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, March 9, 2012
“I’ll tell you!” that damn voice in my head is whispering. “You’re running out of things on your Must-Do list---nothing left to focus on, nothing left to make you feel in control. The fog is lifting and you can see the future better. You---”
Oh, shut the you-know-what up! I answer back---oh, God, I’m arguing with myself again! And I’m beginning to think there is something physical wrong with me because half the time when I’m crying I can’t speak, can’t get any words out to explain my actions. The irony of that, given Don’s language disorders these past 11+ years, has not been lost. But did I learn anything from him? No. I end up waving my arms and turning my back until I get my voice back again. If it had been Don he would have grabbed the hand of person in front of him and made that person study his eyes, his expression until they could read him like a book.
Today at the grocery store I finally had the courage to tell my husband’s favorite cashier that Don had passed away. It’s a big store and I’ve been avoiding her by going on her day off or in and out a different door than I used to do when Don was with me. She said: “I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been seeing him lately,” and that’s when I lost it. She’s a college kid who is studying to be an occupational therapist so she’d taken a special interest in Don and his various disabilities. While I shopped, Don liked to park his wheelchair at the end of her lane where she’d talk to him in between customers.
One thing I learned over the years since Don’s stroke is there are a lot more compassionate human beings in the world than apathetic or callus people. That fact was brought home today as I was leaving the store and the greeter took one look at me and said: “Are you still having a hard time?” My first thought was, “Well, duh, do you see anyone else leaving the check out lanes looking like an escapee from an onion dicing production line?” (Think Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory with the candy coming down the line faster than she could put them in the boxes. Dice, dice, dice!---me stuffing onions in my bra because I couldn’t keep up, my eyes red and weepy as I go faster and faster.) Ya, I was having a hard time.
But thankfully I didn’t say what I was thinking and brand myself to be crappy old lady on top of being a weepy widow. True to form, the greeter took the time to talk with me and make sure I was safe to drive. She was another person at the store who got a kick out of seeing Don roll in the door. We couldn’t go anywhere just two anonymous people blending in with the crowd. But that will change and I will have to get to know myself all over again, one pea instead of two in the pod. Oh well, as Robert Frost once said: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned in life: it goes on.” And so will mine. ©