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, May 5, 2012

One More Step Forward

On my widow walk agenda this past week was going to a lawyer to change my will and get my financial life in order. The decisions involved were easy when Don was alive---everything went to him and vise-verse if I had gone first. Now it’s just me and the dog and what does he need besides a lifetime supply of kibble and maybe a new squeaky duck from time to time? Decisions, decisions…it’s not so easy when you don’t have kids.

So I was sitting in the lawyer’s office and she asked if I have caller-ID, which I do, and then she proceeds to tell me to never answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number. "There are too many people in the world," she said, "who want to pull on your heart strings to get you to donate money or to scam you." I couldn’t help wondering if all old people get that little lecture or was there something about me that screamed POTENTIAL VICTIM! God, she made me feel old, to be perceived as a sweet little old widow lady with feathers between her ears. If I followed her caller ID advice---which I don’t plan to do---then I’d probably turn into a paranoid and suspicious old woman who’d eventually get committed for being anti-social. No, no, I can’t let a plumber in to fix the toilet. He might want to scam me! I’ll just poop in a coffee can. Thank you very much, Ms. Lawyer Lady, but I have a very healthy scam and con detector. And I don’t even finch when the humane society commercials come on TV with their sappy music designed to pull on your heart strings. I didn’t even bite when I got an e-mail from someone wanting to send me a (fake) money order for $2,000 for the electric wheelchair I have up for sale for $1,500. Who falls for scams like that?

I went to the antique mall yesterday where I rented showcase space 10 days ago and the owner greeted me with: “Your booth is the most popular one in the mall!” That was nice to hear and I couldn’t believe how much stuff I’d sold in that length of time. I completely emptied the stock box I’d brought with me, which I didn’t expect to happen. My first batch of listings on eBay is also doing well. If these two ventures keep this up, by the end of the summer tourist season I will achieve the goal I set for myself.  But it’s bittersweet, seeing the things that Don treasured disappearing from the garage. He was so proud to show off his stuff. One time he had fallen out of his wheelchair and we had to call the EMT guys. As they checked him out for injuries, Don said, “Garage?” which in aphasia speak meant, “Can you take a tour of my garage?” I laughed and told the guys that he was just fine. No one escaped his garage tours.

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”  That’s what I’m doing---letting things flow naturally forward---and as long as I don’t lose track of my long-term goals I’ll be okay. But every so often a dream of Don will wake me up and I'll lie there in the dark wishing it didn’t have to be this way. One step forward is one step farther away from the love of my life. ©

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