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, July 19, 2013

The Widow and The Lone Ranger


“I’m living a strange half life.” That’s a line from a movie I saw recently and it was said by a divorced guy about his single-hood. He had a beautiful home, a job he liked and friends but his life lacked spice much like the salt-less broths served in hospitals. That movie line spoke to me and about me. At times I feel like sailboat with no wind to push me along. If you’re on a sailboat with no wind sometimes it feels good to drift and have an excuse to relax but other times it’s frustrating if you have somewhere to go but you can’t get there. As a widow, I feel like I have somewhere to go but I don’t know where that is and the drifting isn’t helping me discover my destination fast enough. I’m old! I want to be content again.

This week marks my 18th month as a widow and one more month to go before I’m at the end of the Second Mourning Period (if I was living in Victorian times, that is). In this century we don’t formally recognize the Second Mourning Period, but I strongly believe that custom never should have gone the way of afternoon teas, butterfly collecting and petty coats. Be that as it may, this seems like a good time for me to write a progress report on myself. So here it goes….

My emotions are no longer raw like they were in the first six month of widowhood and even less so than at the year marker. It’s rare, now, that a crying jag will hit me out of the blue. I can even listen to the Prime Country radio station without every other song churning up unbearable memories which most widows know is a big hurdle to cross. Still, I have a few moments on occasion when I choke up like last week when I was cleaning in my closet. I had run across the half dozen shirts of Don’s that I’d saved when I packed up the bulk of his clothes to take to the Salvation Army. But I’m a strong little widow, don’t you know, so last week I bucked it up and added a couple of those shirts to my ‘donate’ pile---but not without regret and sadness that I’ll never see Don wearing them again. If you noted a hint of sarcasm in the way I’ve just characterized myself you’re not mistaken. I am no stronger or weaker than other widows. We are all just in varying places on the grief timeline. All and all, I’m doing well. Don’s ghost no longer seems present in the house which is both sad and probably a healthy sign at the same time.

How am I doing on meeting people, trying to build a circle of friends, which is my biggest challenge in widowhood? Not so good. It’s still hard not to have a sounding board and someone who cares how my day is going. "Volunteer!" so many people told me to do which prompted me to turn in an application to work at a small town museum opening up soon. Unfortunately the time I spent in an arm sling is the time when they moved out of their old, cramped museum and into the new building so I couldn’t help with the move. This week I went to their first organizational meeting regarding a fund raiser auction planned for the fall. Only five people showed up. I had hoped for a group big enough so I’d have a better chance of meshing with one or two others. They tell me more people will show up to help as we get closer to the auction. Oh, well, at least I’m trying.

I’m also still going to the going to events at the senior hall including the monthly Movie and Lunch Club. Today we saw The Lone Ranger. In IMDb’s mini blurb on the movie they wrote, “Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice” and they labeled it an action adventure western. What they failed to say is the movie is a genuinely funny film. Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger were perfect casting and even Silver, the white horse, brought some great laughs from the audience and my group of ten. In the last fifteen minutes of the film, when they finally started playing the William Tell Overture, the Lone Ranger’s theme song from the radio, movies and TV shows of my youth, we were all sitting on the edge of our seats and laughing at the fast-paced action. We left the theater upbeat and in a happy mood. At lunch one of the ladies said she thought you had to be our age to catch a lot of the humor but few of the other ladies agreed with her. But one thing we all did agree on is that this version of The Lone Ranger is well worth seeing, especially if you grew up in the 30’s, 40’s or 50’s when the serialized stories of the Lone Ranger and Tonto were so popular. “Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!” ©

4 comments:

  1. Never in my long life did I ever think of much about what to do with the rest of my life, as I have these last 18 months. GEEZ--and I still haven't figured it out. I don't want to use drift until I flow in the grave, but so many things are now hampered either by money or ability.

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  2. I hear you, Judy. Same with me. When we were younger and trying to decide what to do with our lives there wasn't the pressure of our ages weighing heavy into the plans. If we made a wrong choice back then, no big deal. We had time to change courses. Yesterday I talked with several women at the Movie and Lunch Club who've been looking for condos---like I eventually think I want to do. They've been actively working with realtors to find one and they say there just isn't any on the market, they get snapped up as soon as they are listed or even before when someone gets wind they are going to sell. That was so depressing to hear!

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  3. That's great you have someone to go to the movies with! I'm okay with going alone, but I get the sense I'm not supposed to do that? A regular movie club is just the thing for such awkward moments.

    I see a benefit to the condo discussions--you're looped into a word-of-mouth network, where you can get the scoop and scope out the real estate landscape, which will be so handy when you do make the move. You have such good networks in your town. Very useful! And such fun offerings, to boot.

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  4. Fichereader, Good for you that don't mind going to movies alone. I would do that if something was playing that I really didn't want to miss but belonging to the movie and lunch club is better. We go to a multiplex theater so sometimes 10 will go to one movie and 10 others to a different film and we'll all meet for lunch. I also know of another club that just goes to classic, black and white movies at the same multiplex. There really is a lot to do in this town. I don't think it would be hard to start up a club like these in any town with a movie theater. We do all the organizing by computer.

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