So, it is Tourde France time. This may or may not mean anything to you, but in this house Tour Time is a big deal.
The Tour deFrance is the granddaddy of cycling races, made famous in recent years by the athletic feats of Lance Armstrong. You will notice in any photo of me that I am wearing a bright yellow LIVESTRONG wristband. I took the band I currently wear off of Phil's wrist as I sat beside his beautiful body in the emergency room trying to grasp the fact that he was dead. He wore this particular yellow plastic circle for at least a year before his death, and I have been wearing it in his honor for the past four.
I cannot think of any better example of this new chapter of mine than that of an ocean. Waves are a constant but there are days when all is calm, and then there are the days where they crash on the sand with all their power and might.
So goes the same with my grief.
What about the widow who was NOT married to her soul mate? What about the widow whose marriage was a challenge? Or, what about the widow who, after her husband died, had to grieve not only him, but who also had to grieve what didn't happen in her marriage? Who faces the reality of missed opportunities?
There are those women among us who married their soul mate, and there are those women among us who married a good mate, a mate who was right for them but about whom we might not use the word soul mate. Grief for these women is no less challenging.Read more
Last night I was sitting on the front porch enjoying a gorgeous summer night. Wispy strips of clouds lined the sky and created a red and orange evening canvas. As the breeze blew over me I was reminded of the many summer nights I sat in the same place on the porch chatting with Phil. As I called up memories of July evenings past the driveway was populated with images and I sat back and watched them dance across the stage of reminiscence.Read more
Before Phil died I never questioned my ability to stand on my own two feet. Being in a relationship was something I loved, but I didn't believe that living life as a pair was mandatory for achieving happiness. My husband was my partner and my friend, but we were definitely two individuals with our own opinions and preferences...that didn't always line up. Then the world shifted, Phil died, and I was inexplicably unstable on my previously solid two feet.Read more
Before Phil died I could have easily created a long list of my personal beliefs. This list would have included ideas about both the tangible and the intangible; broad concepts and specific ideals; God and mortal beings. There would probably even have been a mention of death and eternity...but only in the abstract because my beliefs about death were untested until August 31, 2005.Read more
I did not want to be a widow. In fact, it is safe to say that I would have liked to be just about anything BUT a widow. It took a while for the reality to set in...I was a WIDOW. Ugh. That word, the dreaded title, the image of a shriveled up person with a love that died, the imagined black veil, the wedding ring that no longer meant married...I hated every single thing about the concept of widowhood.Read more
This week is a big week for the widows in my life- the military widows of The American Widow Project. Wednesday, we had our first annual charity golf tournament for the organization. Each golf hole was dedicated to the soul mate of an AWP member.Read more
A comment made by a special friend about yesterday's post got me thinking about the fact that people who have lost someone instrumental in their lives tend to view the world from a new, and unwanted, vantage point. After Phil's death I remember thinking that death swooped in and stole my rose colored glasses...leaving me with a pair of dark shades instead. I was quite certain that rose was no longer my color.Read more
"It may seem boring, but it is the boring things I remember the most."
~Russell, Adventure Scout from the animated film Up
My daughter and I went to see the film Up last weekend. The buzz about the film was all good, but the widow buzz held a warning...good film, heart wrenching theme, message that may speak straight to your heart. Once again, the widow buzz did not disappoint.