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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Love and Laughter Memories...


For most of January I've had three posts in my blog scheduler at any given time. I was on a writing jag which has its good and bad sides. Good because I like it when words freely flow down from my brain to my fingertips and magically appear on my computer screen to send out into the world. That a human can do that is a miracle, isn’t it, and it started back in ancient civilizations when they developed language followed by the written word. The miracle continued with the invention of the typewriter and computers followed by the development cyberspace and the blog platforms that I love. Having spent 12 ½ years watching my husband struggle with language disorders after his massive stroke makes me truly appreciate what a complex thing it is to communicate in any form. I won’t get too deep in the weeds regarding the damage the stroke did to the communication center of his brain but for anyone new to my blog I'll just say that his aphasia, agraphia and apraxia speech issues were comparable to a car that has a functioning motor (the brain) and wheels that work (the lips and tongue) but the transmission in between the two is shot thus the car can’t go/the speech and written words can’t flow.

A new month is beginning soon but I'm ending January by torturing myself with CDs. The impeachment trial in the Senate has been on my TV but for large parts of my days the volume as been turned down so low I can’t hear it. I’d listened to every minute of the impeachment inquiry in the House and was pretty sure I wouldn’t be hearing anything I didn’t already know. Still, I wanted to be counted by the powers that be as a household that is ‘keenly interested’ in the coverage. The decision to listen to CDs came with complications. It had been so long since I've done it that I had to google my Sony player to figure out how to use it. But before I could do that I had to get out the magnifying glass and a flashlight to find the model name and number. But before that, I had dug through my downsized folder of small appliance manuals and I couldn’t find the one for the CD/cassette and radio. It must have gotten accidentally thrown out during my filing cabinet purge and I blame that evil Marie Kondo for that! Ever do that? Decide you want to do something and it turns into a big chain of steps that makes you wonder if you really want to do what you thought you did in the first place? 

My husband was into music more than I ever was and one of his favorite recording artists was Joe Cocker. So the torture part of my day came when I put on one of his albums. Unchain my Heart: track one. Then it came, track two, the one that never fails to bring back sweet memories of a playful romp in the hay, as they say. “Baby take off your coat. Real slow. And take off your shoes, I'll take off your shoes. Baby take off your dress. Yes yes yes. You can leave your hat on.” I had come into the house one afternoon just as those words came blasting out of Don’s office and as I took off my coat, he sang along with Joe, “You can leave your hat on.” Our eyes locked and the slow striptease began as the song's chorus repeated and it ended next door in the bedroom. And, yes, I kept my hat on the entire time.

I have no idea how often a couple who’d been together for 42 years has sex or makes love but my memory often picks out four times to replay in my head from time to time, right down to the minute detail. If I’m being honest here I’d admit there are more times I could recount down to the nitty-gritty if I set my mind to it but I’ve got too many things to do and places to go and day-dreaming won’t get them done. And I question if I should even be sharing the top four in a public forum but here it goes, fresh out of their lock box. One of those top four memories I already wrote about up above. Another was outside under the stars at Lookout Park…memorable because we both got covered with poison ivy that we passed back and forth the entire long, hot summer. We both ended up regretting that romp au naturale but it was wickedly fun at the time. The third memory I take out of its place of honor from time to time happened on the evening of the day I label the happiest day in my life. It also happened under the stars but on the bed of our pickup truck out west. Our mamas didn't raise any fools. No more rolling around in unknown vegetation for us after Lookout Park.

The fourth time was actually the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh time all rolled into one night and it was straight out of a romance novel. The kind of love scene/s that starts out hot and sexy and leaves you breathless and spent, then after a while to recover it progresses into deep, passionate sex that leave you in awe of how deeply it makes you feel, followed by a bonding and wordless kind of love making that leaves you both with tears in your eyes, and ending the night with a slow and gentle pairing that comes with whispered words when you both know you've found THE ONE. 

I once read a book on how to writing romance novels that said couples who don’t have those four different kinds of experiences over a short time span might stay together happily but they aren’t bonded together for life in the same way as couples who do experience that kind four-for-the-price-of-one kind of "imprinting" on one another and I suppose that explains why some widows and widowers can jump back into another relationship after their spouse dies and, others like me, find that idea laugh out-loud funny or repulsive, depending on the mood I’m in. ©

37 comments:

  1. One of my favorite songs. It is in my head now and I guess I'll have to download it from Amazon to put on my cell phone. I am jealous of you girls that had a wonderful marriage. But even my shortish marriage had some wonderful moments and I'm glad I married him even though it was not a good fit. Your love story is beautiful and I'm so glad you had it and can look back with such sweet memories.

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    1. Like all relationships we had our ups and downs. I just choose not to write about the downs because in the grand scheme of things they're not the important take-away if that makes any sense.

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    1. Thanks! I can use all the hugs I can get...but can't we all?

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  3. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories and I hope they bring a smile to your face.

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    1. They do and I'd be really interested to know if other widows replay their top 'romance' memories in their heads on rare occasions.

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  4. Nothin' better than a great man and relationship. I had the best, I won't do this again with another because it will always fall short if you know what I mean. This was beautiful Jean. I love Don and didn't even know him( I LOVE Joe Cocker and that song, just played that CD recently)

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    1. I love your Rick, too. They were cut from the same clothe I think.

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  5. Not a widow but did once have an active social life. Not having one of those wonderful 4 in one episodes probably explains why my four memories are with different men. You were so fortunate. While some of us do not feel your loss, we never felt your joys.

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    1. I love your comment about your four (separate) episodes.

      My loss is buried deep and all but healed except in January.

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  6. I find it pretty incredible that you are willing to share these memories. I wonder if you can only do this after one spouse is no longer in the picture. I think that Miriam would kill me if I published this kind of detail. Kudos to you, I say, and it is quite remarkable that the memories are so vivid, a real testament to the splendour of the experience.

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    1. If you think this is a lot of detail you probably haven't read any romance books. LOL I never would have written or talked about this topic if my husband were still alive.

      I try really hard to blog about what is going on in my life and mind without sugar coating the good, bad or the ugly. In January, being the month I lost my husband, my memories always manage to drift to the surface and occupy a lot of my thoughts.

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    2. P.S. David. This post did move up the blog rolls like it should have so your theory about why yours and my last posts didn't seems to have been true...at least for me. I am so thankful for sharing that. It saved me several days of anguish.

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  7. I'm so glad to read that you have such lovely memories to recall, Jean. I used to have those special moments to relive too but now that I know he cheated on me they don't make me feel good anymore. Just foolish for believing that we had this special and deep love and connection that I thought we did.

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    1. I can't imagine what it would be like to have discovered what you did after your husband died and you are not the only widow I know who got that rude awakening after the fact. Sometimes love just doesn't seem to be enough for some and it's no reflection on you and the depth of your feelings that he turned out not to have the character it takes to be faithful.

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  8. A gazillion hugs!

    I've lost most of my manuals but bless the internet because I can usually find them there.

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    1. It is amazing that you can find almost anything. On the downside new things are coming with only a web address instead of a manual. There are still people out there (like my brother) who don't use computers.

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  9. This is really beautiful, Jean. And I am honored that you would feel so comfortable and safe with your readers to share these memories. It offers such a beautiful image of a couple deeply in love. It is memories like these we cling to.

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    1. Thank you. I've actually wanted to write about this topic for a couple of years and it took that CD to finally get me to do it. (I wanted to write about it because my blog as become my diary and a place document memories I don't want old-age to take away from me.

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  10. I so loved reading this and found it refreshing & beautiful. I too was fortunate in my 30 years of marriage to enjoy some rollicking romantic times combined with those deep & meaningful meeting of the mind and flesh. In the 6 years that my beloved has been gone, I find myself thoroughly enjoying bollywood films as they often cause me to day and night dream about vivid memories��

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    1. Thank you for sharing this! It makes me feel like these kinds of vivid memories are not outside of the norm. I love your first name, by the way.

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  11. I just love those wonderfully sensual memories. And I would have a problem with future relationships because I mainly remember just the good things. Like Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) wrote .... no one else could measure up. I do miss the romance as well as the sex.

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    1. You had the total package. Don was not big on romantic gestures. No Champagne dinners. Big, fancy cards on Valentine's Day and gifts that never quite hit the mark. LOL

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    2. P.S. For me it's not that other guys couldn't measure up, it's that I'm too old for a relationship with any depth to develop. Relationships are messy and come with a lot more baggage and complications once we're past sixty.

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  12. I loved reading this, Jean. Memories are often bittersweet as we age, aren't they? I have a few of these myself, but I doubt I could write them up as well as you have. There are a few that really stick in my mind, though, and they're fun to remember as I age. :)

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    1. Another person weighs in on fun/bittersweet/sexy memories as we age. I'm so glad I'm not alone in having them. LOL

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    2. I once had a relationship with a guy that we both knew was going nowhere. But he told me when he was old and in a rocking chair on the porch of the nursing home, he would smile when he thought of me or heard my name. I think of that occasionally.

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    3. That a sweet line! That would make me smile too.

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  13. One of your most moving posts, ever. It was probably hard to pull all this up, but you show yourself at your most human and lovable when you do. Blessings.

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  14. There’s no way I could actually ever make love to anyone else but my Beloved who’s been gone for nearly three years now.

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    1. I think this might be your first time commenting? Either way, welcome!

      I'm 8 years out now and feel the exact same way.

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  15. You should Write Romance Novels, such Moving recounting of something so Intimate and so very Special!

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    1. Trust me I tried my hand at writing romance books. Had a couple of manuscripts that got purged out of my life last summer.

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  16. OMG. So beautifully written and expressed. I can relate and it is a special, amazing thing to find a love like that. I am in awe of your willingness, and your vulnerability, to share this. And I am honored to have been able to read it. Thank you.

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    1. I've wanted to write about this topic for a long time and it took the impeachment trial to finally give me a lead into to the topic. At least something good came from it on a personal level. LOL

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