What does today mean?

It is the first day of the new year. This day means so many different things. To some it is a change to forget about the mistakes and bad situations from last year. When I was growing up, my dad and I had a tradition of setting fire to last year’s calendar. Looking back on it I understand why we did it. We wanted to forget that year and erase it. I don’t feel that way anymore.

Last year wasn’t bad. Off the top of my head I cannot think of anything so horrible that would make me want to forget it ever happened. Not that it was all roses and bliss. But if I have to think very hard to remember what was so terrible, then really it must not have been that bad. The year my wife passed on, 2012, that is one of those years that I would not mind forgetting. But last year, not so much.

January 1st could be just another day on the calendar. One might say that it is no different that any other day and the fact that we give it so much importance and recognition is circumstantial at best. I tend to overuse the example, but if I was stranded on a deserted island, January 1st or New Years Day would have very little significance. It might be nothing more than another scratch on a cave wall or cut on a tree trunk to mark the passing of time as I light fires and make marks in the sand hoping for a rescue ship or plane.

If January 1st is a day to start over and make resolutions, then every second we live is also an opportunity for the same. It is never too late to start over. Admittedly, if it was so easy to do this then every one would. Every time we made a poor decision or mistake we would chuck it to the past and begin anew. It should be that easy. Unfortunately, for most people, it is not that simple. Well, not for me anyway. If it was, I would have started a long time ago. But I am older and wiser now, and my circumstances are very different from what they were several years ago. Even though in many areas I have a lot less choices available to me, at the same time, I have a lot more and in the next few years perhaps I will have even more.

And so, today, I will make no resolutions. I will not commit to any promises to myself or to anyone else. Those are hollow and nothing more than opening the door to opportunities for failure and disappointment. What I will do is work on how I think about my life and how I perceive the world around me. Every second of every minute we live has the potential for change and for something good. Being afraid has taught me a lot over the years but I don’t care to be afraid anymore. I have a pretty good grasp of what I do not like. Now it is time to find out what I do like and might like if I tried it. The best could be yet to come.


Getting used to being alone

After today it will be three years of life as a….and I don’t like to say it….as a widower. The word is sad and foreboding. Am I becoming accustomed to this life without her? I suppose to some extent, I am. What is my other option?


Tonight is the anniversary of the night she left to spent the rest of eternity with God. It is a new life for her, one that is quite beyond my comprehension but I know it has to be wonderful. Now that some time has passed since that awful time I’m learning to look at my situation in a different light and perspective.

Neither of us chose this new journey that we’ve embarked upon. Hers of course, is the one we will all eventually take. I’ve written enough about being sad and missing her. It’s time to stop writing that way. I’m pretty sure I’ve said all there is to say about that.

Life really is different and trying to embrace the positives without feeling guilty and as though I’m betraying her by being happy is a difficult thing. The alternative would be to stay miserable and sad and to wear it on my sleeve for all to see. It’s a way of proclaiming, look at me, I’m still grieving! But I’ve found that I don’t enjoy being around that person and I’m guessing that no one else does either.

If I’m being transparent, which I usually am, I always have the concern that I’ve become content without her. That somehow I’m glad for it. That I prefer it. It’s an uncomfortable though that I expect is not uncommon in my situation.  Do I like being alone? I like it as much as I did before I was ever married. I had no problem being single. I don’t have any problem with it now except that I expected to live out the rest of my life with her at my side.

It is as though I am two people. One is just a middle-aged single man, with grown up kids and grand-kids who has many years (I hope) ahead to enjoy life. The other is the man who lost his wife and doesn’t know how to let that go.  I walk with one foot in each life, switching back and forth between them.

Learning who I am now, at this new time in life is a challenge. I don’t require sympathy or condolence, maybe just understanding.

I’ve made changes. I have ideas about what I’d like my future to be. Nothing concrete, but some hopes. It really is a process. I guess all we can do is take life day by day. Since it really isn’t the end, it might be the beginning.