With the "Helliday Season" upon us, I am quiet. This is number three since I became a widow. It doesn't hurt quite as badly but the loneliness is setting in for a long winters rest. I am alone. It would be nice to say that I am doing well but I most certainly not out of the woods yet. The day after Thanksgiving, I got a call from one of my old friends and this person said perhaps the most ignorant thing I have heard uttered from a human tongue. "You okay now though right?" What in the hell does that mean? Define "okay" for me is what I should have said, but this person did not deserve to see my pain. So I said "I'm as okay as I'm going to be this year."
This year has brought many challenges and some I have conquered and some I have not quite mastered yet. I am learning to be alone. I met my husband at quite an early age so alone is not something I have ever really done before in this life. When I am sick, there is no one to make the chicken soup or to aggravate me on the phone every time I fall asleep by calling to ask if I am feeling better. I don't have that hand to hold in the emergency room or to tell me they are going to the sofa because they don't want to be sick as well. People say "Why didn't you call me?" "Because I look like the wrath of God and don't want to see you" is what I'd like to say. Instead I mutter something polite as I rush off the phone with something about needing to sleep.
I'm learning to value my true friends. The ones who get angry if I haven't been in touch. Lately I am bad about returning calls or even text messages. I am self isolating but it's for my own sanity. I cannot solve your problems today. I cannot hear you whine about your relationship today. I cannot hear that one more person is unwell or that you don't care what someone thinks about some petty issue. I have always been the problem solver among my friends. I am the strong one who is an adult. They turn to me for answers or just a sounding board. It's not that I don't care, but that the noise in my head will not allow me to hear you.
My relationship with my son has never been on more solid ground in his life. But, this year he has seen me vulnerable. He has seen me cry in the night and asked me what was wrong. I did not give him the standard "Nothing baby" mama answer. That is probably what I am most grateful for in this entire year. I've watched my son become one helluva man. I have actually patted myself on the back and said I did a good job. I let him comfort me. I let him tell me everything would be okay and I actually believed him. We got on a human level more than a parental child level and are so much stronger for the effort. I don't have to be a tower of strength in front of him anymore. I can be scared and its okay.
Right now, more than anything I am looking for something solid. I am unteatherd from things that keep me grounded. I've always put my worth in my family. Now I am without family. I am looking for true north it seems. The star that will always lead me home. I am not okay. But the truth is I don't know what okay looks like at this point. So bear with me as I travel up and down the isles looking for this mythical thing. What is okay to you may not be okay to me. Everyone gets a custom made piece. But what is home is the question now.
A while back one of my widowed friends was tweeting from her I-Phone and the auto correct sent "Oil of Okay." We laughed about it then but it was prophetic. This time of year I need some to rub into my emotional legs that are tired from this widows walk. Some days I take 10 or 12 steps forward on these platform heels, others I can not make it a single step and I must be content to stand. But that's the point, I'm still standing.