Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chapter 24

I was homesick.  I didn't really know anyone except Anne and I missed Jessie so much.  I also missed Gabby and Emma.  There were many nights I cried myself to sleep thinking about them.

A couple of months after moving in one of the ladies from the church came for a visit.  She hadn't been in the house for very long when she spotted the pills I taking for depression.  She immediately told me that Christians shouldn't use medication like this, it was not trusting God!  I was horrified and humiliated.  After she left I put the pills in the medicine cabinet and stopped taking them.

Within a week my mood was spiralling out of control, all I was doing was crying and I couldn't seem to shake myself out of it.  One day one of my friends from the city called to see how I getting along and I poured the whole story out to her.  She was immediately alarmed and said that she would call me right back.  When she did she informed me that the pills I had been taking shouldn't be stopped unless under medical supervision.  I started right back on them and was soon feeling a little better.  I remained on them for a few years then successfully was able to come off.

It was around this time that Cathy asked me a startling question.  She was the church pianist and was expecting a baby that summer.  She asked me if I had ever considered playing the piano in church!  I nearly fainted on the spot!  Me, play the piano in front of all those people!  I had never played for a service before, let alone at a piano that was right up on the platform!  I quickly said no.  She mentioned it in passing a couple more times, then it was dropped.

That Spring the ladies in the church were going to a weekend retreat in New Brunswick.  I wanted to go so badly, but Gary said no.  I didn't know if someone spoke to him or why he changed his mind (I didn't dare ask) but one night he told me I could go!  I was so excited.  Looking back I'm sure that most of the excitement came from knowing that I was getting away from him for a couple of days.  I was to find out later that he wanted me out of the house because he had found a video store and was renting pornography again.  I found his stash one day not long after I returned home.  Another time Elizabeth found a pile of them in the shed!

Anyway, I was on my way to New Brunswick and very happy.  I drove our van and picked up 4 other ladies that were going.  I was a little nervous, I really didn't know these people at all, but they were all friendly and before long I was able to relax and enjoy myself.

The main theme of the retreat was being an "Armor Bearer" for your Pastor's wife.  An armour bearer was a person in the Old Testament who not only carried the King's armor, but he protected the King, watched out for him and had his back.  It was a very interesting weekend learning how we were to take care of Cathy. 

When we got back from the retreat I started thinking about how Cathy had asked me for help with playing the piano.  So Sunday morning after the service I went up to where she was still seated at the piano and told her that if she still wanted me to play I would, but that I really wasn't that good!  She hugged me and said that the Pastor had told her that come July she was stopping even if there was no one to take her place!

I thought I had a month or so to practice and get ready, but Cathy went into premature labor that very week and the next Sunday I took over as pianist.  Cathy and the little baby girl were both OK.

Another blessing from that retreat is a friend I found.  Alice, one of the ladies and I hit it off and before long we found that we had a lot in common.  Alice later told me that it would annoy her something awful to call and never be able to talk to me for more then a minute or two.  Gary would always be telling me to hang up. 

In July I found myself at the emergency room again with another throat infection.  The doctor did blood work and then came in to talk to me.  It seemed as though my oral medication for the diabetes was no longer working and I was going to have to go on insulin.  I was upset, I didn't think I would be able to give myself a needle everyday and I told him so.  He was so understanding.  He took my hand and said, "Dear girl, it won't be 1 needle, it will be 5!"  Goodnight!!  I was in shock.  An appointment was made for me to go the Diabetic Clinic in the hospital a couple of days later.  They were to give me information and show me how to use the needles.  I was so nervous.

The morning of my appointment I was a bit early, so I was sitting in the van waiting for the time to go in when I glanced up and saw Alice walking towards me with a huge smile on her face.  She got into the van and I just stared at her.  She had come to give me moral support!  I reached over and gave her a big hug then we both went in.  She was a tremendous help.  Her light mannered way and bantering made me relax and when it actually came time to put the needle in my stomach I was able to do it... although she couldn't watch!  That small act of kindness and friendship meant the world to me and I began to realize that I had found a very special friend.

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