Monday, July 8, 2013

Three Times a Lady (Or how this blog got started)

It's 18 days short of a year since my IRS status changed from "Married" to "Head of Household". Most of the house is different now-no Yankee games on TV, no dirty dishes in the sink, no vodka bottles hidden in the garage.

My husband of 30 years passed away of a pulmonary embolism; a complication of brain surgery after a long battle with alcoholism. The night he passed, I went to the hospital with a buttered hard roll for him: his healing brain had reverted back to his NYC commuting days when he'd grab a coffee and a roll for his bus ride to his film editing job. 
As he drank his coffee and ate his roll, we argued about him wanting to go home with me.  He had not yet relearned how to walk, so the aides were moving him back and forth to a chair (his bus seat) and we all had hopes of being able to move him to a rehab facility.  Five hours later, an doctor called to say something was wrong, but not to come. Ten minutes later, another call and this time please hurry. When I got there, he was gone.

Flash ahead to October.  Superstorm Sandy trudged up the coast, battering New Jersey. Although my home is nowhere near what you would call waterfront, or even water view, I battened down the house with sandbags, threw some stuff (although not nearly enough) upstairs, patted the box with hubby's remains (cut me a break-I haven't figured out what do do with them yet) and told him to take care of the house. When I returned, I found the entire first floor ruined-flooded with three feet of water and caked with river mud. An uprooted tree was leaning on the roof.  Missing were the locusts to make it a complete disaster.

As people from all over the country banded together to lend a hand to us Sandy victims, what could be more comforting than the support of your work peers? In my case, anything short of Freddie Kruger in "A Nightmare on Elm Street".  My director informed me that because of my lack of sales during hubby's illness/death and "issues" both at home and at work following Sandy,  I was no longer needed. I know I shouldn't say this, but I smiled on the way home because I couldn't think of how I was going to manage rebuilding my home and my life while working a full-time job with no wing man.

But I do it.  And so do almost a million other women who were widowed last year (a third my age or younger). Writing about my experience is a cheap way to avoid the therapist route, even if it occasionally includes a very dirty Martini.  Because I still keep one bottle of vodka in the house-but now it's just for me.

1 comment:

  1. A very brave beginning to what will become a wonderful new narrative for readers of both genders. Brava, Barbara.


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