Since this site is in place to question and recognize the “difference” that exists between being a “wife” and being a “Widow” and making the transition from one to the other, I am going to make some observations about this last year as it has just ended with Christmas.
Firstly – All year long, you just do not eat out like you used to. It is nobody’s fault, you just don’t have that “date-like” atmosphere when you dress for a restaurant dinner, or when you appear and your mate tells you how great you look. At the restaurant, you sit next to an empty chair since all restaurants seem to be stuck on increments of two and that makes you want your mate back – if only to be in that chair. You feel like an “extra”, a “left-over” if you will. Your friends who ask you out may ask you to meet them at the restaurant which completely cuts out a drink with dinner and it also brings to mind that thing you no long have – a driver.
Secondly – In getting ready for the Christmas celebration, you no longer have to worry just about the food and decorations – you have to actually set up the decorations, retrieve the extra planks for all the tables, set up the time delayed sockets for light sets, and hoist high chairs, play pens, portable beds and chairs up various sets of steps – usually with them balanced precariously over your head. Along with the maintenance for having house guests, you don’t just get out fresh towels and linens, you now change light bulbs, check the sump pump when you hear that ominous sound of dripping water in your sump hole on the lower level, and reset the circuit breaker which, of course, blew on Christmas Eve.
Thirdly – You are the only one to empty the garbage, break up cardboard for the recycling, return the empties to the Beer Store, fill and empty the dishwasher, strain the cat litter and scoop the poop in the back yard. These jobs used to be done by the partner in your life – especially when you were tired and he knew it.
Fourthly – You love your Christmas decorations and they really are beautiful, but were they ever difficult to put up and, frankly, they didn’t provide the feelings of overwhelming joy that you have felt in the past. OK, they make your place look like it always did – but it is not what it was and neither are you or the people who will join you for Christmas. Making the place “look” like it used to doesn’t necessarily make it “feel” like it used to. I think that is the most important thing that I learned this year – I just can’t create that life over again. What was then – will simply be no more. Giving up that dream of my “first choice” life was a very difficult step to take – a brutal realization.
Fifth – I decided today that next Christmas is going to be totally different. I don’t know what that will look like or where I will be (although I have an idea) – but it will have to be a brand new invention – for better or for worse.