It's been a long time since I posted on this page, more a year. So much has happened I don't really know where to begin or how many details I want to make public, but I sort of feel I owe it to the readers who have followed my journey through widowhood. I also have been feeling the need to write my thoughts down for a while and never seemed to find the time or the right words.
The grief is not over, not by a long-shot. Some days are still hard, especially the holidays. I want to enjoy them, truly I do, but somehow my heart isn't in it. Maybe it's because I spent so many special days with Bill and everything is different now, or maybe it's because the kids are grown. Not that I don't have plenty of grandchildren, I do, but most of them are older and not so excited to go to Grandma's. Grandma isn't the same and Grandpa is missing.
That being said, life goes on, often in unexpected ways. You see late last summer I reconnected with a man from my past. We always had strong feelings for one another and were in and out of each others lives a few times in our early years, but the timing was never quite right. Our affection for each other was genuine. We were friends, real friends who liked the same music, laughed at the same jokes and had a bond that never seemed to be completely severed, even though we went our separate ways more than once.
When we met last summer the years seemed to melt away. It was as though I had talked to him days ago instead of years.
At first I was hesitant. I felt foolish, a sixty-three year old woman acting like a teenager. I didn't know how much was real and how much was wishful thinking, and I was so godawful lonely. Could I trust my emotions?
He was lonely too, and had been for a very long time. Although he was married he was living in isolation in his own home, any affection and intimacy having ended years ago. I wondered about that too. Wasn't that what all married men said? "My wife doesn't understand me."
Once again I was in an extremely stressful situation, confused and frightened. He was just as confused. After careful consideration he decided to break it off with me. Guilt was eating him alive and it was killing me as well. Although it was almost two years after Bill's death was it to soon for a relationship? Could I actually be a part of breaking up his marriage? Was I that kind of woman? Did that make me a selfish, calculating bitch who only cared about her own happiness? Oddly enough we both ended up in the hospital within days of calling it off.
I was heartbroken and embarrassed, determined to stay as far away from him as I could. I asked him to delete my number and he did. Five days later he called my daughter. He couldn't do it. He was sick over it, more sick at the thought of not having me in his life than he was in facing what was coming. I was relieved.
We decided to have an affair. Disgusting I know, but our options felt limited and I tried to justify it by telling myself I wasn't cheating, he was. I was free to do whatever I wanted and people had affairs all the time, right? Not me, but other people I mean? I'd been a good wife and mother and never unfaithful to Bill. I'd come back from death's door more than once since Bill died. Didn't I deserve a little happiness? Ugh! What a mess.
I'd never been 'the other woman' and I have to tell you, I wasn't very good at it. I'm too high maintenance for that shit. I have to be THE WOMAN and I told him so, but I would do it as long as I could. Turns out that wasn't very long. My nerves were shot. We were meeting as often as we could, even at Walmart of all places, but the more time we spent together, the more we hated to part. I was living with my phone in my hand like a pathetic teenager. He was trying to learn to text, lol. Seriously, some of his messages made me wonder if he was having a stroke! I can't even imagine what anyone viewing the security cameras at Walmart saw without shuddering.
In any case it was only a few weeks later when he came clean to his wife. To be fair he was honest and offered to stay with her as long as he could see me whenever we wanted. Their intimacy had ended years ago and while I was sort of...kind of...willing to agree to that, she wasn't. Thank God! He packed and left that day and has been with me ever since.
In February his divorce became final and he asked me to marry him. He thinks waiting forty years is long enough. I said yes.
We set a date for late summer, but here's the thing that's most important. He gets me. He knows I still grieve for Bill. He understands how much I loved him and accepts that there are certain days where he can't do much for me except be there, be present.
I don't have to hide my sadness from him. He knows how important he is to me and how much I love him. He's kind, tender and thoughtful. He makes me laugh and lightens my burdens.
Is it the same kind of love I felt for Bill? No. Definitely not, but it's still love and our relationship is worthy of my devotion and I'll try never to compare these two men I love so much.
So, in a few more weeks I will no longer be a widow, I'll be a bride. The thought of referring to myself as that makes me laugh and cringe a bit. Brides are not sixty-four years old, they are young and starry-eyed and full of hope for the future. They don't have a giant hole in their heart that will never be filled and they don't think about death, wills, financial bullshit or wonder how many years they will actually have with their new husbands.
They usually don't have most of their friends and family asking them why they are getting married at their age and suggesting they simply live together. Truthfully, we've considered living together and have been doing just that for almost a year, but we're old school. When you're in love, you get married. Besides, he says he waited years for me and I don't feel right making him wait any longer, not to mention we don't have another forty years.
So, in conclusion, I have to say that even though I thought my life was over, that I would never love again, never feel passion again, I was mistaken. I think you have to be open to it, and for me knowing the other person for a long time helped that happen, but life still has some surprises up it's sleeve and some of them might be wonderful. Wish me luck!
This page is now my blog/journal about Widowhood. I'm not qualified to give advice. I'm new at this. I don't want to be qualified. I don't want to be a widow, but no one asked me. These are my thoughts, fears and feelings. Please don't equate them as anything but that.