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I didn't just grieve my husband Guy this summer, I also grieved my brothers deaths and my best friend Kathy. All of them were some of the strongest supporters I will ever have, they knew me!
It started off with this little duck, a gift from heaven, she isn't just any duck. I had a pet duck in the city when we lived in Detroit, Kathy was one of the first people I ran to to show her off to of course, animal lover that she was and of course my brothers were a part of Waddles life when we had her. I told Guy stories about her, how she went to the neighbors door and scratched at the door for donuts and how she landed on a neighbors fence 2 doors down and taunted the german shepherd daring it to get her and flying backwards off the fence just as the dog made a leap towards her.
I knew when I came in to the house with Jenny the day I found her it was no coincidence. It was right after the last person left after Guys' funeral. I had maintained my composure through it the whole time because it was a celebration of a man and a life well lived in Christ.
As I sat and cuddled Jenny for the first time I looked up and saw Kathy's picture and I acknowledged exactly why this little bird was here and held on and sobbed into her soft downy feathers. Months later I acknowledged all of them played a part of her being here. I have this image of all of them collaborating how to bring me comfort that day, what should we do, what should we do, I know, send her a duckling!
I realized as I sat by the pond all summer I hadn't properly grieved my brothers. It was barely brought up in my family and when it was it was too hard to bear and I had to leave the room. When Kathy died I was fighting my own life and death battle, I felt her presence that day when I was sitting at my computer. I felt these arms hug me from behind and knew instantly it was her and all the emotions she could ever have sorrow, joy, love, hope seeing me in that condition, It was such a healing energy, but I never fully grieved the loss and too weak to cry then, I had compartmentalized her death too.
I let it all my grief pour out day after day sitting pond-side and meditating on my loved ones and God, talking to them all from my heart. I was grateful for the privacy lattice I put up so I could just let it all hang out when grief came over me. I've been as isolated as I've ever been when my car broke down but I had no control of that and I just accepted it. God wanted me still so I could hear and grieve them all fully and heal a piece at a time.
I kiss Guy's picture every morning to say hello and at night before I go to bed. Every night just before I go in to a deep sleep I feel Guy's arms envelope me and I drift of in to a peaceful rest. When I practice singing his picture is propped up before me for inspiration. Jenny has taken over his discipline because as soon as I stop a song; she attacks me and the book until I turn the page and start on another song. then she sits back on her haunches and half closes her eyes mesmerized by the music.
Jenny My Strict Music Instructor
They knew the perfect gift to help me grieve! Jenny not only forced me to sit pond side to ensure her safety, she'd quack in loud distress if I wasn't in her sight and I'd have to stop what I was doing and sit to calm her down again.Jenny Enjoying Her Pond Being still was therapeutic as well as having her around to be responsible for and not allowing me long to wallow too long or shut down as I might have. She has also been very entertaining and gave me reason to keep laughing because of her silly antics; chorusing in when the neighbors talked loud, following me around the house like a puppy, quacking out loud when someone knocks on the door like a guard dog. grooming Jack's hair and him barking when she stops wanting more.Jenny the Duck Grooming Jack the Lab Dog. needing her playtime every night fighting the stuffed flamingo and owl toys.Duck Busting the Flamingo or how she shown she was boss right from the beginning.Whose the Boss?
Though my dears ones aren't here in the physical presence, their love and influence I will carry with me forever but especially my husband's. I will carry on the music ministry he started 22 years ago when we used to busker and sang gospel on the street. I followed his lead now as much as I did then.
Learning to sing solo hasn't been easy, I miss the blend of our voices and how pretty it sounded and his beautiful voice ringing out on his favorite songs.
I hear his words of instruction when I practice, get the timing down, enunciate the words so people can understand the message, don't try to change it, sing it as it's supposed to be, let it come from here and here and here, mind, body soul, heart and diaphragm, sing fearless and loud, let God speak through you.
Though Guy is no longer with us I am so grateful we borrowed a friend's video recorder and got at least something to put on youtube to share so his music and ministry will live on.Guy Williams Favorite Bluegrass Gospel Songs
I feel I'm strong enough now for the next chapter in life and this duck and all my critter family and loved ones past and present have sure helped me get there. We're going west this summer to move in with my son and forge new territory and find people to share music with. My hope is to find another woman who plays and sings bluegrass to visit the nursing homes. but we'll see, God might have other plans. I will go wherever the spirit leads me!
p.s. Guy and I listened to Shepherd's Chapel for the last 15 years every day, he teaches chapter by chapter verse by verse and brought us to a higher understanding the message of the bible.ShepherdsChapel