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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mini Trip: Part Two

 

Serendipity is a great word. It means ‘happy accident’ or an accidental finding of something good that you weren’t really looking for when it came across your path. That’s want happened to me on the trip I took that was organized by my local senior citizen hall. Here’s the details: After the fish boil and before the sand dunes ride I was shopping in a gift shop attached to the herb garden labyrinth (pictured above) when a woman walked up to me and asked if I remembered her from the Red Hat Society chapter I belonged to a decade ago. Sure I did! In fact, couple of months ago I even tried to find out if the group was taking new members but the national website said that particular chapter had a full roster and was closed. Then the woman called over three other Red Hatters and come to find out, they do have an opening in their chapter. I was ecstatic when they asked for my contact information. It was a fun loving group and I was sad when I had to drop out due to my husband’s failing health.

One of these women had gone all the way through grade and high school with my husband and she got to telling the others about Don’s funeral, and how “it was the best funeral she’d ever been to in her entire life.” That made me beam with pride. I love being around people who knew Don before his stroke because having known him explains a lot about me and how I spent most of my adult life. Anyway, what are the odds of a car load of women from my past and me crossing paths so far away from home and right on the heels of when I was trying to reconnect with them---a million to one? The fact that it happened is serendipity.

Since the main reason I signed up for this trip and other activities at the senior hall is in a quest to find friendships, I was ready to call this trip a success after this chance meeting but serendipity wasn’t going to let me go of me that quickly. When our two buses pulled into the rest stop for a coffee and donut break a woman from the other bus and I struck up a conversation and in ten minutes we learned that we both love art, both quilt and craft, both have no children, grandchildren or husbands, and that we are both looking for someone to pal around with. We exchanged contact information and made plans to be seatmates on the next senior hall trip in September.

On the bus ride home I was thinking about how hard it is for some of us widows to form new friendships in our newly acquired single-hood world. My best friend and confidant was my husband. For 42 years I really didn’t need anyone else to fill that role and it’s been lonely without a sounding board in my life. Sure, I have my blog for sharing my thoughts but it’s too often a one way conversation and blogs can’t hug you hello and goodbye. Blah, blah, blah you’ve heard it all before.

When I’m in the mood to be fair to the universe I have to knowledge the fact that when Don first passed away other people did make overtures of friendship---the phone numbers written in condolence cards, the whispers of “call me if you want to talk” and the invitations to lunch or movies I passed up, etc., etc. Back then I was still living in that mollusk-like shell we widows draw over ourselves when mourning our losses takes over our lives and we play act otherwise. Yes, some of us play act. We walk around like we’re okay. We even carry on superficial conversations all the while wishing they would end so we could get back to our ‘poor me’ thoughts. By the time we get our heads unscrambled and we can drop the play acting, the overtures of friendship had flown off on the wings of time. It’s the way of the world. But it’s also the way of the world that serendipity brings them back again like a summer breezes brings delightful spicy aromas when we’re standing in the middle of a gorgeous herb garden labyrinth. ©

13 comments:

  1. I'm inspired! I already got an email inviting me to a Red Hat potluck. Unfortunately, I have another commitment but I think I'll connect soon. The group has a 35 member limit so it will be easier to get to know people than at the senior center where their are over a hundred active members plus lots of occasional drop-ins.

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  2. Jean :

    grab all those opportunities, I always felt that in the depth of despair sometimes we keep on looking at closed doors in our life far too long & miss seeing small open window God just opened right by it.

    I am so happy for you for all those windows.

    Asha

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  3. Thank you, Asha. I know you are absolutely right about missing the small windows if we look at the closed doors too long...great way to put it!

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  4. How nice to take a nice trip and it was right next door--kind of. You don't have to traipse all over Europe to have a good time--not that I have traipsed, so what do I know? Nuttin'Honey. Glad you will get back to the Red Hat group--I hear they can be fun!

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  5. The lady who sets up the trips for the senior hall does a good job of finding interesting things to see and do within our state's borders. She also takes a group to a foreign country every year, but that's not for me.



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  6. I'm so happy I found your blog. My hubby of 29 years died in early May. I have been paralyzed, numb, confused and extremely sad for the past three months. Now I want to start moving forward and LAUGH again. My biggest challenge is like yours ... finding friends! No church, no clubs, new state as of two years ago ... THANK YOU for writing as often as you do. I crave a blog!!! Keep up the terrific sharing of your journey.

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  7. So sorry to hear about your loss, JB. Three months is such a short time to deal with all the emotions that come with such a life altering event. Be gentle with yourself, it does get better month by month.

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  8. JB...If you crave a blog, you should start one. I think writing one is very therapeutic. When I read back on my own and follow other widow blogs I can see growth and strength forming over time. I'm not sure it comes as quickly when you keep things bottled up inside.

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  9. Funny you should mention my own blog! That's how I found yours (and a few others). But since you sound like my twin, I didn't think I wanted to reinvent the blog!

    P.S. You stay up late ... just like me! I love sleeping in.

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  10. No two blogs or widow stories are the same. Besides, it keeps you busy when you can't sleep...that's what has me up at 3:00 in the morning now. I can't sleep! That always happens when I have to get up early in the morning. So I think I'd better give my pillow another try.

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  11. I like how you put yourself out there. You invite these experiences. I know how spouses can come to depend on one another for friendship. After 43 years of marriage, several moves and 3 years of caring for my father, we've allowed some of our friendships to wane. I think it happens to a lot of people in our age bracket. I'm enjoying your blog very much.

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  12. Thank you Bella Rum! We sure have similar stories. My husband and I were a couple for 42 years. We moved twice in recent years and I share-cared my father for 5 years. We had a few very close friendships but they wane through no one's fault. It's just different when you're no longer part of a couple trying to hang around with couples.

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