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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sweet Words

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart...
I'll always be with you.”

Christopher Robin to Winnie-the-Pooh

Being that I’m on a half-hearted campaign to indoctrinate myself back into normal society after so many years of identifying myself as a caregiver/wife, I signed up to go out to lunch with a bunch of strangers from the local senior citizen hall. How hard could it be? If I get stuck for conversation, I told myself, I can pretend an inordinate interest in the way the carrots in my salad are cut like little eight sided stars, assuming the destination restaurant is still doing them the same way they did back in the dark ages when I was there last. If not, I’m screwed. Or I could talk about the weather that is setting records for high temperatures in March---anything but Don. I must remember that my life and all conversations no long revolves around answering questions like, “How is Don doing?” No one ever asks caregivers how they’re doing, but that’s old news and I have a new life to explore.

What I didn’t count on is being seated next to the director of the program and having the very first question out of her mouth being, “How are you doing? It’s good to see you’re getting out.”

“I have my good days and my bad days,” I answered back, trying not to pucker up and cry all over the fancy-do menu.

As it turned out, with the exception of the director, all twelve of the other women at the table were widows, like me, and they had a lively conservation about all the events and travel they’d been doing since their last meet-up a month ago. Could this be me a year from now? I’m not sure but I am sure I’ve got to up date my wardrobe if I’m going to start hang out with these ladies. Quite a few of them were teachers or office workers in their pre-retirement days and not a one of them was wearing pants with stretchable waistbands and easy-care tops---the typical “caregiver uniform” And colors! Between caring for Don and the dog I’ve gotten away from wearing anything lighter than black pants with jewel colored knit tops and these ladies looked like fashion plates----well, fashion plates from the year 1998, but colorful fashion plates if not a bit out of style. It’s a look that old ladies can get away with wearing with pizzazz. “By God, I paid good money for this outfit and I’m going to wear it out if it takes me thirty years!” Shoulders back, head high, walk in like you own the place and no one will care if the label you’re wearing went out of business the during the Clinton administration. Remind me tomorrow to check the back of my closet for old ‘date night’ clothes.

Near the end of the luncheon a vivacious lady across the table said to me, “Well, does anything of this stuff sound interesting to you? If I can do anything to help you get started, just give me a call.” They were sweet words from a sweet lady designed to show me a path for moving forward. Now all I have to do is remember what Christopher Robin said to Winnie-the-Pooh: I am braver than I believe, stronger than I feel and smarter than I think….I can do this. Maybe not this month or the one after but in time I can do this. ©

2 comments:

  1. Jean :

    I am so happy for you, I believe in you along with Don yes you can do this, get out of the house & make new friends. you can do it, think in life sometimes you just need to put one foot infront of other foot & keep on marching on & something better comes out of it

    hugs,
    Asha

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  2. Don't get too excited. It was only one lunch, and not especially comfortable one at that. LOL

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