Strange Days

Made in Venice in happier days.

These are strange days.
Jim died March 6. His funeral Mass is this coming Saturday - March 24 at 11 am at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Chevy Chase, DC.
His Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetary when ever we are scheduled - which could be anytime up to months away.

My days are strange - filled with tears and event planning while caught in a limbo of waiting.

People are wonderfully kind and I deeply appreciate the beautiful flowers, food, calls, cards and emails.
I know now that its not the words you send that matter - its the fact that you thought to reach out that is the comfort.  Deepest thanks.

Our family has drawn close - which is such a gift.
But underneath the closeness I feel such an aloneness - missing Jim. I now have to learn how to navigate the world on my own.

Many have offered suggestions  - all good hearted and kind - - - but I remember meeting a woman on a train from Venice to Munich 25 years ago who told me her story as she wept in the seat next to me:
  "My husband died a few weeks ago. We had planned this trip to Europe - our first - and when he died - my niece convinced me to come with them as we had planned. That's why I am here. Making the trip without him - but it was a mistake to come. I should have waited... until I was ready."

The one thing I am sure of -- is that I will be telling stories. Jim wanted that for me - because I love it.
But more, he believed in me and in the value of my stories. A storyteller friend told me recently, " Ellouise, he told me how much he believed your stories are important and that they touch the people who hear them."

I will take time now to sort myself out.

My first scheduled date is the Capital Fringe, Washington, DC - July 2012 - when I will present PUSHING BOUNDARIES - my ERA memoir. Dates to be announced.
If you are in the area I hope you will come to hear this story of personal and social transformation.


Debbie Couture said...

Ellouise, I am glad you are taking time for yourself. I am sure that Jim would want you to be happy and you are great at storytelling. I've heard you three times and thoroughly enjoyed each time. Be held up by those of us praying for you. This Sunday at church they talking about Joy in the middle of lent, of looking forward to Easter. We do have joy to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Schoettler,

Your husband gave me the help that got me through the darkest and most unhappy time of my life. Even though I have not spoken with him for more than 20 years, I am heartbroken to learn of his death. Please accept my sincerest condolences.

Bill Otis
Falls Church


Dear Mr. Otis,
Thank you so much for writing. Your words would mean a great deal to my husband as they do to me and our family.
Ellouise Schoettler