We write about widowhood as we live it. Together we examine the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of life as a widowed person. The views expressed here are those held by each individual author. We take no credit for their brillance; we just provide them with a forum for expressing their widowed journey in words that are uniquely their own.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The Things I've Done ......
…… without him.
In a little over three months I will have been without Jim
for 5 years.
In those 5 years I’ve had to do many things without him.
Things I was supposed to do with him.
Or things I wasn’t supposed to do …… at all.
The first thing that he should have been here for was the news that Daughter #1 made it into Harvard for grad school. I was so excited for her, yet so sad that her
dad didn't hear the results of those applications. Nor stand
with me to put her on a plane to go.
It was very bittersweet.
Four months after Jim died, I stood next to his mother, our mother, and held her hand as she died. He should've been the one holding her hand. But actually, if he had been there, I don't think she wouldn't have been in that hospital ..... dying. She would have had the "fight" in her that she needed.
The next month he missed Son #1’s high school
graduation. As the president of the
school board he would’ve stood on the platform and handed a diploma to our son,
and to the children of our friends (as he did when Daughters #2 and #3
Instead, I stood in his place and did his job.
Though not nearly as well, since it was an emotional evening.
But the hardest thing I did during that first year, by far,
was taking Son #2 to military school.
Against his will.
Jim should’ve been there so we could’ve been there together,
one unit of authority, making it much easier on each of us.
I have done many, many things without him.
But not all of them have been emotionally draining.
In this month alone I managed to put together my first Power
Without the help of my very computer-literate husband.
Then there was the day last week that I jumped my car …… by
I’m pretty dang proud of that one.
And then, just a couple of days later, I cut down and
uprooted a tree/bush.
Me, myself and I.
It wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t tiny, either.
I cut/sawed off all of the branches, and then the top part
of the bush/tree. And then I used all of
my strength, which is more than most people think, to uproot the trunk.
And I think I only received 2 mosquito bites (West Nile inhabits
my community, so each bite is noticed) and I didn’t break a nail.
Or anything else.
I have traveled, bought two cars, sold a boat, bought a boat, hired an accountant, fired said accountant,
watched my children graduate, stood my ground, alone, when I didn’t think I had
the strength (sometimes I surprise myself, too), stupidly bought a time share,
hired a real estate company to sell said time share (still not sold….sigh),
attended court (more than once) for a child, given my children financial advice
(!) and killed/gotten rid of every single bug, lizard or spider that’s dared
come into my personal space.
I know that I can add hundreds of things I’ve done by
As can each of you …… or at least you will be able to before
Even though we all have hated hearing the words, “You are so strong”, we really are.
I know I’m not the only one who has surprised her/himself.
It’s funny (not as in “ha ha-funny”, but in
“isn’t-it-ironic-funny” …. just to be clear), but when I was in that room (many of you know which room I'm referring to), with
the surgeon sitting knee to knee with me, holding my hands, all that I could
think, over and over and over again was, “God, what are You thinking?! What the hell
are You thinking?!! I cannot do life
with him! I can’t parent these kids
without him! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??!!”
But I was wrong.
I didn’t want to do life without him and I’d still rather not do it without him, but
here I am.
And here are you.
We’ve made it one more year, one more month, and/or …… one
Heck, there were days when I wasn’t sure I’d make it one
There will be many things we’ll do alone …… and we’ll wish
they were here.
But there will be many more things …… that we’ll do alone ……
and we’ll be proud of ourselves.
And proud of each other.
You dads are not only combing your child’s hair, but you’re
even managing to put it into a ponytail!
And you women are probably killing/getting rid of any
critter that dares invade your personal space!
You are stronger than you think you are.
And though I’d rather be weak with him here, I, too, am
stronger than I think ……