Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 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 double-ass ugly. Comments welcome! Jean

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting Ready for the Big Reunion

My oldest friend in the whole world is coming to visit me in October. We met early in grammar school and we were best friends from that first day until we went off to separate colleges. It wasn’t long after that when she met and married my replacement in the `best friend and confidant’ department and they moved across the country. We haven’t seen each other in---wow---well over a decade! But you never forget your first best friend. We did everything together from playing on the “monkey bars” during recess to walking to the corner drugstore for after school malts to taking part in some of the world’s first cruise nights at MacDonald’s. As adults we kept in touch though infrequent letters and visits but whenever we’d get together we always had the ability to pick up where we left off, finding lots of things to talk about and laugh about even though our lives had taken dramatically different directions. And so it shall be again this October. In the meantime I have a long list of things on my ‘To Do List’ to get ready for her visit including the following….

1) Lose 599 pounds. Well, maybe that’s a tad ambitious so I’ll settle for losing the six pounds I gained since I saw my doctor last spring. My appointment with him is the day before the Big Reunion and he won’t be happy about my weight gain. I could tell him it’s a common widowhood by-product but he’s immune to my excuses.

2) Redecorate the entire house. It hasn’t been redone since we moved in eleven years ago and it looks like a decorator with a multiple personality disorder did the job. Maybe a redo is little ambitious, too, so I’ll settle on deep cleaning the guest room. It’s only been used two times since we built the house…unless you count the collection of spaghetti poodles living in there. I might have to make a cover for their ‘glass cage’ so their 75 pair of laughing eyes don’t spook my friend and keep her up at night.

3) Learn to cook. My friend has a long history in the culinary arts starting back to when she was a kid learning her way around the kitchen from her home economics teacher mom. Today, she belongs to a couple groups that test recipes and have frequent dinner parties to celebrity their joy of cooking. Me? Don and I had a long history of eating out in restaurants and my kitchen skills are all but none existent. The idea of doing any cook while she’s here freaks me out more than anything I’ve had to do since Don passed away. But my friend assures me it won’t be a big deal. We can live on grilled cheese sandwiches and big lunches out. Still, if that doesn’t work out maybe I can teach her the Joys of Take-Out Italian? We have a great place near-by.

4) Get a face lift, a stomach tuck, and the gray hair vanished from my head so my friend might be able to recognize me when I pick her up at the airport. Oh, heck, that’s not going to happen either so I’ll have to come up with something straight out of the movies like wearing a red carnation.

5) Teach the dog not to greet newcomers by jumping on them when they enter the house. Darn it, if you knew Levi you’d say it would easier just to teach my friend about pulling her knee up slightly to deflect doggie jumps. She’s not a dog person so spending time with Levi will be a new experience for her. And it seems only fair that she should have something to be apprehensive about since I have the whole cooking thing to worry about.

I could go on writing about my To-Do List but you get the idea. I’m an obsessed planner---some might say ‘obsessed worry-wart.’ One thing I’m not worried about, though, and that's the fact that the Big Reunion in October. is a wonderful distraction. Recently widowed women tend to fall into a trap of thinking we’ll never have anything to look forward to ever again. But I’m starting to realize that transitioning out of the lives we must leave behind due to the death of our husbands is only half the equation. We must also make concrete plans for happier times in the future. ©

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