Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mike wrote about this day 2 years ago

Mike wrote in the September 9, 2008 blog the following:

I am a small, selfish, ugly man in character. And yet to glorify Jesus he has chosen to send us through this storm. Maybe so everyone will know his power. I will let you in on a secret. God showed me a man I know, rising up from the baptismal waters, smiling because he knows freedom and joy in Jesus. I don't know when or how this will happen, but I know now that it will happen. If this storm is God's will to happen in order to bring more people to a saving faith, then I say bring it on, no matter what the outcome. A small bargain to pay, a privilege that Jesus would use us this way. ~ Sept. 9, 2008

Today was the day that God pre-destined. I saw it and longed for Mike to be there with me watching. I know that he is celebrating awaiting the time when we will all be together with him in Heaven. I am grateful to God that he showed Mike so long ago - kind of like showing Moses the promise land, even though he never got to enter it in his lifetime. We serve such a amazing, gracious, and powerful God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Trying to Adjust and VA insights

Has it really been over a month since I posted? It doesn't seem like it on this end. I have no great philosophical insights into what life is like. Both Elizabeth and I are still in grief therapy as we are both still trying to process grief. It has been over six months now, and I still miss Mike. I am still lost at what the future is supposed to be now without him. I plague God constantly with all kinds of questions... and I praise Him constantly for being a God that doesn't strike me down as I ask the hard ones. At the same time, I spend many a night on my knees thanking God for his intimate care of Elizabeth and I. I personally know other widows that are in completely different boats after their husbands past away. I know how blessed I am that I have time to walked through issues.

Since I lasted posted, we crossed that six month mark. We were blessed to spend that weekend with Dena in Omaha, mostly eating and playing with her IPAD. I do admit that there are still times when I think, " I just need to hold on and Mike will be home soon." A reflection of the many years to TDY's and Deployments. I personally wonder if maybe a military spouse/ child might have more difficulties dealing with loss due to the effects of the military lifestyle.

So at the six (almost 7) month mark, somethings are better, some are the same. I thank God that most of the estate is settled. I have one thing to do at Scot trade, the HAP program payment, and the VA and DIC mess up to deal with. The VA is the most confusing thing sometimes. I don't understand how you can call and talk to different people and get different answers. Truly, I don't know who to believe. In my case, because Mike died of a service-connected condition, both Elizabeth and I qualify for DIC - which is one form that I filled out and put BOTH of our information in accurately. However, I have only been getting paid for me and not Elizabeth. She is entitled to another $240 a month. I have been getting letters (last one Aug) that states they are still working on my claim.

That is the first part I don't understand. Why are they still working on my claim and yet I have been receiving DIC for me? It seems that it is a one entry deal into a system. Wife - check the box. Child - child the box. Enter. Done. But that is not the case for me. So I have called and I have got the answer in August that they are still working on Dependency portion (child). So fast forward a month and I get a letter that states that I have been declined additional compensation and that there will be no change in the DIC awarded. However, this letter relates to a claim that was put in for additional money due Mike while he was still alive. Now, I do not recall putting that paperwork in, but it might have been done with all the paperwork submitted right after Mike passed away. Of course, I picked up the phone and called to try to figure this out. So the one agent told me that there is no claim outstanding for Elizabeth and that I didn't put Elizabeth on the original form that I submitted (false..I have a copy) and that I need to submit a form for Dependency. However, I will not get back pay because it wasn't on the original form (again..false). So I am confused at this point. Elizabeth was born into the military, has always been on everything AF and VA, so even IF I didn't put that on the form why wouldn't she be entitled to back pay? I think people should be given a little grace when it comes to filling out VA forms in the midst of grief!

The more I thought about it, it just didn't settle with me. So I called back the next day and talked to another person that said that it was a different matter and that Dependency is still being considered and to wait until you hear from the VA...hmmmmm. What do you do? I have a form in front of me that the lady told me to fill out for Dependency. I flat out asked the guy, should I call back and check on it and he said wait for a letter. I know the VA takes things in and then places it in order it received, but he couldn't give me a time frame. I would at least like to know it takes 6 months so call back in Dec if you don't hear anything. Actually, as I am typing this, I will call CARE Coalition next week and get their opinion. Maybe they can help me out. (CARE Coalition - a wonderful program for Special Op troops throughout all service to help those who are injured within the Special Op world. Because Mike was under their umbrella when he got cancer, he and now me, is part of it. They were a great held with the HAP program).

Other "grief" things I still notice are the memory lapses. I do things and don't remember doing them. With the help of my friend Jennifer, I am putting together a memory book of the funeral. I noticed a picture of me walking down the steps after Elizabeth and I gave the opening remarks and Pastor Chris was helping me. I don't remember Chris helping me down the steps. I gave my sister-in-law a book to read about a week ago and I don't remember that. Silly stuff mostly, but I find it mind boggling. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

As time goes on I see signs of Elizabeth grieving that are not what I would have thought prior to this happening. She is putting tons of stress on herself over the simplest things. Things matter when they don't matter. She also has times where she shuts the world out.

But on the flip side, we talk about Mike all the time. We laugh about stuff that he did. I ask, "What do you think Daddy would say to this?" There are so many times that Elizabeth does stuff or says stuff just like Mike and I call her on it. Overall we still include him/ his memory in our everyday life. We miss him so much. I need his help with the computer. I need him to make the fan in the bedroom to stop squeaking. I need his height so I can stop getting out the stupid step ladder. But, I know he would be proud of us and how we are figuring it out. I know it.

Much love to everyone!