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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If It’s Wednesday, I Need to Write



I think I’ve finally run out of things to say. I got a haircut on Monday and talked non-stop the entire time. That’s what happens when you get housebound for so long, then see another human who is more than willing to let you have diarrhea of the mouth. My hairdresser asks lots of questions and it’s occurred to me more than once in her presence that she’s using me for entertainment. You know how some people can treat their elders, like they know just what to ask to rattle our cages and get stuff to fall out of our mouths that will make them laugh. Kind of like Art Linkletter used to talk to children. That's my hairdresser. Just wait, honey, it will happen to you too when you pass seventy.

She’s letting my hair grow out and into a pixie cut. I didn’t ask her to change the style, didn’t know she was even doing it until Monday. All month long I struggled with the Woody-Woodpecker look at the back of my head. I didn’t know she did that twist thing when cutting each section to give it “lift” in the back. “Don’t do that again!” I told her. She says in two more haircuts I’ll look like Jennifer Lawrence. I wanted to reply, “I don’t recall telling you it was on my Bucket List to look like Jennifer Lawrence.” But what I actually said was: “Great, I’ll give you two more months of play time on my head because it will still be winter and I can wear hats.” What makes a hairdresser unilaterally decide to grow out a client's hair? Strangely, though, I really would like to look like Jennifer Lawrence.

Tuesday I had an express pedicure. Not my favorite thing to do but I have a foot doctor appointment coming up so I wanted my toenails not to be so long they’ll injury the doctor. The pedicurist thinks I have a circulation problem that gives me brown spots near my toes and on the nails themselves. She says she told one client to get something similar checked out and she ended up having heart surgery. Oh, goodie. I think it’s a fungus and/or the results of life-long foot issues but what do I know, I’ve only had my feet for over seven decades and one foot has been "shot up" with medication to kill off the nerves.

The foot doctor is just returning from his yearly month out of the country working with Doctors Without Borders. My eye doctor goes yearly, too, and one of my husband’s specialists did the same thing. They must have a good recruiter in town. The things you learn about professionals’ personal lives is amazing when you play tit-for-tat right back at them when they ask you questions. My foot doctor, for example, gets his deep summer tan cutting his own lawn and he loves his shrubbery more than any red-blooded man should be allowed. I had pegged him for a boater and can easily visualize him out sailing like a Kennedy near Nantucket. Every time I see him I am reminded not to judge a book by its cover. He may be drool-on-your-shoes handsome but the fact is a "yupper" bred man with a compassionate heart and simple tastes lives inside his head. A yupper is a person raised in the Upper Peninsular of Michigan.

I have nothing more to say. Later in the week I’ve got two movie and lunch dates---one with my club from the senior hall and one with my Red Hat Society chapter. If you’re guessing I’ll be writing movie reviews for my weekend post, you might be wrong. Don’s sadiversary is coming up, marking the end of my 3rd year of widowhood. I might be writing an evaluation, a self-examination to see if I’ve made any measurable progress in the Department of Getting on With My life. ©

22 comments:

  1. You can tell I don't pay attention, do you post just on certain days?

    You will NEVER run out of things to blog! I love reading every single blog ... even wish you were an every day blogger!

    Can't wait to hear (read) the movie reviews! I'm still in the Netflix watch movies at home phase ...

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    1. Aren't you sweet to say that. I usually do a mid week post and a weekend post but sometimes, if a lot is going on in my life or head I'll throw in an extra one

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  2. Jean :

    I so enjoy your blogs you always give me different perspective on ordinary things in life which sometimes so easy to miss. I too wish you blog every day

    Asha

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    1. I do write something every day, just not for this blog. If I was to blog today you'd have to hear all about the Civil War and how my great-grandfather got a head injury and was sent to a Jewish hospital in NY, then to a ladies home of Park Ave. who cared for soldiers after leaving the hospitals. It's amazing what you can find out on the computer these days!

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  3. Your hairdresser is changing your hairstyle without your approval? Well isn't that interesting.

    I've a dentist that drop dead handsome. Hard to concentrate isn't it. Well it is for me.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Me, too. If I was younger I'd be so tongue-tied around my foot doctor it wouldn't be funny.

      I've never in my entire life had a hairdresser do that and I keep racking my brains to figure out if I said anything to her to encourage that, and I keep coming up with nothing! She's a good stylist and the shop is close enough to walk to and there are lots of stylists there to take her clients if she were sick so I wouldn't have to reschedule which was a big problem with my last girl. Those are all plus' for staying with her until I move. But it still blows my mind that she would do that. I bet she wouldn't do it with a young person.

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  4. Jean,
    Well, don't you have the cheeky hairdresser. She's lucky that you're willing to go along for a bit. But who knows, you may find that it's the new you.

    Two of my brother-in-law's brothers were on Martha's Vineyard many years ago when they ran into two boys on the beach. The boys offered to teach them to sail. I can't remember if money was involved, but they said sure. They took them out on their boat and turned out to be Kennedys. One was Bobby's son, maybe both. I can't remember.

    Looking forward to your post later this week... no mater what the topic.

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    1. With the Woody Woodpecker factor, my haircut does look cute. I think in two month if will be even cuter....if it's not to much trouble to style. But I still can't get over the fact that I didn't know she was growing it out!

      What a serendipity encounter for your shirttail relative!

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  5. When you first sit in the chair, doesn't she ask you what you want?!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Nope. I have been going to her every four weeks for about two years now and I don't recall her ever asking. But I usually tell her when I first sit down if I'm having an issue with something or if I especially liked something. Many months I have nothing to report.

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  6. I hope you write that three-year sadiversary blog. I've just passed the one-year mark as widow and I read your blogs with more than a casual interest. I thought I was doing really well myself until a neighbour whom I'd befriended casually over the years lost her husband in December. In the months leading up to his death she had been visiting me quite regularly for moral support as her husband deteriorated - she seemed to think I was some kind of expert in the business of grief and loss! But I've found that contact with her has dragged me right back into my own grief - made worse by the fact that I feel I should try and disguise this when she comes round. She doesn't need to see that in some ways the loss never ends. Everyone is telling her that time heals etc. etc. I was pleased that I had a longtime commitment to be away for ten days over the holidays. And she had family here during that time so was well supported. Now I'm back, her family have gone home and I really don't know how to 'be there' for her when she comes round, without myself spiraling back down that slippery slide into full-blown grief. Luckily, all she seems to want is to talk to a sympathetic listener. But I feel such a fraud. And then she goes away and I'm left to deal with my own sadness. What a tricky thing this 'coping' business is. I am thankful I have a couple of newfound interests (a choral group, secretary of the local garden club) to fill up some hours, and of course my all-consuming garden. And when I think I'm really needing more, I can jump into the car and drive an hour to stay with my daughter and soak up the love and energy I feel from being with my three-year old granddaughter. One foot in front of the other, eh?

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    1. I can identify with your issue with dealing with your neighbor's grief drawing you back into your own. I can't spend time at the widow's support site anymore for the same reason...that and it seems like some widows really don't try to help themselves and I know how unfair it is to make that kind of judgement based on message board posts. People are usually drawn to those places when they are feeling at the worst. A year into the grieving process is really still fresh and for self preservation you may have to find a way to let your neighbor know that you are still working of "widowhood" and don't have all the answers. Yup, it IS one foot in front of the other, done over and over again.

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    2. I just want to mention that I think it's great that you reply to comments as you do. I'm sure that takes a lot of time, but it does enhance the experience of following your blog. (Now you DON'T need to reply to this!) But I do agree with you that some widows do appear to want to wallow in the grief. I never wanted that - but sometimes I think my determination to get on with living did disguise (too effectively) my own need for comfort. But you are right that I should be more honest with my neighbour and let her see that she is not alone and that her agreeing to come out for a Thai meal with me, for example, is as much a help to me as it might be to her.

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    3. I reply for self-serving reasons. LOL I want to encourage more comments and hope it helps to know that you were heard when you do. Hope it works out better with your neighbor to be more open.

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  7. I would also like add to the chorus that your blog posts are interesting. I, too, didn't realize that you had certain days that you blog (although I did realize that you write on Sunday). I have decided that I am a slow thinker because for a few weeks now I have been reading your posts and thinking about them. By the time that I have thought enough to reply a few days have passed and another post has appeared with different and equally thoughtful ideas! You do give me things to think about so thank you!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. My posting schedule isn't set in stone. I just say weekends and mid week but sometimes it ends up to be two times mid week if something interesting is going on in my life of my head. I'm very grateful to people like you who take the time to let me know that they identify with some of the things I write about. It's hard sometimes to look at the view counter going up so much and wondering, "Who are all those people, where are they from and what makes them come here?"

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  8. I am wanting to do something different with my hair. All my stylist says is, "Same as last time?" and I say, "Yup". BTW--I thought a Pixie Cut was very short and close to the head--that's the way my girls wore theirs when they were young. Cute little wisps coming down on their cheeks and short bangs. What do I know? ABSOLUTLEY NUTTIN', HONEY!

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    1. If you google 'pixie' you'll see they've changed the meaning of the word since we were young. Now, pixies can still be like we remembered (very short with wisps) but more often they are very short in back with long, sweeping bangs in the front. I know I was confused by her saying that until I got home and googled it.

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    2. I just googled pixie. I knew the haircut you were talking about the minute I read your description, but had no idea it was called a pixie. You see them everywhere. So cute. I bet you'll like it.

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    3. Me neither. I always think of Peter Pan when I think pixie but apparently they've changed terms since the olden days. LOL I'm liking my hair more and mover every day since my haircut.I think I will like it if it's not too much trouble to style after showers.

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  9. good morning dear! sorry to be so late making rounds, i am trying to catch up today. it's been crazy around here but today is relaxing finally. my hairdresser wants to change my hair too. i think they get tired of doing the same thing but all i let her do was make me go natural (sometimes) and have it curly. i still wear it the same old way sometimes too but don't tell her.

    smiles, bee
    xoxo

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    1. I think you are so right about hairdressers wanting to do something different, to update us for the times. But we've had lots of different things over our life times that it gets tiring to change....

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