Thanks Tim and Ray.
I had to laugh though at that parting shot, Ray... I might live here, but I'm not British! I'm from the Caribbean. My husband and his family are, in a technical sense - Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, still considered by some to be 'occupied' Irish territory. If anyone asks, I'm in Ireland, ok?
I realized this week, in talking to my three year old that... he somehow has managed to retain some memory of his Dad. Whether it'd last or not is something only time will tell but, he had a cold and was coughing. He was going about all proud of himself, saying he's coughing just like his Daddy.
Now, my husband's chronic cough (treated by the doctors as an allergy, with an inhaler) turned out to be a sign of his heart problem - only discovered post-mortem.
I certainly never told my son that his Dad coughed a lot and on asking around, nobody else told him either. Everyone has been assuming that someone else must have said it... it seems that the cough, however painful a memory it is to the adults, is something my son remembers, associates with his Dad and ... well, it doesn't bother him so I guess I'd need to not tell him why it makes the adults choke when he says it?
I don't know about sainthood, there are days when all I want is to go asleep and wake up when the kids are 18... but I figure all we can do is get through the day-to-day and hope we're doing the right thing?
For perspective, it's helpful to think about the thought process of a 3 year old. At that age, they have a simplistic way of looking at things. In many cases, they come up with questions or do things that make adults "cringe", as you said. Simple questions are best handled with simple answers. Adults are squirming while a 3 year old is comfortable in his own skin. It's still difficult, to be sure. Sometimes you have to probe to see exactly what a 3 year old meant -- what does he really want to know? Ask the Spirit for help during those times and you find yourself cringing less.
It's sad and frustrating to hear that your husband's medical problem wasn't diagnosed properly. It's hard to say if doctors didn't examine the symptoms closely enough -- there are so many common symptoms for several medical problems. Unfortunately, no matter what the circumstances were, the end result is the same -- you've lost your husband.
Day-to-day is the way to deal with all of this. Yesterday is past, tomorrow isn't here yet, so we have the "present". Time is a most valuable gift. You've been given a cross that's heavier than what others are carrying. Somehow, in His infinite wisdom, He feels you can handle it. You are dealing with a heavy load. Carry it as best you can, offer it up, and you're on your way to sainthood. Tired? No doubt about it. Some rough days? Certainly. But the children are at such an enjoyable age and can bring a lot of cheer to your home.
Oops -- didn't really pay attention to the Belfast -- just the Great Britain part. My simplistic, 3 year-old way of thinking concluded that if you're in Great Britain, you're British. Well, Irish it is.