If it’s not one thing — it’s a colonoscopy

filling-out-formI probably have a million predictable jokes I could crack here.  In fact, in my head I can almost hear my comedian husband spouting a bunch of them. But, at the end of day, I can’t help thinking about something writer, Jill Smolowe, said in her book, Four Funerals and A Wedding. “No one to share the results with. It just feels so alone. Like who gives a shit?”

I feel ya, Jill!

The fact is, now there is no ‘other’to tell anything to. From having to check a new status box from Married to Widow to jotting down a new emergency contact, it’s all a kick in the gut.

Over the years, I’ve sat in more waiting rooms for more hours than I can count. And though I’ve been the healthy ‘other half’, my husband did his stint in a waiting room a few times, too. We might say we never take our built-in security blanket for granted, but I think most of us do sometimes, don’t you? Knowing someone always, always has your back comes with the marriage territory. We do for each other gladly and that’s just the way it is – until it isn’t.

In any case, today the role of my husband was played by two people – my oldest daughter who brought me and my bestie who picked me up. I had it covered. My rides, my support system, my (new) emergency contacts were in place. And while I’m extremely grateful for my loving back-up system, it comes with renewed sadness that there had to be one.

It’s no newsflash that you’re in a brand new world when your spouse dies. It’s par for the course to change your status on medical records and replace your life partner with a new emergency contact. And it’s just a lousy fact of life that the person who you were connected to in all ways no longer patiently sits in the waiting room. But as I’ve been known to say so often, it is what it is.  And honestly — it’s really crappy.

 

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It’s always something.

Couple-1024x684Alone – sucks. I can’t speak for all the people who navigate that space so seamlessly every day. Some even choose that solo state (big kudos from me!) but it never would have been my first choice by a long shot. I fell or was thrown in that lake, kicking and screaming.

Most days I’m doing pretty okay, thank you. But then one thing, one little insignificant thing, can set off a really lovely pity party – minus the balloons and ice cream. In another lifetime, I wouldn’t even notice innocent gestures that I saw a hundred times. But like it or not (and I don’t) I’m in THIS life now, so everything takes on a different meaning. And things that grab your heart seem to be everywhere – even at a simple 5 year old T-ball game.

I was living in the moment, watching those earnest little people running bases full speed ahead, trying like heck to hit the ball off the tee hard enough to make it actually GO somewhere. When one of those kids is an irrepressible grandson, well, enough said.  So I hung out near the dugout, getting a bird’s eye view of his swing (he’s got a great arm, by the way) until I got a glimpse of another view.

One of the family, also widowed, has a girlfriend now. Living on a ranch in the middle of nowhere USA, we are all glad for him. He’s a really sweet man who deserves caring companionship. (Don’t we all..)  Anyway, as I glanced up, his hands were tenderly massaging the back of the woman’s neck as she stroked his arms. My first reaction? Eeee-ooo – family outing! But then I thought of my own back massager who I’ve missed like breath and air. I got it. Continue reading