Saturday, January 4, 2014

Empty and Tired

It will soon be 2 years and 4 months since we lost James and I still feel so lost. I keep trying and trying but life keeps throwing bricks at me and I'm getting to be too old and slow to keep ducking them.

Over the long years that we were married I discovered there is the love, the friendship, and a good bit of mutual respect for each other, if you're lucky.  But most of all, and most necessary, is that it's about dependency whether we admit it or not.  We depended on each other in so many ways.  Some of them never even recognized until I'd lost him and was left alone. I see so much now and I know that a really big part of me is gone. I miss him.

This little map where James was born, where we live, the old dairy barn and cotton gin where he worked at different times in his life. And the cemetery where his ashes are buried. I think it's just over a mile across the fields from his birth place to his burial place. 

Every where I go there are reminders and memories, even to look outside my front door, across the field, to where he came into the world and lived for part of his life. His first job, when he was about 6,  was carrying water to the field hands in these fields.

 Lexa Baptist Church. James went to church and Sunday school here, was baptized here, we were married here, all of our children went to Sunday school here, and here is where we held his memorial service.

This is what is left of the old Dairy barn where James worked with his Dad for a year. He was in the 6th grade.  He'd get up in the wee hours of the morning to help with the milking, then go to school. After school he'd hurry home to help until 8 or 9 pm then start all over again the next day.

Later on they share-cropped with a farmer his dad worked for.  When he and his brothers weren't in school they worked the fields and on weekends the brothers mowed nearly every yard in Lexa.

This was our first home.  The door there was the entrance to a 4 room apartment that Mrs. Griffin, the house owner, rented out for $15 per week, utilities included. The kitchen was very tiny and had an apartment sized sink and stove. At the end where the two window are, was the dining part of the kitchen. A little table with 2 chairs fit there.  The bathroom was teeny, tiny with barely enough room for the commode, a sink, and a shower. It wasn't big enough for a bath tub.  After passing through the kitchen, about 3 1/2 steps, there was a decent sized living room and bedroom.  I remember the living room had red and black square tiles that I would wax to make them shiny.  Trisha was born while we lived here and we stayed until she was about 4 months old.  I remember that Mrs. Griffin had a little gold fish pond in the front yard.

North Creek Gin.  James worked sometimes as many as 19 and 20 hours straight at this gin. Even when he wasn't there he sometimes had nightmares about getting his hand caught and pulled off in the spindles of the stands.  It was a busy place in it's time and that gin yard would be full of trailers full of cotton waiting to be ginned.

Another picture of the gin looking at the inside where the stands used to be that pulled the seeds from the cotton so the lint could be baled up.  I guess they store hay in there now. The orb showed up only in this picture and I like to think it was James letting me know he was there.  The cemetery can be seen from this old relic, so maybe he was.

Here is Central Cemetery. I took this while standing in the gin yard so you can see how close it is to one of the places where he once worked.  He was the one who used to visit the family members here but now I've been going every so often to clear away leaves and limbs.

I guess that's it for now.  It has taken me a long time to get these words and images from my heart to my blog but it's finally done.  We have so much to learn, Zach and I, and more hurdles to get through.  We'll do it. We have to.


  1. Bless your heart, Brenda. I hope by doing this, it will bring a little peace in your heart. Remembering is one thing, and actually putting to words and photo's is
    another; you're a wise woman and I love you dearly. (((hugs)))
    And, yes we'll do whatever we have to. God bless you and Zach.

  2. We have to deal with grief at our own pace and allow our hearts to heal. Writing your thoughts down and sharing these precious photos helps you through that process. I hope you keep telling yourself that it will get better. Affirm to yourself that your heart and spirit will be restored. And I hope that you use your support network to aid you as your walk this path. I love you, Miz Brenda. You are not alone. God is with you always, and he hasn't forsaken you.

  3. Its tough to make a new life, but the world is waiting for you to always try something new.

  4. That was a beautiful post. I hope it helped you ease the pain by writing it.
    God bless you kiddo.....................

  5. Thank you for sharing those beautiful memories with us, Brenda. I hope that getting writing this post helps you to feel better. I love that first picture of you and James. You look so happy!

  6. I believe it was very hard for you to made this post. I don't know what to say, but I'm sure that anyone who peeks here is holding thumbs for you. And for James.

  7. I'm so sorry for your deep loss. Maybe writing abut your feelings and posting photos will help you feel a bit better. You have wonderful memories.

  8. I've been a bad blogger lately...just too much of life happening right now.
    I'm so glad you got all of this in print! The kids, grankids and so on, will be reading this someday. A journey...I love you!

  9. Sometimes we read something and we feel to help but don't know what to say. I think saying nohting isn't the best. You have deep loss, I can't feel this however I can imagine through reading this post. Often we love thing people we miss the most. Deeply moved by your loss and glad you can voice how you have loved, hugs

  10. That was a beautiful post. I hope it helped you ease the pain by writing it.
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  11. I don't know if you're still checking in here, but I just now read this January blog post. It was very touching! I'm sorry you were going through this and hope things are looking up by now. I was fascinated by the orb in the one photo. When my uncle's partner passed away, every time he felt like she was near, he'd pick up his camera and take a picture. More than once, similar orbs appeared in them. I believe the spirits of our loved ones are sometimes around and looking out for us. I wish you peace and comfort!

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