Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!
In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.
Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
”What's that?” the Tin Man and Scarecrow asked in unison.
”Talk me out of it!”
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Below is a timeless letter that speaks to the young and the old. It was published in New York Sun over a 100 years ago and answered by their editor, Francis P. Church
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Francis P. Church
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I don’t have to be alone on Christmas Eve or on Christmas day. I had choices but I turned down two invitations because I don’t want to pretend, to carry on as if the invisible place setting at the table isn’t there. If I need to cry on the eve of Christmas, I will. If I need to wallow in a memory of a past Christmas day, I will. Like the time Don decided to give the dog an entire box of Bonz biscuits. If one is good dozens must be heaven on earth, right? Wrong. He spread them all over the floor then watched in horror as Cooper went into panic mode trying to protect them all. It seems trivial to treasure a memory of Don feeling so guilty over a pile of dog biscuits but it is what it is---a silly but endearing reminiscence. Our Christmas mornings often went to the dogs. They opened gifts, tore paper apart and played with their new toys like real kids do after Santa’s arrival.
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
(Lyric above from the song, Where are you Christmas?)
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
We are just passing through.
Friday, November 30, 2012
My humor article.... Money Saving Tips for Old Ladies
Monday, November 26, 2012
At the mailbox Levi discovered he’d gotten some pee-mail from the dust-mop looking dog that lives down the street. He lifted his leg to leave a reply then checked his spelling and lifted his leg again to add a P.S. I hope he told him to get a haircut. That dog is a walking paradise for dust mites…unlike Levi with his sleek $45.00 haircut and perfectly trimmed, regulation schnauzer beard. I wonder if he appreciates how frigging much money that is! Probably not. He’s a dog with trashy tastes. He’d rather play with paper towel that accidentally gets too close to the edge of the counter top than to play with his veterinary recommended Kong toy. He hated his designer coat last winter and when Levi goes shopping at Chow Hound he always picks up those disgusting pig’s feet no matter how many times I put them back and show him something else.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Last night’s candle lighting memory was of the first Christmas after Mom died when no one in the family wanted to get together. (She was Christmas. It was her house everyone went dashing through the snow to find on Christmas day.) So that year instead of heading for the countryside, Don and I packed up thermos of chili and coffee, a little wine and cheese, and we headed to the ice formations along the shore of Lake Michigan where we picnicked in the snow. It was a short-lived new tradition of going to the beach on Christmas. By the third year out from mom’s passing the family started getting together again. “To everything there is a season….a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Ironic isn’t it. My non-Christian ghost-in-the-house was whispering that Bible verse in my ear to comfort me through my first widow’s candle lighting ceremony. ©
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
|circa 1950, I'm 2nd in line|
We all get chain emails---some annoying, some enjoyable. The enjoyable ones often include video clips featuring cute animals, beautiful scenery or photos with humorous captions. But rarely do I get one that brings joy to my heart as much as the one I’m going to write about today and is linked below. It’s a dance montage called Let’s Dance and its set to the music of All These Things That I’ve Done by the Killers. The montage was put together by Barbara Collins and includes clips ranging from Charlie Chaplin to the present day Dancing with the Star’s Maxim and Mel. Of the twenty-six clips there was only one that didn’t evoke a strong memory for me. I guess you’d call that an advantage of growing old. We old people know stuff. We’ve been there, done that and came home with tons of t-shirts that we think about making into quilts.
A lot of women in my advanced age bracket got put into dance classes at a very early age. Shirley Temple movies, no double, being the prime motivator of many parents including mine. Plus the Arthur Murray Dance Studio franchises made it so easy; if you didn’t have a studio in your town they sold dancing lessons by mail. Send in your money and you’d get a set of “footprints” on paper that would teach you the steps. In my town, the local Arthur Murray Studio was also selling poise and self-confidence for any child who’d take their golden trio of tap, ballet and acrobat. I don’t remember how many years I took lessons but judging by the recital photos in my album I’m guessing around five. I washed out of ballet and acrobat early on but I passionately adored tap dancing and I worshiped the greats of my era---Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. The little no talent kid that I was wanted to grow up and marry Gene Kelly. Jean and Gene Kelly has a nice ring don’t you think. (A few years later I had a five alarm crush on Gene Autry, but I digress.) Fast forward many decades later and I have trouble just walking to the bathroom without tripping over my own feet. I guess that Arthur Murray acquired poise and self-confidence didn’t stick.
3) Michael Flatley - Lord of the Dance
4) Michael Jackson - Beat It
5) Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse - Singing in the Rain
7) Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times
8) John Travolta/Olivia Newton John - Grease
9) Jimmy Cagney - Yankee Doodle Dandy
10) Debbie Reynolds - Singing in the Rain
11) A Chorus Line
12) Patrick Swayze - Dirty Dancing
13) Natalie Wood/Richard Beymar - West Side Story
14) Al Nims & Leon James doing the Charleston
15) Maxim & Mel B - Dancing with the Stars
16) Elvis and Ann Margret - Viva Las Vegas
17) Michael Jackson from TV Special
18) Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers - Swing Time
19) Gene Kelly - Singing in the Rain
20) All That Jazz
21) Three Stooges get a dance lesson
23) Shirley Temple & Bill "Bojangles" Robinson - Just Around the Corner
24) Anne Reinking - All That Jazz
25) Nicholas Brothers - Stormy Weather
26) Wizard of Oz
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Saturday, November 3, 2012
As I backed out of the driveway the radio was set on the Prime Country [cry-your-eyes-out] station and as the Chief Glutton for Punishment in the car I didn't switch the channel. When will I ever learn? It wasn't long after that Dolly Parton was singing:
In your cowboy boots and your painted-on jeans
All decked out like a cowgirl's dream
Why'd you come in here looking like that?”
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me”