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holidays and special occassions


swilkinson

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Over the past few years I have found public holidays and long weekends difficult to cope with. I was out today (Monday) with three other ladies who belong to my Lions Club, the other female member could not come as she has succumbed to a throat infection. Three of us are single and otherwise would have spent today alone. This is the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend so in the past I have found it lonely, this time I packed it full of things to do and it all went well. I am getting better at holidays and special occasions now, I really plan them and that seems to work well. I think I am getting better at living as a single person. I do have some problems with loneliness and think I always will but I am handling it better now than I did maybe a year ago.

 

That is the beauty of having a blog as an online journal, I can look back and see what I did and thought a year ago or two years ago, I can look back and notice the changes in me, and I see your wonderful support in all I do. Thank you Blog Community, your support means so much to me. The blogs are at a new low at the moment so I hope that just means people are busy enjoying the northern summer and do not have time to sit down and write a blog. I know for the survivors in particular writing a blog is a big task so I do really appreciate the effort people put into keeping us updated. It is such a pleasure to keep in touch, to know what people are going through, to feel as if I am a part of their lives. I do think of you all as friends in the cyberspace continuum.

 

Over lunch last week I was discussing with another widow what happens when love comes along the second time. She has been married twice and widowed twice now, she has no intention of remarrying again in her 80s but says she has some wonderful memories from both marriages. She said she was widowed the first time aged 59 and at 61 it was an unexpected surprise when she met a wonderful man and married a year later. She says she would not have missed those years for anything as she and her second husband fulfilled their dreams of travelling and re-established a home open to all the family members from both sides. I have been a recipient of her hospitality so know that is so.

 

I was much encouraged by this conversation, at almost ten years beyond that myself still there is hope of a second person might come into my life as a blessing. I have been meeting up with a man for coffee for two years, about once a month. We met through mutual friends when he had recently lost his partner. Just in the last couple of months we started to go out once a week instead. He is a nice man and about my age BUT he has leukemia. It is under control at present but he says he probably doesn't have much of a future so this is friendship not romance. Still it is nice to go somewhere once in a while with a companion rather than by myself.

 

This slow building up of a relationship is a way that suits me. In my teens it was quite usual to go out with a friend's brother, someone you met at a dance ( that was the way I met Ray) or someone you worked with. Today it is not so easy to meet someone when you are an older widow so I think this slow getting-to-know-you method is much better. Some of the widows I know have been widowed for years and never even thought of another man coming into their lives but I am a friendly person so having a friend is better for me at this stage than having a full on relationship. I can do all of my voluntary work and still have some time left over for a coffee or lunch meet-up.

 

As a widow I need reassurance and support, some of that I get from family and friends in real life, some I get from this site. I guess my friends get tired of that sometimes and wonder when I will be "over it" but I think in some ways I never will. The person I expected to spend the whole of my life with, the one who I said: "till death us do part" to, has gone. No-one knew me as well as Ray did, no-one supported me and was strong for me the way he was. That is why I support others, both on here and in my regular life, I have been there and done that. I know the widows I visit in the nursing homes were once loved and cherished by someone special but now that person is gone and with it all the love and affection and that there is no substitute for that love. I know, because I am experiencing that myself now.

 

The rest of the family seems to be okay, their lives are busy and I am glad when they find time to reach out to me. They are all productive members of their communities and I am glad for that too. I am sad that Ray is not around to see them, to watch the grandchildren grow, to applaud their achievements and know them as I do. I am pleased they sometimes think of me and want to have me around, Trevor is particularly insistent that I visit regularly so that his daughter Alice knows me well and so that I can enjoy her early years and influence her life. I am meeting up with Steve's ex-wife this week for dinner, she is still the mother of my grandchildren and I still think of her as my daughter-in-law, i don't know if that is what she is as they are divorced now but not sure what you call someone after that.

 

Winter may be here with it's short dark days but today was a good day and that is how I want to to be.

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Sue,

  I love the way that you describe your life.  Yes.  I do love keeping up with you.  You do encourage me.   Yes, there is always hope for love. 

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