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. Jean

Friday, April 6, 2012

No, Officer, It's Just my Husband

Oh my God, I can’t believe I have a box with Don’s ashes in the trunk of my car! Spur of the moment decisions always get me in trouble---not really, that’s just the message looping through my brain right now. But I am a schedule it kind of person. I don’t like surprises. This morning I took the dog down the nature trail in Don’s home town and afterwards I decided to swing around to the cemetery to see if the headstone for our joint grave had been placed. Sure enough, the sexton told me it was delivered yesterday and it’s just waiting on top of the grave site for the cement footing to be poured. I don’t know what made me decide to go to the cemetery today or to think the stone would be there, considering the only promise made on delivering the tombstone was: “it will be in place for Memorial Day.” That’s eight weeks away. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to question my intuition too closely or I’d scare myself to death….but this time I suspect Don was whispering in my ear while I was walking the White Pine Trail.

A lot of thoughts went through my head while I looked at the stone---scrambled, mixed up ideas along with bittersweet memories. But the main idea involved Duck tape. They say you can do anything with Duck tape so maybe I’ll just use some to cover up my name on the Vermont marble. It creeps me out seeing it preserved for all eternity! It’s bad enough that I have to see Don’s name etched deep and black against the unpolished background. What else could I do? He wanted a tombstone. He got it. He wanted “happy trails to you until we meet again” on the stone. He got it. See, things work out when you plan ahead. I just remembered those were the very last words I said to Don. He had passed just minutes before and he had such a sweet, angelic look of peace on his face. I’ll never forget that look. Damn it, I just made myself cry again!

A lot of the headstones near by ours have things glued on top or stuck in the ground: knickknacks of all descriptions---birdbaths, flowers, pinwheels, figurines, solar lights and wind chimes. Lots of wind chimes. We’re moving into a noisy neighborhood. I did some thinking about what Don would like on his side of the stone. Whatever I pick will probably have four wheels and goes “zoom, zoom!” in little boy talk. Or maybe a plastic Snoopy would do. He’d like that. On my side, maybe I’ll put my Fossil sundial watch. It’s always good to know what time it is when you’re in a cemetery.

On another spur of the moment decision I stopped at the near-by funeral home to arrange to do the interment of Don’s ashes on our anniversary which is coming up soon. While I was there the funeral director gave me a boxed, plastic bag with part of Don’s ashes to scatter at Lake Michigan this summer. That packet came with a document clearly spelling out the contents within “just in case you get stopped by the police.” Apparently cremated remains have been mistake for cocaine. That’s just what I’d need, to get arrested for transporting my husband around in a plastic bag! I just may leave him there in the trunk, though, until the day I go to the lake because those ashes sure kept me from speeding on the way home. Plus I haven’t had a vehicle with a trunk since the ‘70s and it seems fitting that Don gets the honor of being the very first “item” to get toted around town in my brand new trunk. It even has a glow-in-the-dark trunk release handle inside in case Don’s spirit wants to set his ashes free while I’m going down the highway. ©

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