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
Sunday, March 11, 2012
P.S. I Love You
I’ve seen the movie five or six times, including once since Don’s death. Seeing it so soon after his passing got me to thinking about the kinds of messages and instructions Don would have left me if he could reach beyond the grave to influence my grief and moving forward. I’m pretty sure that spur-of-the-moment, first time ever pedicure I got shortly after seeing the movie was a result of an imagined message from the other side. I could almost hear Don saying, “You took care of me for so long now it’s time to pamper yourself.” Well, Don if you’re waiting to whisper another suggestion in my ear I hope you’ll tell me to do something about all those caregiver ‘uniforms’ I have hanging in the closet.
One of the things that Gerry told Holly in a letter was to find herself again. During their married life she’d jumped from job to job, never happy doing any of them. The letter contained tickets and vacation plans back to where they first met in Ireland. His intent, he said, was not for her to feel closer to him again but to rediscover who she was inside. She’d been an art student before falling in love and pushing her dreams so deep down inside they were all but forgotten. Having been there, done that with my own art student background that part of the movie speaks to me. Who am I really? Am I who I’ve became by default or is there a part of me who still wants what I wanted years ago? In the movie, Holly did find her way to the future by looking back. Can I do the same? Can any of us?
Years ago Don and I spent the summer looking at houses for sale and one of the houses we looked at had belonged to an artist who had taken to painting every square inch of his walls with small mythical images like you’d see in fairy tale books and with poetry. (Think the writings of William Blake with things like: “Those who restrain their desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.”) Don and I loved that house but the walls were so strange, so colorful and they drew you into a world where all you wanted to do is read by the hour. We knew we could never live there or paint over what must have taken the artist years to create. Heck, only a person who was half-crazy could move in there and if they weren’t they’d be half crazy when they moved back out. Every creature known to man and then some was on those walls. We researched the guy, thinking if he was famous enough we could cut the walls up and sell his art work. In the end, we decided buying that house would open up a chapter in our lives that wouldn’t get us to where we were trying to go. But we never forgot that house and every so often I’d tell Don that I hoped I live long enough to start doodling art and poetry all over the walls, without a care for what others thought.
If my life were to follow the plot of the Bulter and Swank movie mentioned above this is the point where my family and friends would barge in the door with a surprise birthday party and my first P.S.-I-love-you letter from Don. They’d be horrified to see me still in my nightgown at two in the afternoon, the place a mess around me and the house plants begging for water. But since my birthday is a few weeks off I think I’ll go down the basement and see can find some old art supplies. I’d just be looking. The walls are safe...at least until I hear Don whispering in my ear: “If you want to be bat-shit crazy, be my guest. P.S. I'd still love you if you were." ©