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, April 5, 2012

My $15.00 a Month Friend

One of the hardest parts of widowhood to get used to is not being number one in anyone’s life, of not having someone who would know right away if I disappeared off the face of the earth. I could be lying hurt in the basement for weeks then die of starvation before anyone would think to come looking for me and that would probably be a neighbor wondering what the awful smell was coming from the house next door. For the past few years I never went downstairs or to the back yard without telling Don to call 911 if I didn’t show back up in a timely manner. Even before his stroke, Don and I always knew where the other one was at any given time and there was comfort and security in knowing someone worried if you didn’t show up at predictable intervals.

Not being able to teach the dog to dial 911 I bought myself a “friend” who I can call when I get myself in trouble. Yup, if I have car trouble, hear a strange noise in the night, fall and can’t get up, lock myself out of the house or I’m having a medical emergency I now have a 5 Star Urgent Responder to talk me through it and hook me up with the right service or person on my call list. They can even help the police track me using GPS should I get kidnapped while standing in front of the senior center. Well, it could happen! A psychopath with a fetish for gray hair and sensible shoes could come along.

Heck the whole world could track me if I cared to publish my account password. Sorry world I’m only going to give it to my nieces. Seriously though, having a panic button with me sure takes the fear out of doing things like going on the nature trails alone. And as an added bonus, by the time I’m old enough to get lost going to places I’ve been to a hundred times before, I’ll be so used to having a panic button with me that it will be easy to use this modern technology to find me. Of course, by then if I get lost---or heaven forbid, kidnapped---and I hear a voice talking to me through the urgent responder clipped to my bra I’ll probably think it’s God telling me to stop walking and wait by the nearest tree for the police to come pick me up.

When you get a certain age you can’t help wondering who will be the first to die in your circle of friends of the same age. I don’t have to wonder any longer because it was my husband, Don. It wasn’t really a shock that he’d be the first, given that he wasn’t the healthiest kitten in the litter. Still, you’re never prepared for all the changes losing a spouse and best friend brings into your life. But I’m determined not to be like a few widows seem to be---stuck in a “poor me, why me” mind set. There’s a balance to everything in life, a yin and a yank, a positive to every negative. And in death there is both regret and gratitude. Regret that our relationship couldn’t go on forever and gratitude that I had Don in my life for as long as I did. I never want to lose track of that balance, and I hope the people who know me best won’t lose track of the fact that I’m now packing a 5 Star Urgent Responder. I don’t want anyone freaking out, thinking I’ve got one too many bats in my belfry should they see me talking to my cleavage. I want them to remember there could be an actual person---a $15.00 a month “friend”---on the other end of the conversation. ©

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