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, October 14, 2015

Missed Opportunities




My social life is nonexistent at the moment and not because I didn’t have events written on my day planner. It’s nonexistent because I’m not paying close enough attention to life beyond the downsizing rut/routine I’ve been in the past two months. Saturday I was supposed to go to a yearly Red Hat Society party which was one of the two super-sized, dress-up events of the year. I was looking forward to it but I got so distracted getting stuff ready for auction that I totally forgot on Friday to lay out my Red Hat garb. Saturday morning, I got up and went to recycling, Goodwill, the farmers market and grocery store….just like I do any other Saturday and it wasn’t until Sunday that I realized I missed the party! Crap.

Monday I made my weekly trip to the auction house---only one or two more to make before I’ll switch to eBay for a winter of serious downsizing. It's bittersweet to see so many of Don's things disappear from the house but at least it feels like I'm moving forward, making good progress. Even if I end up staying in this house at least I'll be making it mine instead of living with the past so up front and center. I'm not getting rid of all of his stuff. With a lot of things the decisions are easy but with others I ask myself, "Does this give me joy?" and if I answer ‘yes’, I keep it. If I can’t decide I set it aside and revisit that decision another day.

While driving to auction house I heard a song on the radio called Amazed by Lonestar. It’s one that never, ever fails to give me erotic thoughts and daydreams of being young and newly in love with Don.

“Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams”

“I can hear your thoughts. I can see your dreams.” We never lost that in all the years we were together and I still miss sharing that kind of depth with another person. We widows sure handle that missing-the-deep-stuff differently, don’t we. One widow friend is a dating machine, trying to find a new man. That’s not for me. At a widow’s blog I visit occasionally she says she still cries a lot and her husband died around the same time as Don. That's not me either. All three of us are lonely in crowd, so to speak. We all get out and about with friends and have activities going on in our lives, but it’s not enough. Why isn't it enough?

Before I talk myself into a melancholy mood I’m switching to a new topic: my non-existent Tuesday social event. I was supposed to go to a Write and Share Meetup and this time I was determined not to miss it like I did with the Red Hat party. I packed up my stuff and got to the library where we’ve been meeting the second Tuesday every month since the group started but instead of a room filled with would-be writers little kids were waiting for story time. I checked with the librarian to see if they had moved ‘Write and Share’ to another room and she couldn’t find a room reservation anywhere. “I just got the email reminder yesterday,” I said. “You’re probably at the wrong library branch,” she replied. When I got home I went to the MeetUp website and thankfully I wasn’t the only one who had the same experience. I say “thankfully” because between missing this and the Red Hat party I was getting seriously worried about my brainpower petering out. This morning the organizer of ‘Write and Share’ sent an email and I quote: “Oh crap! I’ll get this straighten out before next month.” Oh, crap indeed. It seems the organizer thought the room was reserved until further notice but it was only reserved for the summer.

Friday is redemption day. My Movie and Lunch Club is supposed to meet and I’m determined nothing short of an earth quake is going to keep me from a date with Tom Hanks and iHop. The movie, The Bridge of Spies, is one I am looking forward to seeing. But I have a confusion to make. I had it written on my day planner for next Friday the 23rd instead of the 16th.  Thankfully, they sent an email reminder. Please tell me I’m not the only screw up! ©





15 comments:

  1. Don't feel bad about forgetting stuff. We do it all the time and then laugh at what we missed that we wanted to do. Often we want to do something then change our minds and decide to do something else. Life gets in the way.

    Loved the video. Not heard that song in a long time.

    Have a fabulous day and enjoy the movie. ☺

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    1. I seem to hear that video every time I go to the auction house. I keep thinking the universe is trying to talk to me. LOL

      I'm glad I'm not the only one to forget stuff!

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  2. Oh gosh! Kinda makes one feel like an idiot .... but not necessarily an old age thing. A friend of mine always had a Christmas open house the Sunday before Christmas. One year we showed up on Sunday .... and the party had been changed to Saturday. She was so gracious ... we had some leftover treats and coffee and a private party.

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    1. I rarely ever forget stuff like this in the past. Kind of shook me up when I realized what I did. My niece once showed up for a party a day early. Not as bad as showing up a day late. LOL

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  3. Jean, no you are not "the only screw up!" as evidenced by the 'Write and Share' organizer, ha ha! When one is really preoccupied with a lengthy project, many other balls get dropped. Things get forgotten! // You ask why friends/activities are not enough. My thought is that love is missing. Friends like us. Activities provide recreation or entertainment. But that LOVE that one had with a spouse is gone. (I don't mean physical love either.) No one "worries" 24/7 about me or my children or my home now. I "worried/cared/planned" for my husband and he for me (and our children and our home.) That's what I find is missing, that 24/7 concern/love. Ann in IL

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    1. The organizer is going through treatments for cancer. So I can see why she screw up.

      Ah, yes, love is what is missing, isn't it. The 24/7 concern/love is what I miss the most. I could be dead a few weeks before anyone would miss me. That's scary! Ah, but for $3 a month I could get a phone call from 'Great Calls' to check on me. For my 80th birthday I will sign up. LOL

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  4. I just looked at my calendar for next week. My daughter Karen's birthday is on the 24th. I however, have it written down on the 23rd.

    I don't want to date and I rarely cry for missing my Freddie.I still haven't seen any videos of him that my sister or kids may have taken at a family gathering and I don't think I will. That is something that would just bust me apart, probably.

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    1. It would be hard to see a video, I think. I have one of Don but I haven't looked at it since before he died. I did listen to a recording of his voice and that was a strange mixture of happy-to-hear-it and sadness.

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  5. “I can hear your thoughts. I can see your dreams.” Ooh. I got goose bumps with this phrase. Thank you for reminding me - it's been so long. It's a delicious memory : -)

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    1. Don't thank me, thank Lonestar. Every time I hear that song it gives me---as you say---delicious memories. Wouldn't you love to be able to write things that connect with others on such a deep level. I know people make fun of country music but some of it is really great in terms of evoking memories.

      Hope all is well in your world. I miss your blogs.

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    2. I wondered if you missed me. ; -) I plan to resume posting when I get back from Kauai, next month.

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  6. That "forgetting thing" is annoying, but it's easy to forget when you're absorbed in something else, like your downsizing. I continue to be impressed. I think it's probably more difficult for you to make those crucial decisions than it was for me. You have more stuff, and so much of it is "good" stuff as well as sentimental. Don't get me wrong, we had plenty to go through, but I was in the right frame of mind by the end, when we had to get down to the hardest decisions. You could say I was motivated to start a new phase of life. That "new phase" thing really gets a person motivated. I don't miss anything we gave up. I'm surprised. Usually when you get rid of so much stuff at once, there's at least one thing you regret.

    Music can stir strong feelings more quickly than almost anything, can't it? It really reaches in there and turns things over. My brother-in-law remarried so quickly after my sister's death, it made my head spin. It seems that widowers are more likely to remarry than widows. Maybe that's because there are more women available than men at that age, but I also think men may not cope with being alone as well as some of us women do. Just a theory.

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    1. A have regretted that a few things went so much cheaper than I could have gotten on eBay but then a few things went higher at the local auction house than I could have gotten on eBay, so it all works out. I am motivated though, and in the right frame of mind. With auctions, they always tell you to look at the total at the end of the sale and not get bogged down in the details. I know when I'm done I'll love what I have left even more.

      I think you are exactly right about everything you've said about men remarrying after their wives die. Aside from them not coping as well alone, they have a bigger pool to play in. Plus some older women are aggressive with widowers. The don't stay "on the market" long. No theory about it, it's fact.

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  7. Recently, I signed up (and paid) for an all-day class at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and dutifully wrote it on my calendar. The night before the class, I was getting everything ready because I would need to be up and out early for the 90 minute drive to the Gardens, and I decided to look at the announcement for the class to see what building it was being held in. That's when I noticed that I had written the wrong date on my calendar and had already missed the class. Aargh! (I think most of us did these things when we were young, too, we just weren't primed to notice and worry about them so much then.) -Jean

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    1. That's a great point about doing those kinds of things when we're younger only back then we didn't worry about them being a sign of anything to fear. What a bummer to pay for an all day class and miss it. You win over my Red Hat party. :)

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