Tag Archives: New York

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…

 

 

 

Memories of a Time Past: Part 4

My father’s cousins formed a “family circle” by the name of “Weiser Family Circle.”  It was a cousins club.  All his siblings and cousins and their children, and aunts and uncles were members.  Weiser was his mother’s maiden name, so the club consisted of only family members from her side of the family.  I don’t remember her coming with us.  Anyway, it was just as well she wasn’t there.  She was not a well-liked woman, to put it mildly.

These annual jaunts started when I was a teenager.  We always got a very early start.  It was easy to get together since we all lived in Brooklyn.  We arranged to meet at 6 am at a cafeteria to have early breakfast before getting started on the long trip.  I remember how sleepy everyone was, and a little grumpy – no, a lot grumpy.  No one was used to getting up so early, packing up the picnic baskets and games and charcoal and BBQ paraphernalia, and getting it all into the car.

Packing car[image from bingdotcom]

After coffee and something to eat, everyone felt better and started to get excited about the day ahead.  And the long drive – oh, what people do to have a good time!

Our picnics took place in the Spring and the destination was in upstate NY.  I believe it was in the Saranac Lake area.  We all had to take sweaters and jackets.  It was very chilly in the mornings and as the sun started to go down, it got chilly again – in fact, I remember we were freezing one time, and there was a time when it started to rain.  We all tried to avoid the rain by getting under the picnic tables.  The barbeque fires were in danger, but we couldn’t do anything about that.  That particular time, we just had to pack up as quickly as we could, get things into the cars, and cut the day short.  Oh well.

My friend, Marian came with us one year.

Marian is on the left, and I'm in the middle.  You can see we're wearing jackets.  It was usually pretty chilly, if not downright cold.

Marian is on the left, and I’m in the middle. You can see we’re wearing jackets. It was usually pretty chilly, if not downright cold.

They were good times.