Many of you long-term readers know I lost my beloved husband, Kramer in June of 2019. He was diagnosed with lung cancer on January 24th of 2019 and died 129 days later.
Since that day, my life has become a study of learning to deal with loss…but honestly, I started grieving the day he was diagnosed. Sure, I was hopeful he could lick the cancer but something in me knew he’d never live the life he had…still, I had hope.
On the last weekend in April of 2019, Kramer broke his neck. The cancer had moved to his neck and had eaten away the bone causing him to break his neck. It was then that my real grieving start. I knew for sure then he wasn’t going to lick this. I knew for sure I would be a widow. I knew for sure that every effort I had in me had to focus on making the days he had left, no matter the number, the very best I could for him…I also knew without a doubt, it would be me left here. It would be me that had to find a way to go on.
When people talk about grief they say things like the holidays are the hardest…they say things like the first year is the hardest. For me, the hardest time will always be this last weekend in April. It’s the day I realized my prayers wouldn’t be answered. I realized that many grandkids would be born without knowing their grandpa in the flesh. I realized it would be me trying to figure out a plumbing problem. I realized my life would never ever be the same.
Today marks that weekend. I’ll admit…
I’m again sad. The memories flood back. I can feel all the same worries and cares like they are fresh with no layer of healing. It’s okay though…It means I loved him and if this pain I feel now is a result of many years of love, it’s worth it.
A friend stopped over the other day. She’s the sweetest gal. She brought me a gift and treats for the childcare kiddos. She doesn’t need to bring treats, her company is enough. You see, she lost her husband too. There is something completely different about talking to another widow. They completely understand the frustration of not knowing how to fix something their husband used to fix in a few minutes. They know the uncertainty of filing taxes and how that will all work now that you’re not filing jointly. They too miss sharing in the family the way no one else can. They too know that there are a few things that we are learning to appreciate now that we’re on our own.
As my friend and I were visiting we started to talk about some of the silver linings of not worrying about a husband.
She had recently traveled taking a trip and took the whole family. Her husband, like my husband, would have likely complained about the cost or the time away. A few weeks later she went to Texas to visit family.
We got to talking that there are actually a few things that we are starting to appreciate about being single. Both of us would worry if we were gone for a day that there was food in the refrigerator for our husbands…we didn’t feel comfortable being gone for several days. It wasn’t necessarily that our husbands made us feel that way, it was more we felt such a responsibility to them so often didn’t travel or did it less than we wanted.
We also talked about food. It’s nice to sometimes not cook things to our husband’s preference. I like my steak medium. It’s nice to turn off the grill and be done cooking when my steak is medium rather than standing there and getting his well done. I like not having to make a potato with every meal. I like having a steak and salad. I like making soup and things that go in just one pot. Kramer didn’t like soup. For me, soup is supper with a slice of buttered bread. For him, I would have made grill cheese or Rueben sandwiches or a hamburger if I served soup.
I was telling my friend that when Karl moved out, he needed dishes. I ended up giving him my old dishes and I bought myself new Pioneer Woman dishes.
I didn’t have to listen to Kramer say anything about the purchase. I didn’t have to wonder what he’d think of eating off a floral plate. I just bought them, put them in the cabinet, and have been enjoying them immensely. Don’t get the wrong idea. Both of our husbands were the best guys you could ask for. Both were strong hard workers that were good at taking care of us and our families…neither was quick to criticize or complain. Kramer wouldn’t have cared about me getting new dishes. I just probably wouldn’t have bought them if he were here…he was a manly kind of man.
I can go to bed when I want. I can get up when I want. I actually like that. I can read in bed with the light on and not have to wonder if I am disturbing him.
Some of these little things are the silver lining and I am so thankful that I have gotten this far in the grief process that I can admit that. At one point I thought that, but didn’t dare say that out loud. I was afraid someone might think I didn’t GRIEVE him enough…didn’t care enough or even sounded selfish. None of that is true. I have just come to the point that no matter what I do, he’s not coming back. This is my life now. God made me a glass half full girl so…in my half glass, I’m appreciating my Pioneer Woman dishes. I’m enjoying a salad with my steak. I’m eating soup when I please. I add cabbage to lots of things (Kramer didn’t like cabbage). I’m finding the silver linings…
My friend and I both agreed that in a heartbeat we would eat on paper plates, never eat soup again and for her, give up travel if we could have our husbands back…but if they aren’t going to be here, we’re going to continue to find some silver linings.