To live again

I've been a widow for almost three years and I have to say I'm not used to it yet. And I don't think I ever will be used to it. I miss my husband of almost fifty years very much. And I don't find a way to live a full life without him. However, I have found a way to keep busy and useful. I'm a writer - a published author and poet - and those skills help me a lot. With that said, I'd like to share an essay I recently wrote and read at my writing class: To Live Again by Madeline Sharples When my husband of over fifty years died, I had to give myself the opportunity to become completely new. I went through all our possessions in the house we lived in for forty-two years and divided them up into four categories: stuff to sell, stuff to give away, stuff to throw away, and the littlest pile of all – stuff to keep. Then I sold my house and found a new place to live. I didn’t buy anything new when I moved to the retirement community where I now live. I was able to furnish my new apartment … [Read more...]

Living the life of an old crone

In my writing class this week, we were assigned a prompt to write about how to be a successful crone - you know the  little old lady who lives alone but can totally take control of her  life: her finances, her social life, her living situation, her everyday activities. I liked that prompt and wrote this: I came into my age of croneness when my husband of over fifty years became ill and died. It all happened very suddenly and hit me very hard. I had to make a million decisions without him almost right away: getting used to living without him, traveling without him, sleeping without him, not cooking for him, working without him. And I especially missed having our intellectual work-related conversations. That he couldn’t participate any more left me more than alone and lonely. It left me without the love of my life. I also had to learn to manage my financial life even though Bob called me innumerate. I formed relationships with our financial advisor and tax accountant, made the … [Read more...]

A must see movie!!!

I've been raving about a new Emma Thompson movie for a couple of weeks. I think it's so good I've already seen it twice. It's called "Good Luck to You Leo Grande." And though it will probably appeal more to older women like me, I think the acting and the script and the directing will appeal to others as well. But of course that's me being partial. Besides being about an older woman's experience with a young handsome and paid-for sex worker, a major theme is how she learned to love and respect her body and her face after a whole life of putting herself down. Actually I'm not the only one who liked it. The other night three of us sat in my living room watching Leo Grande on my sixty-five inch television screen. And one of the women reported her reaction in her blog the next day: "I had a very interesting evening yesterday. My friend Madeline invited me and our friend Carol to her apartment to watch a movie. Madeline had seen it a few days before and not only recommended it but … [Read more...]

What do I do all day?

People keep asking me what I do all day. They want to know how this new widow spends her time and deals with her loss. Well, first of all I hate the “widow” word. Isn’t there something else we could call a woman whose husband has died? Well, I suppose not. Plus, I really have other things to do than worry about a word or two. Like continuing to work on all the financial records and documents my husband left me to sort out. And bear in mind I was never a party to anything financial going on during our fifty-year marriage. He was the math guy. He called me innumerate. Even so, I have changed over all the accounts to my name and closed some I don’t want to deal with. I’ve also cancelled a couple of credit card accounts. Right now though, I’m looking through our home improvement records so when and if it comes time to sell my house, I can have write-offs to offset the thousands in taxes I’ll owe. Also, I still am writing. Since last February I’ve been writing a poem a day - … [Read more...]

Welcome back, Barbara Barth!

Choices is so pleased to welcome Barbara Barth back for her second visit, thanks to WOW! Women on Writing virtual book tours.  She was first here in June, 2010, so of course lots has happened in the meantime. One thing for sure is she's written a new book called The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later. And in the last ten years she has been fortunate to have many girlfriends who keep her company and lift up her spirits. Here's Barbara and how she's thrived surrounded by her girlfriends. My Women Friendships by Barbara Barth  I am always perky in my writing, always upbeat, and hate to complain, but of course, I do at times. My girlfriends know that about me, which is a wonderful thing. I can gripe, let my hair down, and not worry someone will judge or criticize me. Instead, a downbeat moment becomes laughter and I need that. Girlfriends that are kindred spirits, some I’ve known all my adult life and some more recent that I’ve cliqued with, who are strength when I feel a bit … [Read more...]

Shirley Melis writes about dancing through grief

I feel so grateful that I got the chance to interview Shirley Melis as she participates in her WOW! Women on Writing blog tour. As I'm no stranger to grief I was interested in how she deals with it and writes about it. Ultimately for both of us, we've learned to survive. Thank you, Shirley, for being here at Choices today. About Banged-Up Heart:  is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again. When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend's husband, she asks him to marry her! What … [Read more...]