It occurs to me, from time to time, that I may have waited too long after being widowed, to start up a new relationship. I heard that there are advantages to the single life. Sole possession of the remote control being one. I think Sandra Bullock says it in one of her movies. Apologies if I'm wrong.
I was married for nearly 25 years before my husband, my sweetheart, my lover, died. He was only 50, and I only 48. Too old to be a "young widow" type, but not too old. Not yet. Only I was heartbroken. My two sons were heartbroken. We struggled to go on without him. I worked at three different jobs before he passed and now I had to go on, ask for more assignments, to stay afloat. I was too busy doing that to think about finding someone else. It's not like changing a lightbulb. It goes out, you go to the cupboard, grab a new one and replace it. Voila! Lights on.
No, this loss is huge. For me, perhaps huger (Is that a word?) because I was a virgin bride, at a time when "living together" was the big experiment. I was the only virgin I knew in college. A rarity in the late 20th century. Maybe that made it harder for me to get back into the swing of things, as they say.
And I was busy, as I said before. Busy working. I was teaching at the college level at two institutions, as many classes as they would offer me. Now, in the classroom, there are rules. Or at least, there are supposed to be--rules. I was in my late 40's. I did not have any students who qualified as acceptable dating material, much less a mate. Our frame of references were too different. They were such children! I was busy teaching, too busy to socialize with my colleagues. All the ones I knew were married or in a committed relationship, or not attractive to me.
My third job was recording messages for telephone systems, on hold. I saw the same two men--one very happily married and the other gay, for most recording sessions. What I mean is, they had known my beloved and so they still saw me as married. I heard that from lots of people at the colleges, too. They remembered always seeing us together.
That is an interesting point. I thought we were never together and they saw us as such a couple! One semester, at the community college, our schedules overlapped and we drove together, entering and leaving the campus together. One semester out of so many. That is how a lasting impression is made, I guess.
On a special recording gig for the Army, I met two different men who were nice to me. That's all. Nice. I was so hungry for the companionship of an adult male that I got starry eyed, both times. One was dashed on the rocks of my life when they mentioned their wife and the other just drifted off. But both times, I mentioned it to my boys and they went off like firecrackers.
"No! No, Mom! Have you forgotten your husband?"
I remember looking at them both, ages 12-13 and 22-23, and saying, "How could I forget him? I have you two to remind me every day. His clothes are still hanging in our closet. It's been two years and I can't move on. There are too many reminders of him."
Well, now it's been 21 years, and I've entrenched myself in widowhood. I still check that box under 'marital status'. The last time, I blushed when someone expressed sympathy.
"I'm so sorry for your loss. How long has it been?"
I mumbled, "Twenty years."
They looked shocked and suggested I stop checking the 'widow' box.
I admit I enjoy choosing my viewing pleasures, jumping around channels if I want, binge watching what I want. But I also miss turning to someone to share a laugh or just a chuckle, or a gasp.
I miss having a PERSON. And now I'm all beat up. Who would want me? Now, I'm so set in my ways, I wonder if I could accommodate someone into my life. Now, I'm lonely and I don't know what to do about it. The idea of going to a bar to meet people is not appealing, because I don't drink more than 4 or 5 times a year. Read that again--a YEAR. So, who am I likely to meet whose life choices would dovetail with mine?
Someone who knows me suggested I join a church. But that seems like trolling in sacred waters for a patsy. Or getting trolled by someone looking for a patsy.
I've decided to "Let go and let God."
That sounds like a plan. Except I decided this years ago. I'm still waiting, Lord. All in Your good time, I'm sure. If I'm too old, you'll let me know, right? Before you come to take me?+
About the Creator
Actor, writer, voice-over artist, teacher, author, mother and Grammy of 4. I've done a lot. I grew up in Bolivia, Laos and Taiwan. Married 25 years, widowed. Please read my stuff and leave a comment! Thanks.
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