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. (Just remember I'm looking through my prism which may or may not be the full story.) Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Live Long and Prosper

I’ve been practicing the Vulcan Salute lately---hey, we all need a new hobby once in a while. I was have trouble keeping the last two digits on my hand together when I spread my other fingers to show the  required space in between the middle and ring fingers,  but I guess I’m not the only one who finds it difficult. A lot of actors in the Star Trek series, I read, had to position their fingers off camera with their other hand before going on camera with the salute while they said the Vulcan Blessing of, “live long and prosper.” For training purposes tape helps, though, so let it be known if I die with two fingers Scotch-taped together you’ll know why.

I had three great-aunts who all lived to be over 100, the oldest being 104 when she died. The sisters worked together right up to a year or less before they died in 1980s. In their younger years they had inherited their father’s newspaper in a small town and after the newspaper went out of business many, many decades later the sisters used their printing presses and old-fashioned type setting skills to print wedding invitations, programs for school events, business cards and flyers, etc. It’s always fascinated me that brides would trust women over 100 not die before they got their invitation orders filled.

One of the sisters was a colorful character, a staunch political activist who wrote books on local history and she was a frequent guest speaker at the local school and a near-by university. Like me, she never took her husband’s last name when she married only she did it long before the Women’s Movement came along. She didn’t want to lose the name connection with our ancestors who are minor figures in the history books. She’s my role model for how to age well and since I’m hoping I’m lucky enough to share the sisters’ longevity gene I suppose I need a game plan for the next 30 years of my life. The only trouble is my game plan hasn’t gotten past the thinking stage and the idea that I need to learn the Vulcan Salute. If I was twenty and trying to figure out what to do with rest of my life I’d cut myself some slack for not being able to do it with the snap of the fingers and the can-do attitude of a five-star general. Darn, I’m getting antsy over my future!

Earlier today I had the TV on and I heard the actor who plays Jack on The Young and the Restless say in an interview that he never gets tired of playing the role because Jack has such rich history. “I’m forever writing Jack’s story,” he added. Then this afternoon in the car I heard Alan Jackson singing, “I’m a work in progress…be patient with me.” Put together, I couldn’t help thinking the universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe something like what Rasheed Ogunlaru said in this quote: “Legacy is not what's left tomorrow when you're gone. It's what you give, create, impact and contribute today while you're here that then happens to live on.” I don’t think my aunts, while they were alive, gave a thought to their legacy but they left one all the same. Their life’s work plus that of their father’s before them is now archived at a university in the form of bound copies of every single issue their newspaper put out from start to finish---a legacy of 100 books for 100 years of small town history.

While waiting for a red light today I actually discovered the secret for learning the Vulcan Salute---at least for me. If you put your outside digits together first before trying to create the space in between the middle and ring fingers it’s much easier to achieve the salute than pairing your other two fingers first. But something is strange. I’m a left-handed human but I can only do the Vulcan Salute with my right hand which makes me wonder if I’m half-Vulcan like Mr. Spock. ©

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
John Lennon.

Hear that Ms. Widow Lady?
Time’s a ticking….


  1. I love the story of your great aunts; they sound like marvelous role models. (Oh, and thanks for the tip on achieving the Vulcan salute :-)) -Jean

  2. Usually when I tell people I want to live to be 100 I get negative responses from people who have no desire to do so. Finally it dawned on me that not everyone has such great role models in their lives for how to age with so much grace and spirit.

    Live long and prosper in your retirement.... :)

  3. Live long and prosper, sister! says this left handed gal with her right hand salute.

    I, too, have a great role model in my father, who will turn 100 in May. When my Mom died, we cheered him on to his next chapter, and indeed, he found happiness and companionship. He now has befriended a few ladies, and only recently turned his car keys over to his kids. He's a sweetie I hope to emulate.

    We young folk have to stick together, because these next few decades could be mighty interesting. Keep us posted on your game plan.


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