One of the things I still had to do was order the blanket of flowers for the casket. This may seem like one of the less important things compared to everything else, but to me it was one of the most important. Eddie loved giving me flowers. I got them for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, my birthday, and our anniversary. I even got them when he needed to get out of the "doghouse". Sometimes he was so excited about sending them to me that he couldn't wait for them to be delivered and would go ahead and tell me they were coming! It was very important to him that I liked them, and he was always proud of himself when I told him that I did. This was going to be the only time in my life that I gave flowers to Eddie, so they had to be perfect. I had help choosing other things, but this was one that I wanted and needed to do by myself. I couldn't just tell the florist that I wanted a blanket of roses or carnations or anything like that. These had to be special and they had to fit who Eddie was. So I went through the cooler at the florist and personally picked out every type of flower, greenery, and ribbon that I wanted in the blanket. I chose items that looked like the outdoors, things he might have seen when he was out hunting. The colors were "woodsy" - yellows, browns, and greens. In the middle of the blanket I placed three red rose buds - one for Trey, one for our granddaughter Emily, and one for myself. When they florist called me to look at the finished product, she told me it was probably the most beautiful blanket they had ever made (of course they may have said that to everyone). It didn't matter though, because I was very pleased, and I was sure Eddie would have been too.
The other thing I still had to take care of was finding the right thing to wear to the visitation and funeral. I don't want to seem petty or vain, but that was important. I needed to be dressed in something that Eddie would have liked. He always told me whether or not he liked my clothes. He always wanted me to wear things that he thought looked "like me". This was another thing I had to take care of by myself. I went to my favorite clothing store in town. I'm sure the saleswoman wasn't prepared for my answer when she asked if she could help me. I simply told her that my husband had died and I needed something to wear to his visitation and funeral. She was obviously taken aback at first, but she recovered quickly and helped me pick out the "perfect" outfit. After purchasing my clothes, I took them home and hung them up in my room. When my mother came in later, I showed her what I had bought. Her response told me that I had made the right choice - she said "It's you."
I took care of these two things by myself because they were so important to me. But I have to say that doing things alone at a time like this is not really a good idea. Driving under those circumstances wasn't very smart. Looking back, I don't know how I got to and from these places in one piece. My mind certainly wasn't on my driving. There were times when I actually forgot where I was going, as well as times when I would look around me and have no idea where I was or how I got there. The only explanation for how I made it through these trips safely is that God was watching over me.
"I praise you, Lord, for being my guide. Even in the darkest night, your teachings fill my mind." Psalm 16:7