clothes now to get washed, ironed and back in the closets. This afternoon I have an appointment to have the nerve in my leg injected with lidocaine and corticosteroid. I am really chicken about this procedure. I'll try to offer it up.

Take care. I'll be back, and resume Everyday in May for Mary.


  1. I never expected the comfort I received from the Mass for my father-in-law. It was very much a blessing. Praying for you and your family in the days to come. We all do handle grief differently. I like to stay busy also. I hope your procedure isn't too painful today!

  2. Sorry to hear about your FIL. My thoughts and prayers for your family.

    Great news about your son. I gasped when I read it! So exciting! Lots of time to plan at least.

    My funeral will be simple also. simple pine box...I would love that.

  3. I've been thinking of your family Barbara. I know this is a rough time. Even though we all know that death is part of life...it doesn't make it any easier. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Although it hasn't been family, we've attended two funerals for friends in the last month. It's hard and to tell you the truth, it hasn't felt much like spring in our house these days. But, alas, this too shall pass and the peace that passes all understanding will return.

    Congratulations to your son and his fiance. This is wonderful news! Exciting times ahead for the Stein Family!

    Blessings to you!

  4. I am so sorry for your loss and pray that you are consoled in your grief.

    Congratulations on the engagement of your son!

    I hope you feel better after your treatment and are able to move around pain free.

  5. My thoughts have turned to you so often, my friend. I have had many similar thoughts and feelings upon the death of my grandmother right before Easter. You are so right about seeing your loved ones, especially your children, grieving so terribly. The absolute hardest part for me was when we went to the cemetery; after everyone laid their flowers on her casket and left, I noticed Fiver standing alone right next to it. He looked around, sort of lost, and then burst into tears. I have never seen him cry like that, and it broke me. He just wailed next to her open grave, so much that everyone turned around and ran to him, just to hold him. Hard.

    And yet in all that, there is Josh and Taylor's joy. I think it was so sweet and special that he wanted his grandfather to know that he would have a happy life.

    Love to you all.

  6. Just re-read my comment -- I'm sorry it is so disjointed and rambling . . . I'm half asleep, and I hope you can follow it and know what I meant! xoxo

  7. So sorry to hear of the loss of your father-in-law. My prayers are with your family.

    Congrats on the news of new "daughter" in the future. It is very exciting! We are expecting our first grandchild December 23rd.

  8. Congratulations to Josh and Taylor!! You all have been in my prayers. Hugs, Barbara
    (and no, I haven't planned my funeral...heck, I have too much fabric left to sew up!! ;)

  9. Dear Barbara, my prayers for all on the loss of your father in law. It's been a year since we lost my mother in law, time does heal, but the grieving takes a while. We miss her so. So sorry to read about this today.

    Congratulations on the upcoming wedding. Lots of time to plan is a good thing. We have just over two months to go, and we've discovered our girl doesn't have the organizational gene we had hoped (wink). Tough on the mom. :)

    Love, prayers, and hugs

  10. I'm so sorry everyone is struggling, and there is really is no way to prepare for a loss. I don't think that a long illness helps. It hurts terribly.

    Funeral planning is interesting, probably for another post. But I'll say that my husband doesn't care what his funeral is like---I can do whatever I want even if it's not what he would like to see. Does that make sense?

    I hope the kids find their joy again. How exciting! God bless them.

  11. Sheila,
    I agree. The Mass, the Final Commendation, offer such great hope! I can't imagine not having it.

  12. Christine,
    My husband says he wants a pine box, too. St. Joseph Abbey makes them -- so check into it.


  13. Nancy,
    "Even though we all know that death is part of life...it doesn't make it any easier." SO TRUE! All the joy we have in births is upside down in deaths.

  14. Beth,
    Thank you for your thoughts and so far so good. The procedure was painful, but I am feeling ok since.

  15. Oh Aimee,
    That sweet boy you have. My Noah just sobbed and sobbed while the Marines folded the flag and presented it to my mother-in-law. Heart-wrenching!

  16. Angela,
    I saw your announcement about the bay, but didn't get a chance to comment -- such great news...a happy future.

  17. Cheryl,
    One of my great fears is someone else will have to go through my fabric and beads and see how much I didn't use up! ;-)

  18. Renee,
    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They mean so much. Prayers to you for the upcoming wedding!

  19. Sara,
    I know what you mean about planning your husband's funeral the way you want, which is what I alluded to when I said funerals are for the survivors, but I want to control mine! Haha! Will he respect my wishes? I told him I would haunt him if he didn't!

  20. Barbara - I'm late in posting, but I've been thinking about you and your family and praying for you. Your husband appears to deal with grief in the same way as mine does. (He's also German!) As a convert, I really am awed by the Catholic Funeral Mass, the prayers... I had said years ago that I wanted to be cremated, but I'm not sure now; my husband and I are actually in process of planning for our funerals so that it will not be a burden for our children, and so there will be no doubt what we want.(Our children are not Catholic.) It's so good that you have the joy of Joshua and Taylor's engagement to think about! I'll be keeping you in my prayers. ~ Rosemary

  21. Oh, Barbara, this post has been sitting her waiting for me to read for 2 days!! I wanted to give it attention I know it needed. I'm so sorry, you and your whole family are in my prayers, I say this with tears streaming down my face. So hard even for us to know you are in pain.

    I was doing fine til I read that "I know." part. Totally bawled then.

    (Congratulations though, happy things during sad times--there's so much good in that!) And, I suspect that Grandpa KNOWS even better now how happy he is.

    In my prayers....

  22. You mean normal funeral homes do not make just plain pine boxes? Me too. I want one.

  23. I just wanted to say that you have all been in my prayers and thoughts - You, your husband, your children, and the soul of your dear father-in-law! May he rest in peace! {Hugs}


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!