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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Guilt and Grief on the Pantry Shelves, Dusty Bunnies under the Bed

I need a job. A reason to get up in the morning other than I might wet the bed if I don’t head for the bathroom before the clock strikes nine. Bedroom clocks, of course, no longer strike the time. They display it. Saying the clock strikes nine dates me---but I’m getting side-tracked here in old people-speak. Back on topic: sometimes I stay in bed until the last possible minute trying hard to hold on to a dream. I like my dream life even though it often leaves me wondering why that, why now? Lately Mom, Dad and Don have been coming to visit in the night. What does that mean? Sometimes I’m so busy in my dreams it’s a wonder I don’t wake up needing a nap. Last night I was riding in the back of a windowless bus with Don, trying to get the driver’s attention so she’d let us off.

A job isn’t really on my wish list. Human contact is what I’d tell Santa I need if he asked and could actually deliver. Let’s face it, when you find yourself listening to more than a few seconds of a Robocall you know it’s time to get out of the house and find out if you still know how to exchange meaningless chit-chat with strangers. Thus yesterday I found myself out Christmas shopping, kind of a pitiful excuse since I don’t have anyone to buy for now that Don is gone. Woo is me, so I bought myself a small crock pot in honor of living alone, and a magenta bathrobe that is guaranteed to leave a trail of colorful dust bunnies where ever I go. And that’s no joke.

A few years ago I took the dog to the veterinary because he had a bright purple nose. I was really worried. The diagnosis was “it’s a fungus” and the cure, he said, “was worse than the disease.” He was a quack! The next week our dog groomer picked all the crusty, purple stuff off the dog’s nose and showed it to me. A light bulb went off in my head. It was exactly that same color as my new, purple chenille bathrobe. Turned out the cure for the “fungus” was a good vacuuming. Apparently, colorful dust bunnies are more fun to smell than the run of the mill nondescript color. The vet was right about one thing, though. It did end up costing a lot because the whole episode made me realize I needed a stronger pair of eye glasses. Old people, what are you going to do with us? You can’t take us all out behind the barn and shoot us. Well, you could but that would be cruel.

I’ve been cleaning and rearranging my kitchen cabinets but when I got to the pantry shelves I got bogged down and stopped. I don’t cook much since Don died so I have a lot of pantry stuff that has either expired or is about to. In the first few months after he died I wouldn’t let any visitor leave the house without a “door prize”---something from the pantry that Don loved but I knew I’d never fix again. I had more door prizes than visitors causing several irrational panic attacks thinking about that food going to waste. Now it’s starting all over again…those guilty feelings over wasting food. My mother really did a number on me growing up. She still has me believing kids in China will starve to death if I don’t clean my plate and in the adult version that dictates you must use up pantry goods before they expire. Waste is bad. Jean is bad for wasting food! People in third world countries would kill for my expired flour, macaroni and baking power. I wish I could dial 1 (800) HELP-ME! and someone would come purge my pantry.

Oh, I’ll get my cabinets done by the end of the year but not without more dreamed filled nights. My subconscious mind is trying to send me a message about guilt, grief, discontentment and lack of control but my darn kidneys won’t let me stay asleep long enough to decipher it. But one thing I do know. I’m going to check under the bed for magenta colored dusty bunnies on a regular basis. There will be no more “nose fungus” in this house! ©


  1. Just a thought on human contact. When Mike was told he could no longer work, but was in an up cycle of chemo, he would go to the local school and listen to first graders read and teach them how to count coins. He loved doing this and it gave him a purpose past waiting to die. Call your local school district and see if they allow volunteering!

    I really enjoy your musings.....

  2. Thanks for the comment and suggestion. It's a good one. I know I need to do something and probably in the volunteering department of life. There is a large sculpture gardens and museum in town and I've been thinking about going through their program for volunteers next spring to see if that would be a good fit for me.

  3. We just finished reading your post. Mama kept laughing that Levi ate your bathrobe. At least the purple nose was not a serious issue.

    Mama also can identify with your statement that kids in China would starve to death if you didn't finish everything on your plate. Except in Mama's case it was both her parents and they used to tell her it was the skinny Biafran (sp?)kids.

    Love -

    Hershey and Kaci

  4. Hi Hershey and Kaci. Levi sure wishes you guys lived near by so you all could have some play dates together. Thanks for sharing your human's reactions to my blog. You make me wish Levi was still writing his.