I recently found some satisfaction fixing a household problem without Dave.
My tendency (even before he died), if something went wrong with an appliance was to throw up my hands and call for a repair person to come and figure it out. Now, I've become more stubborn about trying to figure it out myself first. I'm countering the assumption I've always had that the workings of those appliances and the plumbing and any mechanical item at all was beyond me and best left to a professional.
Sometimes, it has been beyond me and I've had to call a professional, but other times, I've been able to figure it out myself. The satisfaction and the independence of that has been surprisingly gratifying. I notice I'm not falling into the pit of despair about Dave not being around to help me and instead am seeing each malfunction as a way to prove that I'm self sufficient and more than capable. It was, of course, more fun and less overwhelming to tackle these household annoyances together, but we're not together. I'm on my own and I want to learn to handle anything that might come my way.
My newest triumph was the dishwasher. It wasn't filling with water. Instead, it was making this desperate, dry, spluttering noise when it was supposed to be spraying water. It took maybe 15 minutes searching the Internet to determine what could be the problem. The overflow valve was stuck in overflow position and all I had to do was tap on the top of it a few times. The thing filled right away after I did that. I didn't have to call anyone, take anything apart or pay anyone. Also, it avoided the embarrassment of someone coming to my house, tapping on that dumb thing twice and then accepting a check from me before leaving. I really hate that kind of "repair". It makes me feel helpless and uninformed, which makes me mad.
So, Dave and I don't get to tackle household problems together anymore and that is incredibly sad, and I am resourceful and smart, powerful and independent and can handle more than I previously believed.
I believe Dave's dying worry was that he was leaving me alone. He wanted his parents to make sure I was okay. I like the idea of proving to him that I'm more than okay on my own.
I want him to know that even if one day in the future I'm married again, I will be fully capable, on my own, no matter what happens. That I'll be able to share responsibilities and take on anything I need to on my own too.
Truth is, even if we're married or partnered and expect to live out the rest of our lives with our person, we aren't always afforded that outcome. Being self sufficient is more important to me now. I don't want to depend on someone else to help me figure out solutions. Tackling life with a partner is the best, but that can't always be our reality.
Helplessness and hopelessness has, for the time being, shifted a little to let in some power and independence. I like the idea of starting out year three with this little burst of strength and I think I'm going to try to take advantage of it and tackle some other projects I've been meaning to get to. Or at least attempt to. Sometimes, even that's a victory.