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, April 27, 2019

Not the Best of Times...


As if I didn’t already have enough on my April plate now I have a car with a big boo-boo to add into the mix. I have no idea how it happened but my back bumper is bashed in, wide and deep. I can pin-point approximately when and where it happened because I got a car wash last week Wednesday and walked around the entire car before I left the place and it was fine and I’d only been to two places before I noticed the damage. The worst part is that one of the backup camera’s sensors is misdirected and therefore unreliable. I took the car over to the insurance company to report it and the agent told me they will waive the deductible since I wasn’t in the car. That was a nice surprise considering it will need a whole new back bumper and a few other parts and I have a $500 deductible.

So now I’m waiting for the insurance adjuster to call and he’ll probably ask if I have the insurance apt on my phone and “Can you I send a photo?” I’ll say, “No to the apt and only if I can email a photo from my computer.” I can’t take photos on my phone without my thumb included in the shot. And half the time when I try to take a photo I end up turning the phone off instead. That off/on button is right where old cameras have their shutter buttons and apparently I’m too old of a dog to learn new tricks. I’ll have to take the car up to the body shop to get an estimate soon. I haven’t had a claim in more than twenty-five years and I’ve been with the same company all those years. It should be a slam-dunk. But we shall see.

But a boo-boo on my car while annoying and time consuming is not a big deal. A big deal is what my nephew’s family is dealing with right now. His daughter just lost her husband. He was only 35 and he leaves behind two girls under three and a son due to be born this August. It was an unexpected death, a suspected pulmonary embolism. He died the day after Easter while she and their daughters were back here in Michigan for the holiday weekend. Like my mom dying on Easter, now another generation will forever have melancholy thoughts factored in their holiday memories. 

After graduating from college and getting married my great-niece and her husband moved to New York state to work at a religious camp and retreat on Lake Erie. In her case (and maybe his), she was answering a call she’d had most of her life to serve her church. She was filled with joy and totally happy with her life's projectory. They came back to Michigan often for holidays, parties, weddings, etc., and her parents visited them, too, but this time he wasn’t feeling well and decided to stay at home rather than make the long trip cooped up in a car. So she and the girls came back alone. I honestly don’t know how someone with two little ones and a baby on the way will get through this first year. It’s hard enough for widows in my age group who have chalked up more life experiences before losing our spouses. All I know for sure is she’ll have both their families and her church family to lean on and time will do the rest.

Another noteworthy happening in my week: A mini half-day trip I went on through the senior hall. They have a yearly trip labeled “Off the Beaten Path” and the destinations are always tiny towns where they drop us off at a museum and then we’re free to roam the main street shops and have lunch before the bus picks us back up a few hours later. They’re popular trips because most of us who go have a connection to these towns in our pasts. Newago, Michigan, where 50 of us went this week is not a place I had particularly warm, fuzzy feelings about but it’s got a rich history that starts back in 1600s with the French fur traders and voyageurs and includes Prohibition Era gangster Al Capone hanging out in the area. Canoeing and tubing on the Muskegon River are huge summertime draws in the area, but the speakeasies of Capone’s era now exist in the form of a micro brewer and a couple of bars. His lawyer’s former mansion is now a B&B and its said to have tunnels that once connected it to the speakeasies and brothel in the downtown area. Myth or reality, Al Capone and his gang left a mark on a lot of out-of-the-way places in my state and they’re all romanticized to serve the tourist trade. I guess we still love a good Robin Hood story and for some strange twist of reality we probably all assume we’d be on the receiving end of their crime spree and not on the taking-at-gun-point end. 

One thing I didn’t expect on our trip was a gourmet, mouthwatering lunch that was probably the best food I’ve had in years and at half the cost of city prices. That was not just my opinion. We were all rubbing our bellies and raving about the food. I brought home a mile high piece of rhubarb cake that melted in my mouth and made me regret that I didn’t also bring home a piece of the dark chocolate cheesecake and a lemon tart. Yes, a week with a minor car boo-boo and a major heart break should end with sweet treats. At least in my world. ©

 

27 comments:

  1. That is just so sad about your niece's husband. That is just too young and with such a young family. I hope her family steps up to help her.
    So you were hanging out in Capone territory? We use to entertain Capone in Hot Springs Arkansas years ago and yes, that helps our tourist trade also.
    That meal sounds amazing. Perhaps you all need to make a trip back there.

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    1. Her family and his will step up to help, I have no doubt. Still going to be hard given the distant and jobs.

      Al Capone was all over the country, wasn't he.

      That little town is not far away and the roads there are not that busy. I can see me getting back there again.

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  2. I look forward to your posts every Wednesday and Saturday. Today you have something sad, something interesting and something to make my mouth water. Thank you for writing.
    Genie

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    1. Thanks for following my blog. Always nice to meet another Gene, too.

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  3. Just awful..and we wonder why this would happen to a Christian. Where was God in all of this. Well...it wasn't God's doing, which I am sure she knows.A few years ago, my friends son got up from Father's Day dinner and dropped over dead. He had no signs of any problems, but he had one of those instant cardiac arrests--widow makers they are called. So tragic and it will be so much worse when the baby comes and her husband isn't there.
    This makes me very sad today.
    Al Capone loved his northern Michigan retreats.

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    1. Capone sure did love Michigan.

      I think "God" shows up in the form of all the love and support that is surrounding my great-niece right now. You should see some of the Facebook posts. They are/were obviously well loved in her church family as well blood family.

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  4. Jean :

    I am so sorry about your great niece's huaband's suden death, I so agree with you about God show up in form of love and support your great nice is getting right now. good & bad things happen to every one, but God is always by your side hlping you through during your bad times. I know this for fact. I have met such a wonderful set of friends and family who chose to stay by our side & supported us during my time of need. can't thank you enough.

    Asha

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    1. Bad things do happen to all of us, no one gets immunity.

      My great-niece posted on her Facebook page today: "Knowing God personally requires trusting Him through the hard times in life and not running away from the trials..." I'm pretty sure she doesn't believe in a punishing God.

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  5. Well, first ... someone crashed into the back of your car and didn't leave a note? RUDE! I feel like we have to walk around our car every time we get in!!! I have $1,000 deductible ...

    I cannot even imagine your great niece going through such a loss so young. It's difficult enough being alone and knowing the end is coming. Sending her hugs.

    Personally, I bet you will be glad when your busy April is OVER!

    What did you have for lunch besides dessert to bring home???

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    1. The worst part about accidents like this is if you start having them at our age---even when you are not at fault, they can lead to getting your insurance canceled.

      The restaurant was owned by a woman who is classically trained in French cuisine. I could not pronounce anything.

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    2. P.S. I got the car up to the dealership where I wanted the body work done and the work order was already filled by the insurance company. They will tie it up for three days and the insurance company will pay for a loaner. Once the estimate is approved I'll just have to find the time on my calendar.

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  6. Your beaten path trip sounds very good -- a fun museum and good luunh too. I hope it makes the sore spot of the car a little bit brighter. Sounds good, at least, about the deductible! Happy weekend.

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    1. Some small towns have great museums. There's always something in them to make you think. Like the fact that we had German prisoners of war in Michigan. I read a letter at the museum from one of them, saying his time spend in the POA camp was so much better than being a German soldier where food was scarce and they never had warm enough clothes.

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  7. Oh my God, 35 years and he died. That poor wife and those children. My condolences to that family. I often wondered why one person dies at a young age and others in their 90's. Only God knows.
    Sorry about your car but I'm happy that you weren't in it at the time.
    Rhubarb cake, I never tasted that one but I love, love rhubarb pie. See ya Jean'

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Thanks.

      I've never heard of rhubarb cake before either which is why I wanted a piece. I like cakes better than pies. And it was worth it!

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  8. Hearing about someone that age dying certainly snaps most of life's trials back into perspective. Their children garnered a far too early lesson in 'life isn't fair' so this makes anyone with a heart feel a bit of the sorrow.

    Another similarity Jean....I'm a cake person too!

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    1. In a few years they won't remember him but, boy, until then it's going to be hard.

      You don't see good cake in restaurants. This one was a work of art.

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  9. Well, surprise! I can comment today!

    Condolences for the young man's death, and my heart goes out to the pregnant mother and her children - truly tragic.

    Religion doesn't come into it, nor how good or bad someone is.

    Sorry - have to say this as I couldn't comment before and I really feel strongly about this. Re the $$ contributions to Notre Dame, Paris rebuild and poverty - if you followed the same logic, the USA shouldn't explore space until they had the poverty and homeless issue in their country sorted (which would be never). I think the billionaires have the choice to do what they want with their money, just like everyone else. Notre Dame is part of not only French history, but world history, and I personally am grateful that it is being re-built for future generations and thank those who have donated. Its not often that I disagree with you and your readers, but on this issue, I did and strongly. ~ Libby

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    1. Welcome back, Libby!

      If anyone is wondering where the Notre Dame comment came from, Libby is replying to a mini discussion a few posts back in the comment section. I'm not against it being rebuilt. I just wish the wealthy donors who showed up for Notre Dame would show up for other tragedies in the world that involve starving people. Your points are well taken though Libby. They do have a right to spend their money were ever they wish and it is an important landmark world-wide.

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  10. The inconvenience of car accidents is the worst part (when there is no harm to people). So much to do with phone calls, clerical work, dealing with loss of the use of your own car whilst repairs are done, etc. Ugh. All through no fault of your own. Quite unfair.

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    1. Yes and who ever did it had to know they did. It's not a small impact and dent. I hope they got some damage too.

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  11. As it happens, I was rear ended the other day, and now have a bumper to deal with. The good news is that I was stopped in a parking lot, waiting to turn onto the street, and the fellow who hit me (Yes, he was on his phone) was only going about 5 mph, if that, so it's a little wrinkled and has some paint scratches. Still, I'll get it repaired. It's just the hassle of actually getting it done that I hate. And, the complications brought about by his reluctance to get his insurance involved. He wants to pay cash to me. My agent says that happens more often than you'd think, because people don't want to make a claim and risk their insurance premiums going up. Sounds like the insurance industry could use a little cleaning up, too.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the young man's death -- and he was a very young man. It's good that they have such support, but that doesn't make it any easier to bear.

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    1. How would anyone even know if they'd giving you enough cash or if they wrote a check then put a stop on it later? Body work always cost more than you think.

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  12. I am so sorry about your great-niece's husband. Leaving behind two children and a young pregnant wife is truly tragic. I wish your niece all the best.

    Someone must have backed into your car. I was sitting in the passenger seat of my car once (waiting for H) when an old man backed into the side of my car. I got out of my car and approached him. He said he didn't hit me. LOL Acted like he had no idea what I was talking about. Another man stopped and asked if I was okay and gave me his number in front of the old guy. Said he saw the whole thing and would be happy to say so. The old man suddenly relented, and his insurance did end up paying for it. Turned out he was a very rich fellow, owned a ham company. LOL

    Your restaurant experience sounds wonderful. Gosh, I love good food. It's a curse.

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    1. One of the parking lots I was in was very tight parking and it was a busy day with people coming and going to see the butterfly exhibit. How your ham company owner could deny it is amazing. Glad he relented.

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  13. Sorry to hear about the family loss and at such a young age. Hopefully she has a strong support system, especially since she's pregnant and may have more work limitations for now.

    Sounds like somebody had to have known they hit your car and didn't care. I came out of a pharmacy once to find someone had twisted my windshield wipers. What's wrong with people?

    Had heard Hot Springs entertained a few gangs.

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    1. The biggest issue for my nephew, his wife and daughter is the distance between hem. They all have jobs and they need to work. Time will sort it all out but for now, her church family will probably be helping a lot.

      I don't see how anyone can do that much damage to a car and not know it. The body shop guy said it happens all the time. Don't know how someone can just walk away. What happened to your car wiper was just plain mean!

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