I'm taking advantage of a quiet moment when dad is sleeping to put down a few thoughts for this week's blog. Because when he is awake, our moments are not quiet.
Bless his heart, dad is just uncomfortable in his own skin. He can't sit still and is constantly asking for help, even though he's not sure what he needs help for. He is wobbly but he can stand and shuffle around with his walker enough to make it scary for us, afraid he could fall again, so he can't be left alone even for a minute. He knows us, but not what day it is, by any stretch. Or what he said or did five seconds ago. His sense of time seems to just be gone.Read more
For any new readers, this is a continuation of my current situation which involves being back in Virginia, where I grew up, from my home of 15 years in Kona, Hawaii, where I lived with my beautiful late husband until his death in 2013 and further into my strange new world without him with a new boyfriend and my dogs, until the foreclosure is complete some unknown months from now.Read more
Most of you who have been reading here for awhile know how my husband died. Mike had a heart attack in his sleep at age 59. It was the most devastating shock I've ever lived through and I will spend the rest of my life recovering from it. The pain of that grief, I know now, will always be there.Read more
I'm sitting here in my parent's beautiful backyard on this kind of surprisingly balmy early fall evening in Virginia wondering what on earth I can say about what's going on in my life right now. How can I describe the agony of change and decision and helplessness while keeping private things private? How can I honestly tell my dear fellow widows and widowers the truth of what we've been dealing with while also maintaining the dignity of my father? How do I reveal to my beautiful community of friends in Hawaii that I may be leaving? How do I reconcile the pain of the thought of that move with the many, many signs that are appearing that my future may lay elsewhere?Read more
I'm not sure how long I will be able to continue to write here at Widow’s Voice. It breaks my heart to think that, and to write that, but various things are moving at a seriously rapid pace and I can barely keep up.
I'm in Virginia now visiting my folks, in the house where I grew up. The summer after Mike died I visited here too, and was inconsolable...memories of texting my friend and fellow widow Margaret late into the night, sobbing, tears streaming down my face...unable to conceive of a world, or a life, without him. Every visit since tinged with those memories, and also creating new ones. Three years later I can't help but feel I have been swept along into a place I never could have imagined. A very different life built in the wake of his death in Kona, a new boyfriend, lots of new friends, many of whom happen also to be widowed...and now, this year, the feeling that I am ready to spread my wings a little.Read more
Yesterday I accompanied some friends to what I thought was going to be a Fourth of July party at the beach here in Kona. When I arrived, the host, dressed in white with a beautiful lei, handed me a program…we were actually there for a surprise wedding! A few people, it turns out, had known, but I had no idea. I had only seen my friend with her new boyfriend out and about and they looked really happy together…and I knew my friend had faced some scary health issues in the past year, so that made me doubly happy she was doing so well.Read more
As widowed people, most holidays will come with some sort of a bump or lump. We are socked by memories; how we spent the last 4th of July together, that empty chair at the Thanksgiving table, that Memorial Day weekend we traveled somewhere fun. This past weekend was Mother’s Day, which carries no less emotion for many of us.
I write a lot about how strange and even unrecognizable my life is now. I can’t explain exactly how I got here, but I can tell you a little about what it’s like, just over three years after my husband died.
I’m still working my way back into life on the island from the last two weeks I spent in New Orleans helping out my stepdaughter and her family. Two weeks of helping care for a four year old and a two year old with a newborn there as well pretty much knocks out everything else one might otherwise be doing or thinking about. Having never raised babies myself it was a new experience…one I treasured deeply, and one that has helped me begin to really understand both the joy and exhaustion of parenting. I hated to leave her, hate not being closer to see those children grow, hate thinking I am so far away…but, her own mother was flying in the day I left, so she will still have some help for awhile. Even though I am a stepparent, I have many years of memories with her…I went to her high school graduation, and now she is, some 17 years later, raising three beautiful children. It breaks my heart not to be able to share it all with Mike, who was always so proud of both his daughters.