Fast forward through the day and as I write this it's three o'clock in the wee hours of the night/morning and even an Ambien didn't put me to sleep two hours ago when I took it. So I'm sitting here with my next drug of choice: Ben and Jerry's AmericCon Dream. If you're a fan of Stephen Colbert's like I am you'll understand why this flavor of ice cream started jumping into my supermarket basket a few years back.
I think my body fights falling asleep because waking up in the mornings is the hardest time of the day for me. I’m either on the edge of a dream I don’t want to let go or Don’s empty side of the bed often reminds me that I have another day ahead with no meaningful human contact. This stage of the grieving process---six months out from Don’s passing---feels like being stuck in between a rock and a hard place. The past (the rock) is over and we widows know we can’t live there, but the future (the hard place) is taking its sweet-ass time unfolding. I long for the time when living in the moment comes back in full focus, when I have all my ducks in a row to transition into the next stage of my life. In the meantime, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the widowhood paperwork that one has to do. Yesterday I went down to the township offices to pay my summer property taxes and to ask about the procedure to get Don’s name off the tax roles. I was informed I have to file a quick claim. Oh, goody. Add one more reason I have to have paperwork notarized to the other two I got last week at the lawyer’s office.
This week I RSVPed three ‘yeses’ to events at the senior center. One RSVP was for an ice cream social, another for a classic film festival. Whoopie doo, a hot time in the life of an elderly widow! Well, it’s a start. It’s human contact that comes with free ice cream and pop corn. I am looking forward to the fall color bus tour, though---the third RSVP. I haven’t been up north to the bridge in over twelve years. Going with a bus load of seniors and with only one bathroom on board should be interesting. I assume those buses have a bathroom on board, if they don’t I’m in trouble. My old kidneys are roughly on the same schedule as a little kid’s. Oh, my God will I ever quit looking for reasons to worry? I will go on the day trip, I won’t pee my pants. I will bond with a bunch of people in my age bracket. And if I don’t bond over those twelve hours on the bus I’d better come home with a basket full of good reasons that doesn’t include I didn’t try hard enough.
Did I tell you I used to have quite a reputation for being a connoisseur of ice cream? When Don and I first started dating he teased me unmercifully about my ice cream “addiction.” He said I couldn’t pass up a cone shop if my life depended on it and he took the photo posted with this blog during one of his teasing sessions. For my birthday one year he went to a local ice cream factory and got me a twenty gallon can of my favorite flavor. Those heavy, metal dairy cans were meant for commercial use only but that didn’t deter Don from talking his way into buying one.
The next year he gave me a sculpture of a girl eating an ice cream cone and I made him take it back. I was sure it would be like a bell to Pavlov’s dog, producing a conditioned reflex that would make me want ice cream every time I walked by it. I wish I had that sculpture now only because making him return it hurt his feelings---so much so that I never did that again. However, there were more than a few times when I could have made good use of a rubber stamp proclaiming “return for a refund.” Darn it! In my defense he did have some goofy ideas in the gift buying department. But that was Don---silly, outlandish quirks and all. Exhibit one: The Valentine’s Day Gift ©
|Me - Circa 1972|