The list goes on and on of how women use the word widow all over the place to explain how their spouse is off doing something they enjoy and they are left behind for…”gasp”…a few days.
Please don’t confuse your “widowhood” that includes shopping, sales and spas with my real life widowhood!”
I am no saint for sure and I likely used the word nonchalantly prior to being a real Widow. I realized though real life loss that I would take Mike back in a heartbeat even if it meant I didn’t see him much on the weekends in the fall and spring as I was a “Farm Widow”.
I pray for the women that sound like they are complaining about their “widow” status that they never experience real widowhood.
If you are reading this you know at least 1 Widow in your life – ME. If you have ever used this word and you are not truly a widow please consider how it might make the Widow in your life feel; when you try to compare your weekend without your spouse to her lifetime without her spouse.
Ponder that for a while and while many here in Minnesota get closer to what is referred to “hunting widows weekend” think about what you could do for a Widow that you know and how you could possibly make her full-time Widow status easier. On a side note that just because your friend is dating/remarried or has been widowed for many years doesn’t mean she “Revokes her Widow Card“.
Here are a few ideas from my friend and mentor Carolyn Moor, Founder of Modern Widows Club.
Widows are the busiest and loneliest women that I know.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
People have told me that I have a gift for writing and that I should write a book. Well after years of thinking about it I finally took the leap of faith and took time off from work to just write! It is still a work in progress though many of my stories, emotions and memories are now down on paper and I can stop reliving that part of my life. I can say that this year was the first time that I didn’t relive each and ever last day and moment of Mike’s life; like I had in the past few years. Maybe this is something that comes with time, though I like to think that writing all of those memories and emotions down helped too. It helped me heal and to see losing Mike for all of the beauty that it was and is now.
Until you have lost someone you love so much that your soul hurts you can never understand how amazing it also feels to see life bloom again like a flower and be eternally gratefully for the “new” blessed life that you have been given.
I watched a video just yesterday of a presentation by Christina Rasmussen the author who wrote “Second Firsts” and it really spoke to me. A tragedy did happen in my life but you don’t need to have a tragedy to reclaim your life. When Mike died I never thought it was possible to be happy and see the beauty in life again, but as I have told many widows it is possible! I am so grateful and thankful for everything that I have been given. Now before you start judging or thinking that I am thankful that my husband died that is not it at all. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone at all, but it is all about perspective. I am thankful for the journey and path that God gave me and that I am living. As much as I would have loved to have the typical life: get married, have children and grow old together that was not the path that God gave to me or wanted me to have. I have been given a gift and many people will never understand this, but when you are in the “waiting room” as Christina would say you are comfy and not really stretching yourself beyond your bounds and I was in the waiting room long before Mike died. I was just comfy and not stretching to be me fully and after he died, he gave me the gift of the 2nd chance. You don’t have to have a tragedy occur to step out of the “waiting room” and live the life that God intended. There are still days that I just want to crawl back into my “waiting room” and cry and be sad for the cards my life got dealt, but then I remember that if Mike hadn’t died I wouldn’t have other amazing things in my life. Again – no hate mail needed – I love Mike and always will, but again it is all about perspective. I choose to thank God for all that he has given me instead of the negative and what was taken away from me. If you are feeling stuck; I highly recommend you watch Christina’s 15 minute video (link below) and visit her FB page for additional uplifting messages. Christina’s book changed my perspective and meeting her changed me and how I look at my life!
Today marks the 3rd anniversary of Mike’s home-going. My heart hurts today and especially miss his face.
The kids are thriving, amazing and happy. They miss their dad, though I have taught them it is okay to miss him and we can honor his memory and how he lived his life by truly living ours! If I had 1 request for my children, I would ask if you knew Mike when he was a child/teenager could you please take a little time out of your day and email me a story or two? The boys especially are always asking questions about what their dad was like as a kid or when he played basketball, how he played and more. I can share so much with them, though these are the stories I don’t have.
Today in church Pastor John’s message felt like it was just for me and it was about how each person receives a God-given gift and for many years as I was in my “waiting room” I didn’t know what my God-given gift was. I know now that my gift is to share my story and to help others. I do so by being the chapter leader for the Modern Widows Club Minneapolis West Chapter, running an on-line cancer care-giver support group and volunteering at church. I have a purpose!
In memory of Mike, our family will smile, laugh and honor him by loving this amazing life that we have been given!
Have a blessed day!