(transferred from Life Goes on Blog)
There are times I feel so cheated out of the life I wished I had, not only once, but twice. Never in a million years would I have thought that my life would turn out this way.
As a teenager I had visions of a long marriage – just like my parents had. At the time I had planned for five or six kids, but later knew that was not what I wanted at all.
When I did marry, I was only twenty-two years old. Young enough, I thought, to achieve my dream of being married for at least fifty years. Young and idealistic. Yet, just twenty years later I would lose my first husband in a tragic accident, leaving me a widow at 43.
Okay, I thought, perhaps I might get married again and have another 30 or 40 years. When I met George I was still only 43, we married when I was nearly 45. Our theme song was “Grow Old Along With Me”. We figured we would have a long marriage lasting long into our senior years. Time enough for him to retire and for us to enjoy time traveling, doing things we couldn’t do when he worked and when we were caring for his mom. Yet, again, twenty years after meeting and just before our 17th anniversary, he too was taken from me. Cancer is a horrible way to die.
So, here I am at sixty-three – a mere forty years since my first marriage. Widowed.. again.
Before George passed, as he knew his time was ending, he commented that “I want to ask you to never get married again, but I know I shouldn’t do that”. My response, “Honey, I will have buried two husbands. I do not want to go through this again!” While I laugh about this, there is much truth in this. The heartbreak can be overwhelming. The mere thought of going through this again daunting.
When Mike died, I knew I was young enough and still had a lot of life ahead of me. My psychologist at the time said that since I loved being married that I would seek another marriage. Cautioned to not move too fast, I still threw caution to the wind. I so wanted to feel loved, to be held again. And, while I am still young to a certain degree and certainly still have much to offer, at this point in my life I can’t fathom another relationship.
Here I am, needing to write the next chapter of my life. Life without George. Life as a widow. Life living alone. Trying to figure out what to do with my life. Needing to find a sense of purpose and where do I fit into this universe. Reinventing myself one more time.
I’ve spent the first six months of my life keeping busy with travel, making up for all the years when doing so was difficult as caregiving to front seat and then cancer took front and center stage. And, if that wasn’t enough, moving forward with my plans to move away from the place I’ve called home for nearly fifteen years. Out of the county I’ve lived in for forty-two years.
I know I’ll eventually have to slow it down and settle in to new routines. Make new friends. Hang out with my children and grandchildren. Sometimes I enjoy my alone time – yet sometimes the quiet makes me miss my George. My rock.
Both Mike and George have been coming through to me over the past few months. Signs that they are still around, still watching over me. That gives me comfort to know my guys are close by. Watching over me as I begin to write the next chapter of my life.