I still wear my wedding ring, and I hate to tick that single box when filling out forms at the doctor's office, so I usually leave it blank. Of course there are some offices that still have the dreaded "widow" box and that's not getting a tick from me either.
You may think I'm in denial, that I haven't accepted my husband's death, but believe me, I know he's gone. One thing I know for sure is that I will never see him again in this life. I saw him suffer for months, and I was there when he passed. Yes, he is gone.
Believe me, the last three years have been a struggle, and through God's grace alone, I have survived.
I will never forget those early months of experiencing all my "FIRSTS." My first doctors appointment alone (he always drove me), my first trip to the grocery store, the first Christmas, his birthday. Those were days of stress, pain in my chest, and sometimes uncontrollable sobbing.
Other things I struggled through were:
Seeing older couples holding hands. I couldn't help but ask God why I didn't get to be that couple.
Being alone at night. The nights were long and sleepless.
Trying to figure out what to make myself for dinner! Sound crazy to you? After spending my life cooking for kids or a husband, it was hard to figure out what I liked. It also seemed like a waste of time to cook for one person. So, I lost a little weight.
Getting yard work done. I didn't know the first thing about negotiating with landscapers, but I soon learned.
Making all the financial decisions myself. Who was I going to blame if I lost money?
Getting the car repaired. I called my sons many times to ask questions and make sure a repairman wasn't trying to scam me.
Having medical procedures. I hate being asked "Do you have a driver?" or "Is anyone with you today?"
Going for a walk alone. It took me a year to be able to go for a walk alone.
I think the toughest part was losing my best friend. I miss the little things; just riding in the car with him, or sitting out on the patio laughing and listening to his twisted sense of humor.
I'm learning to live without him. I'm learning to just be me. I guess maybe that's what it is to be single. Just being myself.
Thank you God,
That the memory of Paul's death
and his suffering
pain is no longer
my constant companion.
"But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on..."