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, June 14, 2012

The Misadventures of Levi

Unless you’re a dog owner you probably won’t understand how embarrassing it was to have Levi bring me his ball and ever so politely drop it at my feet while I was sitting on the toilet. Embarrassing because: 1) who really wants their privacy invaded at a time like that---even by your dog; 2) how neglected does your dog have to feel when the only time he can find you sitting still long enough to throw a ball is when you’re in the bathroom; and 3) granted his life is more boring than mine but, really, who does he think he is bossing me around like that? As I sat there I imagined drawing a cartoon of the situation and wondering what kinds of things I could write in the word balloon above Levi’s head. Maybe something like: “You humans claim to be good at multi-tasking. Prove it,” or “if you didn’t want me in here then you should have closed the door,” or “you’re always watching me poop. What’s the big deal if I watch you?”

That afternoon guilt drove me to arrange a play date for Levi with his cousin Ted and when we all got to the dog park there was a giant Doberman pinscher running in the large dog pen. Ted’s mom and I put our two babies in the small dog area but all the three dogs did was chase each other up and down the common fence. So we decide to put them together and see what developed. It was no small leap of faith to pair these dogs up. The Doberman weighed 178 pounds to Levi’s 27 and Ted’s 20. But as I looked the Doberman over for battle scarred from fighting, and to see if he had blood dripping from his chin from easting a kitten for lunch, his owner assured us that when his sleek, black giant was wearing his shock collar he wouldn’t dare misbehave. And he didn’t. He seemed to take great delight at getting Ted to chase him around, the giant staying just out of his reach while he looked back with a silly grin on his canine face. Levi, for the most part, ignored the other two dogs while he went off to the weedy end of the park to find some poison ivy he could bring home on his fur. Last summer he went weed walking and it cost me over a $150 in doctor bills. I don’t just get poison ivy, I’m allergic to it.

Today I was packing an e-Bay box for Fedex and Levi started in with his mind reading parlor tricks, parking himself in front of the door to the garage and barking excitedly. The message couldn’t have been clearer. It was if one of those cartoonist’s word balloons appeared over his head saying, “Fedex is right next door to the pet store and I want to go shopping!” So off we went to a place where Levi can touch noses with the rabbits and cats in cages, pick out his own treats after a great deal of deliberation, and get the best darn cooing pets and hugs in the city from the cashiers. Chow Hound is Levi’s Planet Hollywood.

After Planet Hollywood I took Levi down to the ‘Plaza of Recognition’ to find the memorial brick placed there recently in Don’s memory. It was the first time I’d seen it and I know Don would have been pleased with its location. I sat there for the longest time listening to the water going over the near-by dam, smelling the flowers all around me, and feeling the sun warm on my skin. With a smile in my heart I replayed in my mind all the times I’d brought Don and his wheelchair to that river side park---the outdoor concerts, the art shows and near-by farmer’s market or to just watch the fly fisherman standing in the water on the down side of the dam. I did good, taking care of him, gave him a good quality of life despite his disabilities.

In a few days it will be exactly five months since Don’s passing, one month short of the supposed half way point in the mourning process. Life goes on. I am going on one foot in front of the other, one dog walk after another and one e-Bay sale after another. Levi still tells me he wants a puppy to “replace Don”---his words, not mine---and I keep telling him he has to wait until our year of mourning is up to see if he still feels the same way then. In the meantime I think I’ll start closing the bathroom door in the mornings.  ©


  1. Jean :

    is the picture where you have put Don's name? if it is. you chose well, its beautiful place. I hope and pray you know in you heart that you did great job in giving good quality of life to Don, you were fantastic caregiver & great mentors to lot of other newbies who were all starting scared on their path of recovery. I know this cause I know without you I would not have courage to hang on.


  2. Yes. In the top picture on the left hand side you can see two pillars of brick. His brick is right in that area.

    You are so sweet to say that other stuff about me, but you know it was YOU who helped yourself recover and hang in there. Don't ever forget that...not to mention your husband was pretty supportive as well.