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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Times Change and Husbands Die


Yesterday morning I watched my new 15 foot white pine tree get planted back in the area where earlier this summer I had to have three trees removed.  It wasn’t an easy planting because of all the tree roots underground that had to be cut out with an axes and the wooded space the Bob Cat had to work in was like a Chinese puzzle for the driver to solve. My new green friend is beautiful, though. It gives me back my sense of privacy and the tree was well worth the $600 I had to pay.

After the tree crew left I decided I need a new garden sculpture to use in front of a white decorative fence near-by and where some of my husband’s ashes reside. The two metal chickens I’ve been using by the fence are looking tacky so off I went on a mission to check out a country garden center, hoping to find a good sale. No such luck but I did manage to take a wrong turn coming home and ended up on a designated Nature Beauty road that wound around and up and down and finally brought me to a bridge where I could connect with a road I knew would take me home. I’d been lost in that ‘Bermuda Triangle’ before so I wasn’t too worried but it’s at times like that when I start missing my husband all over again. He was my GPS. He grew up in this end of town and knew all its secrets.

If I had a smart phone I could get an app to replace my husband’s knowledge of back roads and highways but sometimes it's a good thing to get lost. Life can get too hum-drum and predictable when we just go through the motions of living. We drift from place to place, from season to season without taking in the scenery that passes by. Then we get lost and we’re forced to take note of things like the ladder-like pattern of shadows on the road ahead cast by WPA trees planted in the 1930s, the sun-dabbled creek off in the distance, the sound of gravel crunching under car tires and an early sign of fall when you see a truck loaded apple crates leaving an orchard. Times change and husbands die and maybe using a GPS would be a constant reminder of those irrefutable facts? Maybe it’s better to get lost once in a while on a beautiful afternoon.

A couple of young guys came this week to clean my carpeting. I’m running behind. This is something I usually have done in the spring but back then I was a tad busy with my flooded basement followed closely on its heels by my broken arm. Life rolling along; there’s always something we can use for excuses for why we don’t do what should be done. The house looks and smells great again and the two cleaning techs had a real appreciation for art so it was fun seeing my house through their eyes. One of them was a college student, an aspiring artist, who stood in front a cowboy print for the longest time as fascinated by its detail as my husband and I were the day we bought the scratchboard.

It must be nice to be a college professor or someone in a career that brings them in contact with young people like these two guys. I fed off their enthusiasm and joy of seeing stuff they’d never seen before and I felt like they enjoyed hearing what I had to say. How cool is that! Old people are okay for me to hang around with---I am one, what else am I going to say? But septuagenarians don’t get excited over much anymore. Times change and husbands die and maybe I do really need to become a cougar after all? That is a JOKE, people. Don’t call the paddy wagon to haul me off to get my values tuned up at the local mental health hospital. What I’m trying to say is it’s been a long time since I’ve been around people who love to learn for learning’s sake. I was like that in my not too distant past and it was one of the things that bonded my husband and me. When kids come along like my carpet cleaners, I see myself and that makes me long to be young again.

On a different note May Sarton wrote something in a book I'm reading that speaks to me: “A life extended in a thousand directions risks dispersion and madness. A kite can fly only when it is held taut by a string in a hand and then catches the wind. Today I am a kite entangled in a tree and there is no one to free me for flight.”

Don held my string.
He helped me fly.
But times change
and husbands die.
I untangle myself
from tree after tree
but whether or not
I find wind again
remains to be seen. ©

* The frog up above is a garden statue I'm lusting after. The only reason I don't get it is because the place I need a statue is a little memorial corner of the yard and my husband wasn't into frogs, yoga or Zen.  Neither am I either but I love the silly expression on that frog's face.


  1. Love that frog. :) I bought some new meditation music recently and promised to give myself at least 10 minutes a day for meditation.

    I have no sense of direction. It's awful. My husband is my GPS, too. You're so right. Sometimes it is good to get lost or take a detour. It gets our attention and we have to be present and see what there is to see.

    Enjoy your new tree.

  2. I am! The tree fills up the entire view as I look over my shoulder and out my dining room window when I'm at my computer.

    Meditation music is great. I have some but don't put it on often enough.

  3. I love the back roads--I don't usually get lost. A farm girl has a great sense of direction, I guess. My neighbor lady's come over and talk about going north--and they are pointing south--oh well. I love the froggie too--I have a couple--not like that statue--just plain froggies. I had a nice experience with a young repair guy today. He was noticing my wooden carved people and wanted to know where they were from. I really like young people--I don't get along much with people my own age--they seem so....old!

    1. Hi Judy.
      Just stumbled on this sit. You use to post on WIDOWS SPEAK UP. miss reading your posts that you use to write. Hope your coming along ok.
      hugs, mar

  4. Judy, you make me laugh because I've often thought that people my own age are too old. Then I look in the mirror and I'm reminded that they probably think the same thing about me. In truth I don't think connecting with people has much to do with age but rather the connection comes from liking similar things.


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