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

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pass-Around Widows, Easter Traditions and Other Stuff

 
For a week now my urine smells like fried chicken and I haven’t eaten any in months. But every time I pee lately I want to go to KFC. At first I thought I’d finally contracted some dreaded disease that only effects widows who don’t eat enough fried foods but a quick internet search leaves me believing I either have a urinary tract infection or Maple Syrup Urine Disease. (Yes, that’s a real disease. I’m not making that up for your amusement.) I’m voting for the UTI. MSUD is an inherited disorder and growing up, I don’t recall anyone talking about maple syrup as they came out of the bathroom. Not to worry, tomorrow I’m going to the dentist which means I have to take a heavy round of antibiotics so the germs from cleaning my teeth don’t settle in my artificial knee joints and I’m hoping some of those antibiotics find their way into my bladder. If not, I’ll have to go pee in a cup at the lab and hope they don’t leave it out in the elements this time. Last year when I had a UTI they accidentally froze my specimen and I had to go back and do the pee-in-a-cup trick all over again. I hate that trick. There are some things guys are just better equipped at doing and this is one of them.

My nieces threw a surprise 75th birthday party for my older brother a few days ago. (He canceled the one he and his girlfriend were going to throw together.) It was so good to see everyone in the family except my brand new great-great nephew and his parents who live out of state. My brother was thoroughly surprised and everyone loved the photo book I made and had printed at Blurb. It’s going to be a good summer for family get-togethers---two showers and a wedding invitation are already filed in the pages of my day planner and I’m working on a cousin’s get-together at the cottage where I spent all the summers of my youth.

Easter was good, too. The night before I got a call from my niece-in law asking me to join her huge family for dinner out in the boondocks. It was her mother’s first Easter without her husband and I think the invitation had something to do with that, but she was fine---seemed to be holding herself together pretty well and enjoying herself with all her kids and grandchildren around. Most of the adults in attendance and I have crossed paths for 42 years of going to weddings, showers and funerals so I didn’t feel entirely out of place.  At one point in the afternoon five of her grandsons packed their babies up in their strollers, grabbed a beer or wine cooler and off they all went for a walk around the lake while we women folk sat in a sun circle talking. If someone 40-50 years age would have told me how much attitudes about fatherhood joys and duties would change I wouldn’t have believed it. But I think all the hands-on stuff is good for guys, their families and society. Why should women get all the fun and bonding time with their kids? Time to share, ladies.

As fellow blogger Belle Rum over at Cul-de-Sac-Chronicles recently wrote: “We make traditions and we keep them for years. Then things change. Kids grow up and move to another city, loved ones die and we are left to celebrate even when it doesn’t feel like a time to celebrate.” My own family’s holiday traditions fell apart years ago when my mom died, new ones were born, then reborn again and again---the last time to fit my husband’s disabilities. (Wheelchairs limit your invitation venues big time.) This is my third Easter without Don and new traditions have not yet been established, so I was grateful to grab a little holiday spirit, even if vicariously through someone else’s family. These past few years since Don died I’ve been the elderly aunt passed around on the holidays, never quite belonging anywhere yet never quite an outcast or third wheel either. Life is full of mystery and sometimes I wish mine was like a book and I could sneak a peek at the last chapter to see if holiday traditions ever find me again. Or is this it, the new normal for me? Am I now officially living in the land Pass-Around Widows, never knowing from one holiday to another where we’ll be next? ©

10 comments:

  1. I would guess UTI--I had one a month ago and took my dental antibiotics for it and it went away. Then I had to re-order the pills for the dental work I am having. Oh well--whatever works! Yes--it amazes me too how hands-on daddies are nowadays. When a child falls and gets hurt--he runs to whichever parents is nearest. Back in my day--Momma had all that--daddies never changed a diaper, bathed a child or dressed it, nowadays--well--it is quite a good thing. I didn't even see any family today, but it was all right. I enjoyed watching the Tigers win and then out to supper with neighbors. It's cool--whatever.

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    1. That's good to know you dental antibiotics worked for you. We both take the same thing. The older I get the more often I seem to be getting UTIs.

      Glad you had a good Easter. If I had had to stay at home alone it would have been okay, too, but it was nice to be invited out. But I'm getting too old for back to back drives to the boondocks. I came home and took a 2 hour nap and I usually don't nap during the day.

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  2. UTI - Now I know we can talk about anything on our blogs. LOL! Speaking of writing anything; my mind goes into the gutter with the phrase "pass around widow". Ouch!

    I'm glad you had a good Easter. My Easter plans surfaced last minute, much like yours.

    I'm curious. Have you ever hosted a holiday, or a group at your home? I've done so a few times, enough to realize the entertaining gene was in the fellow I married. So I've become pretty good at slipping into family members' plans, then reciprocating by taking them out to breakfast if I stay overnight or out to dinner when they visit. They seem to enjoy the treat. No fuss, no muss.

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    1. "Pass Around Widow" sounds like the title of a sleazy book, doesn't it. Oh, and this is the second time I've written about getting UTI and the ceiling didn't fall in. LOL

      I've had a couple of dinner parties with just two other couples and two large parties with around 60 people each. The only thing I enjoy about entertaining is picking out the table settings and decor. The entertaining gene is completely void in my DNA. I would have entertained my family without getting too stressed out but they all live a long distance away so it was never practical for them to do the traveling to my house when they all live within a few miles of each other.

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    2. Add up all those guests and you've met your entertainment quota for the remainder of your life! It was such a relief when I let myself off the hook for hosting 'parties'. It's informal from now on - real life clutter and dust balls included.

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    3. Yeh! I left one party off my earlier list, too. I forgot I had hosted a Red Hat queen crowning party years ago. You gotta love hosting which I don't, so I'm glad I'm "off the hook." Thanks. LOL

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  3. "For a week now my urine smells like fried chicken and I haven’t eaten any in months. But every time I pee lately I want to go to KFC."
    That is a great opening line of a comedic novel. So funny.

    It's funny how our presence is wanted so much for holidays when we are young. Our in-laws want us. Our own parents want us, and we have friends who want us. When we get older, we sometimes wait for an invitation. I'm glad you spent the day with family. It sounds like you enjoyed it. Our Easter was good, too. Holidays have a way of pointing out what's lacking, and it's nice when things work out.
    I enjoy your blog so much.

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    1. Thank you for the high compliment! I would give anything to be able to write a comedic novel but I can't plot my way out of a paper bag.

      I'm glad your first Easter without your dad when well. It was wise that your family went ahead with it. If you hadn't I fear the tradition would have fallen by the wayside like it did with my family.

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  4. Oops! And one more thing. You taught me my new thing for the day. Never have I heard of Maple Syrup Urine Disease. Not ever.

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    1. I laughed when I found that. We tend to think of diseases of having unpronounceable names and that one sure doesn't. It has to do with the body not being able to process a certain protein building blocks (amino acids) properly. Babies that are born with it can have brain damage and die if not treated.

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