Saturday, August 1, 2015

Widowhood as Fertilizer

Dear John,
 
I was right - all the sunburn is brown today. And I got more sun. Today I've mowed, dusted, vacuumed, changed the sheets, and have the third load of laundry in the dryer. It's been a good, busy day. There's plenty left to do in the flower beds, but not today.
 
I was thinking again as I mowed this morning, this time about the growth I've found in widowhood. I've become more compassionate. I never noticed the pain around me like I do now. And it's all kind of stuff. Brian left for three months in Greece a few weeks after your death, and Bekah felt bad about telling me how hard it was while he was gone. I told her not to be silly - you and I were separated for three months once, and I hated every minute of it. Pain is pain; there's no competition as to whose pain is worse. There's a fibromyalgia meme out there that I hate. It says something about, "I'm in pain all the time; don't tell me about your tummy ache." Well, that's rot. Please tell me about your tummy ache! They can be awful! Those who suffer should care for each other, not play pain-one-upmanship.
 
I've also gotten more patient. I know - there was lots of room for improvement. I still get impatient and irritable, but with inanimate objects. I'm a lot more patient with people, maybe because I'm more aware of their difficulties. Maybe I'm just not in so much of a hurry anymore. My priorities have changed - I've talked to you about that a few times.
 
I've always heard that suffering gentles a person. It seems that is correct. I still have a long way to go. But I appear to be going in the right direction. I'm just sorry you don't get to benefit from any of this. But I always was my gentlest and most patient with you, so maybe you didn't suffer too much. I know you were happy with me; thank you for being sure I knew that. It makes so much difference now, that I can be sure about that.

Elyssa's birthday party is tomorrow - we'll all miss you. Can you believe she's nine already? It's a good thing we don't age as fast as they do. If we did, we'd be old. But in a few months I'll turn 60 - just think about all the new senior discounts I'll get! But I'd rather have you.

Adore you,
Joan.

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