Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love When You Can, Cry When You Have To, Be Who You Must-That's A Part Of The Plan

A year ago, I thought that my head would explode if I didn't write down or talk about what I was thinking and how I felt.  Lately though, I've felt almost the opposite-that other people's heads will explode if I say what's on my mind.  And since yesterday was the second anniversary of the day I first thought to myself, "Wow, I'm a widow now..." I tried to think of where I was then, where I am now, and what I've taken from this experience.  Here's what I've come up with so far:

IT'S NOT MY FAULT. Right after Wingman died, a couple of people made me think that his death was in part, my responsibility if not in fact, my fault.  I've learned through rudimentary counseling that what it all comes down to is that we are just not powerful enough to control someone else's destiny, even if that destiny is death.

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I'LL ALWAYS MISS HIM. Hearing a song at work, watching kids with their dads on the little league field near my house, seeing someone play a Rickenbacker bass are all triggers.  Plus, he always did a damn good job on the lawn.  I have two pretty good size blisters right now from trying to rotor-till a garden like he use to have.

FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I WILL PROBABLY OVERCOMPENSATE WITH MY SONS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO DAD. And it would be nice if they would appreciate my guilt every now and then. 

"FOR A REASON" AND "FOR A SEASON" FRIENDS REALLY PISS ME OFF.  I mean, I spent D-E-C-A-D-E-S with people, having them over for holiday dinners, raising kids together, blah, blah, blah, and now I'm a non-entity. This is one that I've actually considered counseling about. 

HAVING A BEST FRIEND MAKES UP FOR THE ASSHOLES. She cleaned out my fridge when Wingman died and took me to Florida when the house flooded so I wouldn't have a breakdown. We've gone to Broadway shows and local concerts.  I've got a chair at her beach club whenever I want it. We listen to each others problems and offer solutions.  OK, maybe I can avoid some of the counseling by having her in my life.

I HAVEN'T GROWN UP YET.  I'm still just winging it, whether it comes to dealing with my family, my new job or back when I rebuilt my home.  Sometimes I do it more confidently than other times, or than other people would.

NOT MY CIRCUS. NOT MY MONKEYS.  I'm trying hard to avoid distractions because they eat up my days.  I'm trying harder to avoid drama, because not only does it take up time, energy and emotion, it eats at ME.  Some people are not exactly thrilled with me because I won't go to their circuses but I can't spend my emotional energy on things that aren't mine.  I already did that with Wingman years ago.

EMOTIONAL SCENES ARE  TIRING AND POINTLESS.  Except when using the "F" word as every part of speech (noun, verb, conjunction, etc.) in a sentence gets you a sprinkler system because the company couldn't complete my new fence after a month. That's a blog yet to be written...when the fence is done...

I CAN DO IT.  GC a construction re-build.  Know who to call and what to shut off when a pipe breaks.  Even laugh when the dog chews a new coffee table.  My life is forever changed and so is my outlook.  I've learned not to sweat the small stuff, and that most of what I have to deal with is small stuff.

I DON'T WANT TO EVER GO BACK TO THE PERSON I WAS BEFORE. The woman who just let things be, for fear of rocking the boat.  I cut this poem out maybe twenty years ago.  I'm finally ready to be her now. 

Book cover 

“I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted, 
grey at the temples, soft body, delighted, 
cracked up by life, with a laugh that’s known bitter but, past it, got better, 
knows she’s a survivor – that whatever comes, she can outlast it.  
I am becoming a deep weathered basket.
” I am becoming the woman I’ve longed for,  
the motherly lover with arms strong and tender, 
the growing up daughter who blushes surprises.  
I am becoming full moons and  sunrises.
“I find her becoming, this woman I’ve wanted, 
who knows she’ll encompass, 
who knows she’s sufficient, knows where she is going and travels with passion.  
Who remembers she’s precious, but knows she’s not scarce – 
who knows she is plenty, plenty to share.”


  1. Awesome blog, right on so many levels. And that good friend....yep, she's a keeper!!...k. ruhl

  2. Cuz, you got it all right!!!! So proud of you! I can only imagine how tough your road has been, and yes there may be other rough roads ahead now and then, but what you've written above proves you can handle whatever, not just because of your experiences, but also because of the deep, smart, loving person you are! You are a model for your kids and grandkids...and for the rest of us too! Don't forget it! (Truth be told...the final five of what you wrote above rings true for me too! Especially the last one! But, I still have a ways to go to be that girl in the poem). Thanks for sharing! BTW: THE WRITING IS GREAT! Concise,on target, wise, and true! And so happy you have such a great friend in your life! Yeah,_ran!!! xoxo (Whatever happened to us meeting for lunch? Let's do it soon! You name the day and place)!

  3. I know the loss of a husband!! the pain is so deep! He was 30 yrs old and I was 29 yrs old. I have 2 children, my daughter was 5 when he passed my son was 10!! Then my daughter got killed in a car wreck 5 days before she turned 18 yrs old!!! and believe me that has taken a toll on me that has just about destroyed my life.. I always wondered why God didn't take me! I just have a son that is 37 and he has 2 daughters that mean the world to me! I have never remarried came close once but I backed out of that. maybe in fear that something terrible would happen again!! I am 55! I feel so lonely and depressed I don't have a lot of friends where I live now... I am a survivor!!! But I don't know how much more of life's heartaches that I can take... I want to be a better person and pray to God that I will... I don't think that I have really ever grieved like I should have. But you are such a inspiration to me!! You give me hope... I hate being lonely and feeling the way I do sometime... God Bless you and your strength that I wish I had.. My name is Carlene... I would like to be a role model but I don't even know where to start or how to help myself!! Thank you for sharing!!

  4. You have a great gift/talent, Barbara...and a wealth of stories to tell. Keep writing. I say take the leap of faith and go pro! You could stand with some of my favorites. You deserve a wider audience. Just my two cents. You are woman AND you are a writer...


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