|photo from here|
I am a widow. Yes, it's a huge part of who and what I am now. But it's not the first way I would choose to describe myself.... anymore.
If each role we play in life is like an ingredient, like a batter of sorts, can't widowhood be the cream in the "Hazelnut Cream Cookie" rather than the first ingredient mentioned? I am afraid that having the widowhood portion of my dough become one of the unmentioned contributors (i.e. eggs or flour) would be doing a huge disservice to the memory of Jeff, and I am still not at the point where I can erase "him" from my cookie title. But I am certainly ready to have my widowed status demoted to the second word identifying me as a cookie.
I don't want my title of "widow" to be my primary identity. I want to go back to being "Jackie". I want to be described as "funny", "kind", even "bitchy" if necessary....I despise knowing that I have been described as "You know the young widow with two little kids?" Yes, I am a widow. But I am a mommy, a sister, a daughter, an auntie, a friend, a neighbor...and so many other things too. Yet, the one thing many people remember is that my husband is dead.
As my heart heals bit by bit, I realize that not allowing my widowhood to be my most important identifying attribute is not dishonoring my late husband. In fact, learning to describe myself by using words that point out my unique qualities reminds me of all the reasons he fell in love with me in the first place. Without him by my side it is easy to forget that Jeff thought I was beautiful, kind, funny, and a great mommy. I am more than what has happened to me. I am all that Jeff saw in me, and I can't be defined by just one word. So for now I may be a Hazelnut Cream Cookie or a Oatmeal Toffee Crunch Cookie...just know that this cookie is made up of a variety of quality ingredients...not all of which you will find in my cookie title.