I have managed to get through another birthday and another anniversary of Jim’s death with grace. Since these two dates are 24 hours apart it is hard to mention one without the other. I am not sure that I will ever mark another year without connecting it with the other mark on the calendar. And, it is OK.
I know my last post was about Jim and the scholarship, yet I never thought of mentioning how I am doing. Now that I have been asked by several people, I thought I would try to answer that question here. Since you have been such a faithful audience over the last few years maybe you would like to know and if not, that is fine too.
I am doing OK. Some days, I am doing great, others not as great but not bad either. I am glad to say that I am doing more than just surviving. I would like to think and feel that I am embracing life as much as I can on each given day. Sometimes it is more than others. I, however, am not sitting in my house with the curtains drawn.
Jim and I always embraced life. It was one of the things I liked about him. We were always able to marvel at life and the world. I want to continue doing that. My RV is certainly helping me achieve this. Miss Elsie the cat is also helping me achieve this. All my friends, near and far, help. Everything helps.
Grief is a funny thing. There are days when it is strong and there are more days when it is not. Someone once told me that grief softens over time. I would agree with this statement. I like the mental image that creates for me. I am not sure if grief ever completely goes away. Now I am not sure about this because, I am traveling through it and not observing it from afar. Sometimes I think it is gone and then it shows up again. If grief is going to continue to present itself to me in my life then I would like to think there is a way to make it my ally. One definition of an ally is to form or enter into an alliance with. If I can make it an ally I can grow with it and let it teach me and maybe then it won’t grip me so strongly, when it presents itself.
Grief will definitely be a continuing part of my life. As I age things happen to people I know. If fortunate, when I reach the age that my father reached (95) I may know no-one my age as I may be the oldest still around. I wonder as I reach into my 60’s how my parents and friends in their 70’s and 80’s reach an acceptance that death is a natural progression of life. I know that I am not there yet.
If you read this blog, you know what I have been up to in the past year. Traveling is certainly a big part of my life. I love to see what is out there and learn new things. Exploring will certainly continue to be a part of my life. As long as I can move I will venture off to see new places and visit those beloved places as well.
Since Jim’s death I have avoided large groups of people. They have overwhelmed me and I am not comfortable there. This year I have decided to put myself out there a bit more and try out larger groups of people. It is kind of like trying on clothes; if they fit then I may keep them and if they don’t; I will put them back. My first adventure into this realm was riding in the “Bike the Coast” event two weekends ago, in northern San Diego. The biking was fun. After the ride I met two very nice women. We sat in the shade and talked. I felt like this adventure out into the broader world was a success for me.
I want to take advantage of the groups that meet around the greater San Diego area and try them out. It feels like I am also testing out what it feels like to be single. Until this point of time I have not felt single, or married, or widowed. I have been just living and being. I am not sure what being single is, it has been so many years yet, like groups I might just try them on for size and see what if feels like.
This year I want to focus on abundance in my life. I want to know that I am open to abundance in all it’s unique and unusual forms. I want to continue to be thankful for each day and for the people who help support and lift me up. Without all those known and unknown to me who have encourage and supported me I know I would not be as far along as I am in discovering the latest chapter in my life.
Today I am open to receive abundance in my life.
Today I am thankful for making an ally of grief.
Today I am thankful for those who love me and support me, no matter what.
Today I am thankful.
I also lost my husband in July 2012. After 39 yrs of marriage and alone for the first time ever I understand your comment of not feeling single, nor widowed. Lost is how I felt that first year. Even with my YaYa sisters that were and still continue to be of help here when I need them. I do have a son near that is married and that also is hard trying to give him the space he needs. July 4th is the day I lost my husband and that will always be a tough one but I know I must move on. Oct we both celebrated birthdays 4 days apart. No one will ever convince me that the pain goes away. It never will. I truly believe God puts people in our path for a reason and I have made some new friends and old ones that I feel closer to as well. So let me Thank You for you for “Your Journey of Thankfulness” Not sure how I found you but I sure enjoy reading about you and what your new adventures are. I pray for you and also would like to know how your friend with cancer is doing. Sorry but I do not remember her name. Best of everything on your journey’s and Thank you again from Orange County..
Aileena, Thank you for your comments. I have met so many on this blog that are in similar situations. I wish I could meet all of you.
Jennifer is waiting for surgery. It is scheduled for October 30th. We are all waiting too. She is maintaining as best as can be expected. Thank you for asking.
Hey you are close by.
Grief is a sneaky one. In the two years since I lost my husband, I have learned to celebrate each day as a gift, and embrace the grief in the moment. I do not invite grief to stay, only to visit for a time to remind me how blessed I have been in my life. It is a learning process for sure. Continue to venture toward new things, on your own terms. The good things will happen! I enjoy reading about your journey, and pray you find much joy in life.
Buon Giorno Janet! Thank you for your thoughtful post. I am sending you love from Italy. I can’t wait to share what I am learning here with you. Love Beth
Sent from my iPhone
I am not really sure how I began a journey with you through your blog. I have read all of your post for the summer. I also went through about half of the pictures for the summer. I will have to go back and finish that soon. There were so many more pictures than what you posted with your blog.
I also went to the earliest postings in your blog. I stil have a gap that I need to visit.
Thank you for the journey, for your inspiration in so many ways and for sharing so much of your life. I admire you in so many ways.
I hope that you will have peace in your life!
I look forward to your posts–sharing about your trips, your husband, your transition continuing on in life. I can identify with your comment about single, married, or widowed and the other comment about avoiding large groups of people. My husband passed (1/1) too. Thanks for sharing your journey.
You may find this book interesting to look through “Off the Beaten Path” (Readers Digest) & also this one by Readers Digest “The Most Scenic Drives in America, Newly Revised and Updated: 120 Spectacular Road Trips”.