Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An Ambush

Ambush (a sudden or surprise attack.)

When I hear the word "ambush" I picture an old western movie filmed around  the cliffs and rocks of Arizona where a man with a black hat, a gun, and dusty old cowboy boots is hiding in wait for an unsuspecting victim to walk by so that he can jump him.

Today I had an ambush of a different kind.

I went to a bible study and several of the woman were about my age. As each woman introduced herself, I sat and listened as she gave us a short glimpse of her life, talked about her husband and family, and the things she enjoyed doing. Most were retired as were their husbands, and they were enjoying retirement together. As the conversation moved from one woman to the next, I felt a pain that began deep within my stomach and I started to feel a little nauseous. Then the pain moved into my chest and my throat felt tight and dry.

There was a little voice inside me that said, "Run, get out of here!" I answered that little voice back with something like, "are you kidding, do you know how embarrassing that would be?"  I either have to stay here so I can face these ladies next week, or quit." So, running wasn't an option. I hate it when I'm rational like that.

As we continued to circle around the room, giving each woman a turn to speak,  I was relieved when the woman next to me shared a glimpse of her family life with us because she was a young mother and I felt like I could relate to her as I would one of my own children.  I actually felt myself starting to relax again. I thought, "Okay, now the tough part of this conversation is over" (the part that was flooding my mind and heart, not with painful memories, but with an overwhelming realization that I am not able to have those kinds of husband and wife experiences and wonderful moments they enjoy), I thought, "I'm okay now, I can do this."

Then it was my turn to tell a little about myself. Short and sweet. That was my goal. I began by telling everyone how many children I had and about my grand children. And that was going to be it. That was all I was sharing today. And I met my goal beautifully... for a short time.

And then, as a total shock to myself, I began to open my mouth and words started spilling out. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever spilled your guts in the spur of the moment?

I told them that my husband died and how hard it is to be alone. As my tears began to flow, I told them that I married young and divorced but I always had the love and companionship of my children, and then when I married Paul, the two of us were inseparable and we did everything together. I told them I had never been alone before. Until now. I told them how lonely it is to be a widow. UGH! I was even depressing myself!

On a good note, at least I ended by telling them that my son and his family are moving in with me for a while and how happy I am to get a break from the loneliness.

Where did all that emotion come from, those unintentional words that welled up inside me and popped up like Jiffy Pop? And why the sudden anxiety and burst of emotion?

It was an ambush.

Listening to the women (lovely women, by the way) talk about their lives with their husbands, a life like the one I used to have, caused a burst of emotion that popped out like Jiffy Pop. It pounced on me when I least expected it.

Yesterday was the two and a half year anniversary of Paul's death. 915 days since he was here. That's 130 weeks ago that I had the very life my new friends were describing. Isn't it odd how you can have what you believe to be everything one day and the next day it's gone?

I'm so thankful that I have family to support me.

It's just been one of those days.......

An  "Ambush Day."


  1. Been there, done that - at Joe's niece's wedding reception in August. I left in tears towards the end of the night as the couples made their way to the dance floor. They were dancing cheek to cheek to Aerosmith's song from the movie Armageddon. I cried during the hour drive home because as far as I know, that will never be me again.

    Unfortunately ambushes do not go away, you just know when they most likely will occur. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for you. God bless you.

  2. Weddings are an ambush waiting to happen, and that Aerosmith song? Well, that's just adding fuel to the fire. I'm sorry that happened to you, but I'm glad you told me. At least I know I'm not the only one this happens to. Although it doesn't happen as often anymore, I was hoping to hear these ambushes would eventually go away.

    I don't know how God is going to use our experiences to help someone else, but he has a plan!

    Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Blessings to you.

  3. You are welcome. Just know that you are not alone. God always has a plan, but trusting in it is sometimes very difficult.