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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Accidental Matchmaker

How do I get myself into these things? Last week I was going to be in a town near-by where two old friends live, a man and a woman who both knew each other years ago but none of us have seen much of each other in recent decades. (He’s divorced and just moved back to town. She’s been a widow 5-6 months and, like me, she’d been in the caregiver role for many years before losing her husband.) So I called them both up and asked if they’d like to meet for lunch. They said yes and why not, we used to have fun together in the old days when we all had significant others and no emotional baggage to haul around. Lunch went well and we all agreed that we should meet for some of the summer outdoor music jams that are common in the area. Great! Well, great for them. The next day I got a call from the guy and he wanted her phone number so he can ask her out on a date. Judging by the fact that she had to hold back tears a few times during lunch when “widow talk” came up I seriously doubt she’s ready for romance, but that’s her choice to make and his demerit point to take for not noticing her watery eyes. Whatever her answer, the question alone is a game changer and I can probably count the music jams dead in the water. It’s no longer possible for us to just be three old friends hanging out together without me feeling like a fifth wheel. Hey, maybe I can take up matchmaking as a new hobby.

The next day I went to a tasting and recipe exchange event at a store that sells nothing but balsamic vinegar and olive oils. They carry 50 different kinds and they fill bottles from large urns when you make a purchase. I was on a mission: to find vinegar to make a healthy dressing for spinach---yes, I’m still on a kick to learn to eat better and I recently bought my very first bunch of fresh spinach, but I didn’t know what to do with it. Well, I do now and I can’t believe I just paid $18.00 for a bottle of vinegar! It’s from Modena, Italy and its supposedly aged 18 years in barrels made of chestnut and oak. You could practically drink it down like black wine, it’s that good. Before settling on a balsamic, the store owner talked about “pairings” and she mixed vinegars and oils together like a chemist. So, of course, I had to buy a herb infused olive oil as well. That’s when it occurred to me that I was using the services of a matchmaker just to buy a frigging bottle of vinegar.

I’ve got a couple of busy weeks coming up---sixteen appointments, lunches, bridal showers, classes, etc. spread out over twenty days. Plus Don’s and my birthdays and anniversary fall in the same time frame along with the anniversary of my mother’s passing. To commemorate these latter events one of my appointments involves going on my second annual pilgrimage to the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit. And I swear if a pair of them land on the floral print purse I bought special for the outing I’m going to smack one of them for living. I really wouldn’t do that but I would wonder if Don’s soul found a new friend and he’s bringing her by to meet me. Do you suppose they have matchmakers in the butterfly kingdom?

Speaking of matchmakers reminds me that a week after Don’s funeral, one of my relatives said she could picture him up in heaven holding court with a bunch of women sitting at his feet, hanging on his every word and I said, “Well, thank you very much for implanting the image in my head.” After some back and forth regarding whether or not I’d want him to be happy up in heaven I blurted out something like, “Not THAT happy!” His ashes hadn’t even come back from the crematory yet and she was matching him up with angels.Young, pretty angels. Now, almost 14 months later I’m contemplating butterfly homicide at the mere possibility that Don’s soul could be catching a ride on its wings with a new friend flying two-by-two at his side. Widowhood is turning me into an accident prone crazy person. How else can I explain pushing the cork down inside my very first bottle of expensive balsamic vinegar and matchmaking two old friends all in the same week that I have less than admirable thoughts about an innocent butterfly I haven't met yet?  ©


  1. Last fall I learned one of my husband's girlfriends prior to me had died. I was mad for weeks and it still bothers me at times. I was convinced they were now dating in heaven. I kept thinking how could he? I couldn't do that to him. Then a very dear friend told me to stop it. He's dead and you are living, what does "living" mean? I am with life, life is with me and I can sit inside my life or I can choose to experience life. But every once in awhile-I still have a brief moment when I wonder are they together? No!

  2. I'm glad you shared that and to know I'm not the only one who got jealous over what might go on in heaven. I can laugh at how silly that sounds---even to me---but still the idea that my husband could be emerged in happiness while I was so sad didn't set well with me when my sister-in-law first put that notion in my head. Just goes to show the head and the heart don't always agree. Thanks! Now I don't feel so crazy. LOL

  3. Yeah...but--aren't they just souls in Heaven? Do souls connect in a romantic way? See my rationale? Keeps me from going crazy thinking there might be a lovely lady going after MY Fred. If there is communication in Heaven, between "whatevers" I think of Fred talking to the baseball greats who have died--Okay. Makes for a better picture in my head, LOL

  4. If they have flea markets up there, that's where Don would be. LOL