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, May 11, 2012

My Widowhood Business Cards

“A widow is a fascinating being with the flavor of maturity, the spice of experience, the piquancy of novelty, the tang of practiced coquetry, and the halo of one man's approval.” 

Helen Rowland

Oh, my God, that is so NOT me! Helen Rowland was a humorist as well as a journalist so maybe she meant those words tongue-in-cheek. But I do like the phrases “flavor of maturity” and “the spice of experience” and I’m thinking of using them on my new business cards. Yes, I use calling cards aka business cards---hokey but true. I’ve never liked repeating my contact information to people in pubic and cards give me some measure of privacy. Call me paranoid but the practice started a long time ago when I was young and vulnerable and I see no reason to change as I slide into being old and vulnerable. I thought about using the pompous byline of “Widow Extraordinaire” on my new cards but then someone might ask me what is so extraordinary about me and I have to admit not a darn thing. “Caregiver Extraordinaire”---I could have stated that on my old cards without exaggerating but then I had nearly twelve years to perfect the role. Now, I’m a newbie at the widow walk and I’m just doing the best I can.

I was so excited yesterday. I finally sold Don’s power wheelchair after advertising it for nearly two months. Hallelujah! No more depressing thoughts every time I’d walk past it, but the most exciting part of the whole transaction is who bought it. The guy was also a stroke survivor with a great outlook on life---just like Don had---and before retiring he was a historian with our local museum. Several of the books he wrote are sitting in my library but Don would have scolded me for  passing up the opportunity to get them autographed. Don would have loved that. Missed opportunity or not, I couldn’t be happier that something Don loved as much as his new power chair ended up with someone he respected so much. The stars aligned just right and I got lucky on that feel-good deal.
When the historian left, I wanted to share the news with someone and wouldn’t you know it, the first person that crossed my mind who’d understand the sources of my happiness was Don. Crazy isn’t it. Nearly four months out and I’m still having those moments---little flashes really---where I forget he’s gone. It’s normal, I'm told by other widows, but “normal” still leaves you feeling a little sad. So who does a recent widow call when the one person you really want to talk to is gone? I’m still trying to figure that out. Most of the time I can say that I’m alone but I’m not lonely. When I want to share something but don’t know anyone to share it with is not one of those times. So I decided I’m just going to have to work harder on expanding Levi’s vocabulary. He understands “no, you can’t have another treat”, “let’s go for a walk” and a dozen other phrases but he doesn’t get, “let me tell you what just happened!” Or maybe he does understand my inane attempts at explaining my current moods and he’s just thinking what humorist Dave Barry says all dogs think at times like that: I may lick myself in public, but I’d never say anything as stupid as that. And that leads me to an idea for a byline for my new business cards. Maybe they could read: 'In Training for the Craziest Widow of 2012 Contest!  ©

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