Tag Archives: emotions

Widowhood: Staying Emotionally Healthy

So, here I am, a second-time widow.  It’s been a year and a half.  Has it been that long a passage of time?

Time doesn’t heal; it only smooths out the scars just a little.  If someone tells you “time heals,” they haven’t experienced the loss.  And we have to move forward.  Keeping time in place, like a soldier’s cadence:  left, right; left, right, is not emotionally healthy.  I am not one to sulk, cry, despair or pull out my hair figuratively.  I am still alive!  That, in itself, is cause to be happy – to celebrate.  Well, maybe celebrate is too strong a word right now.

I am very much alone when Bob’s not here to speak to, laugh with, discuss current events in our nation and in the world at large, share a TV program, laugh at the funny sitcoms, scream and shout at the TV about the unfairness in the nation and world, reported by newscasters.

He was a very warm, relaxed man, and enjoyed his life with me. We enjoyed each other.  He was a happy man, and it was my pleasure to keep him that way.

Bob was a very relaxed man.  He loved to be comfortable.  I always teased him that his middle name should be "comfort."

Bob was a very relaxed man. He loved to be comfortable. I always teased him that his middle name should be “comfort.”

Geographically, I’m not entirely alone:  my sister lives close by and my daughter lives only 15 minutes away, and my son lives 35 minutes away in the next county.  And my three cats have me laughing or succumbing to their affectionate antics so much of the time.

Bob and I came down to Florida at different times.  He moved from New Jersey a year and a half after his first wife died; I moved from New York about 2 years before, with my first husband, Dan.  Bob and I ended up in the same condo development after losing our spouses, and were forced to accept our station in life:  widowhood.

It was almost like a storybook way in which we met; actually, we didn’t meet in the strict sense.  We were introduced.

I lived in one building; he lived in another.  Condo living suited our single life at the time.

Sunrise Lakes Phase 4 - The Fairways in Sunrise, FL

Sunrise Lakes Phase 4 – The Fairways in Sunrise, FL

 

Overlooking lake and golf course.

Overlooking lake and golf course.

Bob was retired; I was working full time, and saved my cleaning for the weekend as most people do who work.  I developed the habit of going to the pool on Saturday afternoons.  There were lots of people in and around the pool and I befriended some nice women.  Conversation was struck up and, after a couple of months, they told me about “this nice single man” who lived in their building.  “Would you like to meet him?  We think the two of you would hit it off.”

I turned them down; my widowhood was still too fresh.  I couldn’t think of meeting anyone at that time.  After my refusal, they stopped talking about “him.”

Many months passed and, every so often, they brought up the subject again – I kept refusing.  I couldn’t take them seriously.  But one day, just to shut their mouths finally, I said, “OK.”

So, it was arranged.  I was to be at the pool at my usual time one Saturday, and they convinced Bob to be there, too.  Well, that particular Saturday, I had long phone calls from sister and daughter who were still living in New York, so I was delayed in getting over to the pool.  I was just getting ready to go over to the pool, when the phone rang again.  It was the two women.  “Carol, are you coming?  He’s here!”

"The pool."

“The pool.”

I finally got there, and the introductions took place.  Bob was a nice-looking man and his voice was smoothly masculine – nice to listen to.  The women had arranged the chairs just so:  we were facing each other.  (They were having a blast!)  They made themselves comfortable on their lounges next to the chairs, and we all chatted a bit.  In a couple of minutes, they stood up, held up little brown paper bags, announced they were going into the clubhouse to have their lunch, and left!!

Boy!  Talk about being left in the lurch.  Well, we made the best of it.  The usual chatter.  “Where are you from?  Do you have family?”  Etc.

During the long and enjoyable conversation (more than 2 hours), Bob mentioned that he cooked.  He suggested that he would cook dinner for me sometime(!).  Before I knew what was happening, words tumbled out of my mouth.  “I’m not doing anything this evening.”

He didn’t cook that night, but he did take me out for a nice dinner.  And so it began…

 

 

 

Twists and Turns

On the surface, it started out like a usual day:  Take care of the cats (grooming and feeding), have breakfast, check and answer emails in my personal inbox, etc.

Got a phone call from sis.  She and hubby invited me to join them at the movie theater.  Oh yes!  Right!  It’s Tuesday!  It’s the official Movie Day in her house.  She was planning to see a movie that I’ve been wanting to see:  “12 Years a Slave.”  Had a quick lunch, picked them up, and off we went.

Still of Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Well, I have to tell you, it was one of the best movies I’ve seen.  It was first recommended to me by a very dear friend named Robin.  The title tells you what it’s about.  No holds barred on this one.  Powerful.  Brad Pitt makes a surprise, small appearance near the end.  Here’s the link to a trailer:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1693624601/

Recommended without any hesitations.  Won’t go into details; if you’re curious (and haven’t heard about it), look it up at http://www.imdb.com/

Have to interrupt this blog – one of my cats, Rusty, who has made himself very comfortable on my desk, has “chirped” at me to let me know I have to stop typing and pet him.  And if I don’t do it now, he will continue “chirping.”  Petting done, now I can continue!!!

Rusty playing with Pet Zone - good one 2

Err, not really.  Romeo has just joined Rusty on my desk, and is needing some petting also.

Romeo-on patio chair-good one

Oops!  How can I continue typing if Romeo’s tail is laying on my keyboard?

OK, boys, can I continue now?  Thanks.

Checked my Sunshine inbox to see a very lovely and supportive comment from one of my bloggers that I follow.  I felt truly humbled.  She has been supporting me on every blog this “newbie” has posted.  Thanks so much, Cher.  Please check out her wonderful “The Chicago Files” at http://thechicagofiles.wordpress.com/ and you will learn so much about the “windy city” in a light, humorous way.

This is a special day.  My late husband’s birthday.  Of course, I think of him every day, but this day was his birthday.  It still is.  His son and his family, who live in NC, called this evening just to chat and check up on me.  He’s so thoughtful – always was.  I gave them an earful about my last few days, and, since he’s always been close with his Dad, spoke about him.  It was a lovely call, and I think I kept him on far longer than I thought I would. It was just so good speaking to him and his wife.  I do miss them.

So, this “Twisting and Turning” day was just that.  I ran the gamut of many different emotions, and best of all, I will fall asleep tonight, knowing it was a good day after all.