Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Box Full of Wishes

My oldest friend in the world sent me a small box in the mail. Not just any old store-bought box. This one was made of paper and it came with instructions on how to put it together. A tiny note was attached to what became the bottom of the box and it said the box was overflowing with good wishes. A red stain ribbon to tie the lid in place---I presume so the wishes can’t get out---completed the gift. It brought a warm smile to my face. My out-of-state friend couldn’t know this because we hadn’t seen each other in years but I have a fascination for the way boxes go together. I’m always bringing odd-shaped fast food boxes home to deconstruct just because….well, just because I admire the creativity that goes into designing them. That, or maybe in another life I was a Geisha girl who did Origami in my spare time. There must be some explanation for why I’ve always hated serving beverages to able-bodied men and love small paper boxes. Gloria Steinem’s Feminine Mystique didn’t have a thing to do with it, I’m almost sure.

I put the box full of wishes by my computer for inspiration, trying to decide what kinds of wishes I’d put in the box if it hadn’t already come fully loaded with my friend’s wishes for me. It reminded me of Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle song. I must have heard it a hundred times in the 40 years since the singer-song writer wrote it but I had to look up the lyrics to make sure I got them right. Where has the time gone? I didn’t remember or maybe I never knew the back story about Time in a Bottle, how Jim wrote it for his baby son not long before Jim died in a plane crash. That fact sure puts a different twist to the song. Life is such a fragile thing.

“If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you.”

Off and on all day I thought about the wishes I’d add to my little box of wishes from my friend. My thoughts ranged from wishing for one more day with Don to wishing I could work through the grief process at a faster pace to wishing I knew what Jim’s son thinks about his father’s words so long ago. But finally I decided that I want the same thing Jim said he already had in his box---empty space where unfulfilled wishes and dreams used to be. What a joyful thought! And in most ways, I already do have that. Don and I had a good life together. I have great memories and few regrets. Few unfulfilled wishes as a couple. But as more wishes and dreams do evolve from this widowhood phase of life, I will tie them securely in my paper box with the red satin ribbon and keep them there until I figure out how to make them come true. ©

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