AND THEN AGAIN……by Tamara Pettit

 Widow….I’ve defined myself many ways in my lifetime:   spoiled princess daughter, rebellious teenage  daughter; devoted, loving daughter; , novice mother with no idea how to raise two kids, but proud mamma who must have either  figured it out or those kids took pity on me.  I was a stay-at-home wife and mamma and then I switched gears completely; divorced woman, career woman. Legislator.     Life was full and interesting and those moments of being alone were brief and a welcome respite from the crowds. 

But then I got remarried in my seventies.  It was a joy to have someone like me to share even the smallest moment.   A ride on a sunny day.   A coffee at Starbucks showing off our pride & joy Max the dog . 

We learned that the bad moments were more tolerable with someone you loved.  When Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago we knew it was bad, but we were hopeful.   Prostrate cancer moves slowly and at our age we hoped he would live out our best lives.   Those three years were good.  He breezed through chemo and radiation only tired him.   But when cancer returned it was with a vengeance.

And so now, I am alone again only this time with memories to sustain me.  I promise not to be a “Debbie Downer” in my column which I think should be a primer to dealing with a sadness that is pervasive; a way to wade through the grief and emerge whole again.   My goal yesterday?  I cleaned out the closet.   Bill loved clothes.  He had beautiful clothes.   Every sports coat or sweater bought a tear.    What to do?  Then I remembered “Buddy the Elf”   and how he would sing when he was sad.    So I sang.  “I’m singing cause I’m sad.   I loved this sports coat and I loved when we went to the Capitol Grill and he wore is with that teal sweater.  I’m sobbing…..oh crap…..singing doesn’t work either.

More from navigating aloneness in a few weeks as I hide from friends in the grocery store who don’t know of Bill’s demise and might ask “how’s Bill?”   And, Shannon decides to move in.   After all the house is lovely and was built by Mom and Dad for a family and Shannon lived here with the kids are little.    Her house on Aztec Lane was perfect for a family, but she like me is a single.    She is excited as she picks her bedroom colors and we plan projects……and I am happy for a moment until the next wave of sadness overcomes me.