It’s time for a change. The weather changes, the time on the clock changes (at least, in most parts of the world it does), even my hair style may change soon….and I am changing – so now it’s time to walk away from being, first and foremost, a widow.
It’s not a dirty word, but it is one people avoid; they’re uncomfortable with it. Well, news flash here folks – we are uncomfortable being it. It isn’t something that we can make go away by shifting nervously in our chairs, or by changing the subject; it isn’t something that makes us look with pity upon all the other pooooor widows. It certainly isn’t something we chose to be in order to inconvenience you when planning seating for your dinner party, or to depress you when you think of the ‘good old days’ when we weren’t just half a couple. It’s a painful, permanent fact of life. But I’m learning, as millions have before me, that it is not, doesn’t have to be, the thing that defines me. It is a component, but it is not ‘me’.
This is scarey territory. For over three years, I’ve had that to fall back on – I can’t ______(fill in the blank) because I’m a widow. Or, because I’m grieving. Or because life isn’t fair. Or, because I want my old life back. Guess what, toots – it ain’t comin’ back. I remember how Scott sometimes defined himself by his illness. I got SO frustrated with him over that – I’d tell him, you’re MORE than that….well Dolly, ya better listen to your own words.
It is now time for me to find out what I am, beyond ‘a widow’. I know I used to be other things, I’m sure of it. But, I don’t think I can go back in time (nor would I want to), back to pre-Scott days…I am reinventing the wheel here, peeps – help me out. I am a different ‘me’. I just need to see me through clear eyes, and then I can choose what I like, change what I don’t, and learn to not just recognize myself (a huge chore, to be sure), but to love me. To enjoy my company. To think I’m a pretty damn funny old broad, a ‘character’ as my Grandma would say.
I’ll never be a meek churchmouse (again), one to be dictated to or walked on – I am now partly the Dolly Scott created (his “monster” he sometimes said). I may spend many, many years alone. If I become a someone I admire, an interesting person with lots to do and stories to tell….will that keep me warm when I’m old? Will that be enough? Maybe in my ‘becoming’, I’ll become more patient, more mellow, more accepting of others. Maybe I can even become something more than I’ve ever been. It’s not too late – it’s just a change of seasons.
© September 20, 2004