A symphony of silence is
what I hear
Remembering him playing his beloved piano.
Memories replace existence.
Grief accentuates loss and makes it ache
To remember his kiss, like salt in a
Wound that was my heart.
I miss the impressions of his feet
In the sand next to mine, as
We walked into the future together.
His ready laugh echoes in my mind –
Life being lived, unspooling, as we
Created each moment in unity.
His wine glass sits empty, tauntingly,
While I refill mine over and over again.
The irony is not lost on me.
God reaps men like men reap grain.
Time moves forward; the Springtime has passed.
And grief exists while the love remains.
How I Cemented My Position as Neighborhood Pariah/Crazy Person
in 30 Seconds Flat!
Yesterday was a lovely Indian Summer day here in my neighborhood
and around 5 in the afternoon I decided to take a walk. On my
way back down my small cul-de-sac, I noted that many of my
neighbors were sitting on their front porches enjoying the mild
temps and soft breeze, some with small children playing in their
driveways. I smiled at everyone, said “Hi! Nice day, etc…” I
went up my driveway and greeted my two cats, Simon and Mippy,
and we all walked into the house together. I don’t know why,
maybe because I was a little late for his supper, but Simon was
in a bad mood. As soon as we entered the house, he jumped on
Mippy and started beating her up. She ran away towards the
dining room, but Simon caught her by the front door and was
really beating the crap out of her! Viciously biting her neck (I
saw blood!) and ripping out chunks of fur with his sharp claws.
Of course, both cats were shrieking and hissing and I was
screaming “No, no, NO Simon! Let go of her you jerk!”
I saw an opportunity and
reached out and grabbed Simon by the scruff of his neck and
pulled straight up. He still had ahold of Mippy and for a moment
I had two shrieking, snarling, writhing cats dangling from my
left hand (do NOT try this at home, kids!). Then Simon dropped
Mippy. I immediately whipped open the front door and threw him
out onto the front porch, screaming “YOU ASSHOLE!!!” at the top
of my lungs, then slammed the door.
Remember the neighbors? Uh,
yeah, right. They, and all their little kiddies, were still out
enjoying the afternoon. Now, my front entry is bordered by some
large shrubs, so unless you are standing directly in the
cul-de-sac you cannot see my front door. So, all my neighbors
witnessed was me, smiling and friendly, walking down the street
… and 30 seconds later, opening my front door, screaming “YOU
ASSHOLE!” at the top of my lungs for no apparent reason and
slamming the door shut.
Very nice, Eve. Very nice.
If they didn’t think I was insane before, they sure do now. And
I’m sure they hate me for also exposing their darling little
tots to some extremely bad language.
Guess I won’t be getting an
invitation to the Labor Day BBQ at the clubhouse…
Frog Encounter x 2
This pleasant evening, I
went outside to check on my pretty ornamental pond that is built
next to my rear patio. I noticed that there was a sleek green
frog sucked onto the outside of the storm door window. I called
inside to Natalie, “Hey Honey! Come on over here. We have a frog
friend!” Ms. Nat came into the living room (on the other side of
the doors from me and the frog). I reached out gently to grasp
the little thing and relocate him to a nearby bush.
Mr. Frog had a different idea. He squirmed out of my hand,
jumped onto my arm and promptly peed on me. Then, in apparent
attempt to find cover, he jumped straight down my shirt (and
cleavage). As the noise of my shriek of horror upset the frog,
he aimed for a new sanctuary that looked like a good cave to
hide in. That, was my open mouth. Yep, you betcha’, that little
old frog flew straight for my mouth! Luckily my instincts kicked
in and I closed my mouth when I saw him coming, but he still got
a hand inside. That little froggy hand met my tongue and gave it
a squeeze. I have never been so horrified or disgusted in my
entire life! I grabbed that frog off my face and threw it as far
as I could (sorry PETA people, I had been attacked!).
So, I turn back to the house and see Natalie in contortions of
laughter through the door.
You think this is bad enough, right? NOT!
At that very moment, I see another frog on the door-frame. With
no warning or apparent motive, Frog #2 leaps towards me and
lands in my hair. AAAAAaaaaahhhhhhHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! This is even
worse! I’m doing the Watusi and the Booga-loo dance trying to
get this damn frog off my head (which might also have peed on
me, but I’m blocking that). I finally got him away and into the
bushes. But I gotta tell ya people, it’s been one heck of a
nature-filled night around here.
Hope you sleep soundly (and check your window and screen seals).
I’m going to take a shower… and use up about a gallon of
Most Memorable Year Tribute
I was just watching Dancing
WithThe Stars and they are doing “The Most Memorable Year of
Your Life” tribute dance this week. That got me thinking… if I
was on DWTS, what memorable year would I choose and why, and
what music would I pick to dance to?
The most joyous moment of my life was at my wedding in 2003 when
I became Mrs. Steven Kummert and danced to “You’re Too Good to
Be True” with my beloved new husband. Absolute joy. But that
would not be the year that I would pick.
In 2011, Steven died. He died the night that he arrived in Costa
Rica to begin our new life. I had to process and find
understanding in his death. There was immense sadness in my
heart and soul, more than can ever be expressed in words. But
strangely, there was joy, too. Joy that I found my true love and
enjoyed our time together to the fullest. Joy that he was
incredibly happy when he died. Joy that he communicated to me
that he was in Heaven – it IS real, he is in bliss, and what our
God promised is true. Joy that I experienced this truth and
could share it with others.
So, if I was on DWTS and had to pick my “Memorable Year,” it
would be 2011, the theme would be JOY and the music would be
Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”
When caught in a frightening transition, it is natural to
feel panic. Your sense of panic may cause you to lie or cheat or
hide important issues/mistakes. It may cause you to make very
poor decisions or to lash out at people who could help you. The
panic may cause you to start raging out of control in a fight
you cannot win or to frighten you into immobility and inaction
when you need to MOVE! Some people even fall off the cliff of
despair and purposely hurt themselves or kill themselves to
escape the panic.
It is absolutely true that
sometimes bad things happen to good people. Evil abounds in our
world. Injustices occur. People get hurt (physically or
emotionally). People die – sometimes naturally and sometimes
not. It’s easy to see how evil transpired to cause the death of
so many people on 9/11. Other times, a death or a transition may
happen that is part of God’s plan – like Steven’s death.
I feel certain that God
didn’t have Steve die to hurt me or teach me a lesson. No, it
was just Steve’s time to be called home. But, I’m the one who
got left behind to deal with the transition that occurred in my
life. It was time for me to learn some things about myself and
about God. The instruction could be painful or it could be a
beautiful opportunity to grow. In retrospect, it was some of
both. However, it would have been a lot, LOT worse without my
Life Group friends to turn to for support.
After the dreadful night
when I got the news of Steven’s death, I was kind of on
auto-pilot for about a week. I had to go down to Costa Rica and
retrieve his remains (“The Trip to Hell and Back”). When I
returned, I had to inform a lot of people about his death, both
friends and Steve’s business associates; write the obituary
(down to the wire on dead-line!); and then organize the Memorial
Service. I also took on the tasks of both writing and delivering
Steve’s Eulogy at the Memorial Service, completely choreographed
with photo slides and music.
When these Herculean tasks
were complete, I was completely worn out emotionally and
physically. I was empty. It was the most foreign feeling I have
ever had. I am NEVER without something to do, or say, or create,
or share. I was empty. I felt like a thin shell of the person
that used to be Eve, with nothing but a void-space where my
heart and soul used to be. I didn’t know what to do. I felt all
alone… and that is when the cold feelings of fear and dread
started to trickle into my shell. Oh my God, what am I going to
The trickle turned into a
full-on tsunami of sheer PANIC. I felt like I was being tumbled
beneath fierce and violent waves of grief, self-doubt, sadness,
loneliness, fear of the future, and hysteria. I could not come
up for air and was afraid my heart would implode.
Two things saved me from
losing my mind. I had to take care of my daughter Natalie. The
child had to be fed and cared for. That non-negotiable necessity
got me out of bed every morning, and got food on the table. The
other thing was the constant care and attention of my Life Group
Ladies. They took turns checking on me, helping me, getting me
out of the house, and talking about what had happened. I needed
to keep talking or go insane – and these brave women heard me,
held me and cried with me. They brought me back to the Bible
over and over and over again. “God is with you. He has not
forsaken you. You may be confused and upset, but what has
happened is part of God’s plan. Keep trusting God.” Without
their encouragement, the torture and tumult of the transition I
experienced would have been unbearable.
Indeed, whatever you face
today, I advise you to get out of the pew and get into a circle
of Life Group friends who will help you face whatever life
throws your way…
And, like the “Hitchhiker’s
Guide to the Galaxy” states on its cover (in large, friendly
letters): “DON’T PANIC.”
Thoughts on Ice Cream & Re-marriage after Widowhood
Today, I was asked “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”
I thought about that, seriously, for a bit. Actually, my
favorite is Breyer’s “Take Two: Chocolate & Vanilla.” I like to
eat a little bowl in the evening as a treat. I always eat a bite
of chocolate, and then a bite of the vanilla ice cream. I savor
the yummy chocolate flavor and consider: do I like this best?
Then I enjoy a taste of the rich, but simple, creamy goodness of
the vanilla. Hhmmm, or do I like this better? Honestly, they are
totally different, but I like them both. And I have decided that
is OK to like them both and enjoy each of them.
As I considered the ice cream debate, I realized that it could
be used as an analogy for re-marriage after widowhood. I loved
Steve and I still love Steve and I will always love Steve. But
what if... what if, I meet another man in the future that I fall
in love with? Would that mean that I would have to stop loving
Steve? Of course not! My love for Steven will always reside in
my heart. But I have a big heart, and I have a whole lot of love
to share. So, it seems to me, that it would be OK to love both
him and Steve, even though they might be totally different like
the chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
The Last Glance
February 27, 2014
Three years ago today, we rose early and I took Steve to the
airport for his flight to Costa Rica. I didn't know that it was
the last time that I would ever see my beloved husband alive ...
or did I?
Excerpt from On A Mission From God from the chapter
titled "The Last Glance":
We walked outside and Steve set his backpack on the ground.
"Well, this is it, my love. We don't know what the future holds,
or when I'll see you again, but we must trust that God has a
plan for us." Then, he gathered me into his arms and hugged me
tight. I raised my face and we kissed the most passionate kiss
you can get away with in a public place.
As we parted, I looked up into his blue eyes and saw his loving
smile. “He loves me. He really, really, really loves me,” I
thought. “But something feels really weird right now.
Something's not right with this picture.” I felt like a person
in a surreal French movie, moving in slow motion.
"I love you, Evie," Steve
whispered to me.
"I love you, too, Honey."
We said goodbye and hugged
once more. Steve kissed me on the cheek, and I walked away
across the pedestrian bridge over to the parking garage. I
looked back and we waved at each other. Steve was wearing his
brown fedora hat and his favorite brown suede jacket. He smiled
at me as he waved goodbye. I felt so very, very strange. I had
the intensely strong feeling that there was something amiss in
the universe and that this moment was a moment of fate. As I
reached the parking lot and turned to go down the stairs, I
looked back one more time. Steve had turned his face and
shoulders towards the wall and was cupping his hand to his face
to light a cigarette. I blew him a kiss that he did not see.
Goodbye my love!
Steve’s First Halloween
Fond memory ... Ten years
ago on Halloween, Steve and I had only been married a few months
& Ms. Nat had just turned 4.
Steve asked me "How do you
take a kid Trick-or-Treating?" He never had a child to do it
with before (sad).
My instructions: "#1- Get a
flashlight, #2 - Get a large coffee in a thermos-mug & lace it
generously with Bourbon, #3 - Find a group of other dads with
similar age kids to go around with, #4 Try to keep the kids from
getting run-over, sick from candy, or wetting themselves. Come
back when your mug is empty or the candy bucket is full."
Thank God I'm A Believer!
The other day in Life Group,
we were discussing the joy and peace that we all have in the
knowledge that there is something bigger than ourselves in
charge. A God for us to worship that is the creator and master
of the universe. One woman asked: “I wonder what non-believers
think about? How do they deal with life?”
I said, “Well, I can answer that question first-hand, because it
wasn’t so very long ago that I was a non-believer (4.5 years, to
be exact). It is a very egotistical, lonely, scary place,
because all you have to rely on is your own self, and YOU know
how flawed you are! Everything is about “Me.” What do I want?
What can I get? What can I do? Am I “good enough” to be loved?
It is a miserable life because you know how flawed you are, and
therefore you will never be “good enough” to be loved by anyone,
I thought I was an awful person and not worthy of love. I hated
Now that God has revealed
Himself to me, and I have accepted Jesus as my personal Savior,
I have received the message of unconditional love. And I don’t
have to try to “earn” that love by somehow being “good enough.”
God created me, he knows my flaws, he forgives my sins and he
loves me. In return, I love and submit to God. It’s as simple as
Now that I am a believer and
have accepted Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in my heart. I
am loved. I have value.
I regard myself in an entirely different way. I still have the
same flaws, and some of them are pretty darned big flaws! But,
my flaws and my sins and my imperfections no longer define me.
What DOES define me is that I am a child of God, and I am worthy
of His love.
Best of all, I am not lonely anymore and I am not scared. God is
in control, not me (thank God!). I have peace in my heart, even
during troubled times. I no longer even fear death, because it
is not the end, but a new beginning of living more fully in
I no longer live in misery and fear, hating myself. I live in
JOY! I live in joy because I choose to. I live with God’s love
in my heart and joyfully give it away because it is in
This is my testimony of faith. I have been re-born. I am loved.
I'm Getting Stronger Every Day!
I must confess something. I have an extremely weird phobia. I am
absolutely terrified of caterpillars. My fear of caterpillars is
HUGE and inescapable. Like: squeal, shriek, run away, sometimes
get dizzy, faint or even spontaneously vomit kind of fear (PS -
you don't want the last two conditions to occur at the same
time). I have had this fear since I was a little girl growing up
in New Orleans. In New Orleans, we have massive live oak trees
that line all the streets and even sometimes grow over them to
create a kind of arborous tunnel. In the late Spring, the gypsy
moth caterpillars hatch and squirm their insidious way up the
oak tree trunks to the leaves where they munch away on the tasty
oak leaves. They also sometimes fall out of the trees onto
unsuspecting youngsters heads and have been known to cover the
sidewalks like a fuzzy moving, heaving mass of disgustingness.
Now, this description may be making you slightly more
sympathetic to pathetic, crazy me. BUT, everybody I know who
grew up in New Orleans under the exact same circumstances does
not have this fear.
Caterpillar phobia is so unique and bizarre that there is no
Latin or medical word for it. Part of the problem stems from the
fact that caterpillars are actually the larval stage of moths
and butterflies, so they don't have a specific genus or species
name other than the moths and butterflies they eventually grow
into. And yet, caterpillars are an entity of their own, aren't
Needless to say, I am incapable of removing or disposing of
caterpillars should an errant one make the mistake of crawling
onto my driveway, or OMG!, even into my garage. I have always
had to have a "Caterpillar Disposal Team" at the ready to save
me from the evil creatures whenever I have encountered one. For
the last 8 years my "Caterpillar Disposal Team" has consisted of
Steven and Natalie (I think Joanne may also have saved my sorry
ass, once or twice). So, imagine my horror and dismay at
encountering a long, black wriggling specimen of terror-inducing
woe inching himself across my garage floor this afternoon. AAAAAAaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I, of course, ran
screaming into the house and doubled over in the laundry room
clutching my heaving stomach and hyperventilated for a while
until I saw spots dancing before my eyes. OK, time to get a grip
and assess the situation. I cannot and will not let said
caterpillar make it across the garage and into my pile of
possessions, or worse, Omigod, into the house! My "Caterpillar
Disposal Team" is now permanently lacking team-member Steven;
Natalie is at school; Joanne had the audacity to move to Florida
(stinker!). That leaves me with two choices: I can go to my
neighbors house and exhibit myself as a totally insane fool; or, I
can deal with the horrid creature myself. NO. No, no, no, no,
no, no, no! More heavy breathing and nausea. But, I can feel him
creeping forward towards me on the other side of that door..
he's out there and he's coming for me. ("Psycho" shower scene
I gathered every bit of calm, self-assurance that I exhibit when
confronted with a traffic cop who points out that I was going 20
miles over the speed limit. Translated, that means I was
perspiring like a lawn sprinkler and my hands were shaking like
an alcoholic with the DTs. Positive reinforcement is what I
need. "I can do this." "I CAN do this." "I can DO this." "I can
do THIS!" "I can whup-ass that little caterpillar out there and
FACE MY FEAR!" So, I opened the door a crack and timidly peaked
out. He was still there! And he was two feet farther into the
garage than when I first made eye-contact with the little
bastard! OK, now I'm working up some righteous anger: what
business does that skanky-butt little critter have doin' in my
garage? I whipped the door open (slammed it back after me just
in case he developed super-natural powers and teleported
his-bad-self into the house) and went out to confront
HIM-whose-name-we-do-not-speak. I got my wand (long, sturdy
twig) and flipped the little bastard out into the driveway and
then flung him into the nether-reaches of the shrubbery. YAY! I
did it! I confronted my fear and I tackled it. I must be getting
stronger every day. ;-)
I then promptly went inside, washed my hands about 20 times, got
a stiff drink (it was close to 5:00, OK?, and I certainly
deserved it!), put my feet up and de-compressed.
But I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT!!! I took care of that
caterpillar, and I am getting stronger every day!
BTW - Please don't invite me to the Wooly Bear Caterpillar
Festival in Boone this year.
The Widow Eve
An Essay on Handling Your Dead
How do you disassemble a life
time's worth of memories and possessions? How do you climb a
cliff with no ropes and no nets, when you are already badly
Here I sit, in the middle of my bathroom floor amongst all of
our collected bathroom stuff. I need to sort it out, and throw a
lot away because it won't fit in the smaller bathroom of the
home I've moved to since my husband died. Some things are easy
decisions: keep, garbage or donate. But then, I got to the box
with his personal things and the small travel bag he took with
him on the day he died. What does a nail clipper mean? To most,
it means nothing, but in this context it was actually one of his
most personal possessions that he had taken with him and used
for 30 years as a travelling salesman. How can I throw that
away? What of the new ab-fab razor he had just gotten that he
crowed about as really a great new thing? There is an almost new
deodorant that I know he only used twice. But I sniff, and it
does not smell of him - just a slight perfumed scent that I had
become so very used to. This is the crux of the dilemma: I
cannot give it away - it is used!; I cannot throw it away - it
was his...; and it seems so useless to keep it. Our cat sleeps
in the middle of the ruins of what used to be our life.
Steven used to say that that "Opportunity" was a funny looking
man with lots of hair on the front of his head and bald in the
back. If you approached him, you could grab hold of your
opportunity, but if he passed you by and you had second
thoughts, it was too late. I wonder what he would have said
about my current situation?
The Widow Eve
So, How Exactly DID You Get The Nickname "EveL"?
First off, please note the word is "EveL" and not "evil."
Well, you see, it all began in 3rd grade... I grew up in New
Orleans and we were taught French as a secondary language in
elementary school. We had a French teacher named Madame Feraud
who was so intimidating that we called her Madame "Ferocious"
behind her back. She was from France and had zee most
outraaageous French aczent you can poossibly imageen. (you are
hearing the accent in your head, right?)
Now, if you recall back to your hazy memories of grade school,
you usually turned in papers with your first name and last
initial: like "Suzy Q." or "John D." My last name started with
an "L." One Tuesday morning we had a pop-quiz in French class
and Madame graded the quizzes and handed them all back to each
student. All except mine. Ruh-roh!!! What did I do? Did I fail
so miserably that she is going to make me stand on my desk in
ridicule for the rest of the class period, like she did to Quinn
H. last week? Oh, nooo!!!
So, Madame turns to the class with a quiz paper clutched in her
hand waving it at us and (almost shouting) says: "And who ees
zis, who signs zeir papair with 'evil?!!!'"
OMG - can I please die now and just ooze under the desk? Very,
very hesitantly and timidly, I raised my hand and said: "Umm,
Madame, that is my paper and it is "Eve L." Madame turned purple
with embarrassment, handed me the paper and turned back to the
chalkboard amid sniggers and giggles from all my classmates.
My friends have called me EveL ever since.