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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Holidays

So the first holiday season the loss was fresh, I was consumed with making sure the headstone was in before the ground froze, getting the cemetery decorated, wrapping up all the stuff that she had already bought for our daughter, we threw ourselves into Christmas because it was something to distract us.  Last year I was into doing Christmas with my daughter, she was my little helper, she was into it, and I was more than happy to do it for her.  I did the shopping, which I enjoy, and the season really wasn't bad.  We did more decorating at the cemetery, there was something missing, but we did ok.  This year I'm just not feeling it, I love the holidays, but my daughter was more interested in helping the neighbors decorate yesterday than helping me, so why should I bother, it's not my house, if I'm not doing it for her then who am I doing it for.  If my wife were still alive by now we sure as hell wouldn't be living here, we'd have our own place somewhere, and I'd be decorating it the way I want, garland, white lights, classical Christmas, a few kid things for my daughter, but not the over the top everything colored look that they do here.  Or maybe not, it would depend on the house, and what my wife and daughter wanted, I'm flexible on the outdoors, for the tree inside though, and living room decor, I'm not as flexible.  I wish I cared more, but I'm having a hard time.  I don't feel like doing this all myself.  I'd like to be doing it with my wife, but I'm too logical for my mind to go there, I know she's dead and that isn't an option, so my longing isn't to have her here, it's to have someone here, even a good friend, someone to share the experience with, so that it's fun again, and doesn't feel like it's a chore.  I'm supposed to have more kids by now, my daughter needs other kids around, she wants other kids around, she'd be getting into decorating if she had other little people to do it with.  Not to mention that my life would be so much easier if she had little people to keep her company, I know that having more than one child makes more work for a parent, but it also makes it much easier in some ways...  Anyway, I guess we do need to get moving, it's 1pm and we haven't really started our day yet, because I just don't have the motivation anymore...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've never been a big believer in signs, there have been a few times in my life though when I have felt that I was getting signs, I've always chalked it up to the rationalization that if you deep down know what you want, you're going to see things that point you in that direction, and that made sense.  I've always been one to explain things away with logic, probably because I wanted to, I like logic.  So far this week though I've had a few signs.  They might not seem like much, but I pull into the parking lot at Hannah's school on Monday, and parked next to me is a car I'd never seen there before, it was a car I don't know I've ever seen in person, a Chevy Traverse.  There have been a few other things, but just now something happened that totally caught me off guard, I pulled up the TV guide listings page to look something up, and the same ad kept popping up, over and over, for a store I had never even heard of until recently, White House Black Market, it was honestly like getting slapped in the face. I suppose that the site could be reading a cookie on my machine because I did google the place when I first heard of it, but what are the chances of that popping up right now on Thanksgiving morning.  I'm not going to start speculating about what it means right now, but it's hard not to think that just maybe I should be thankful that the person I associate these things with is in my life now in some fashion, even as a friend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10 years...

Ten years ago today, my friend at the time, originally the friend of my then recently ex-g/f, you who know the story, know the details.  Anyway, it was Thanksgiving of 2001, a Thursday evening.  I got a text, asking what I was doing that night.  At the time I was in Hoboken, NJ at my aunt and uncle's apt having dinner, so I replied something like "not much, won't be back on the island until later".  We texted back and forth a few times and somehow ended up with plans to catch a movie later on that evening.  Now at this point we really were just friends, we enjoyed spending time together, had gone to her little cousins soccer games a few times, hung out with the kids she babysat once or twice, but that was the extent.  I mean she was cute, great with kids, and just a generally good hearted and fun person, but I was privy to some unflattering details of her past having just dated her friend for the past 11 months, so I wasn't really looking at her as anything more than a fun companion, we enjoyed time together, it was fun.  That was until that evening, we met at the movie theater, saw the movie, but afterwards neither of us was anxious to go home.  So we went to sit in her car and talk.  Which we did, but then we kissed, and kissed some more, and so November 22, 2001 is the day that I started dating my late wife, the first time at least, 10 years ago today...

My Daughter

So my little girl isn't so little anymore, she tells me to take her home "straightaway" after school, and navigates apps on her table with no assistance.  She's growing up so quickly, and day by day seems to be turning into a little version of myself.  Now as flattering as this is, it's probably not for the best, in many ways she'd probably be better off taking on some of her mother's traits, but I'm what she's exposed to day in and day out.  If she were more like her late mother her room would always be clean, she'd always be on time, she'd be neurotic about getting her daily to-do list completed.  Of course there is also a list of things that would make her like her mother that I just assume she not pick up, in these departments I'm happy to have her follow in my footsteps.  She does need some positive non-grandma female influences in her life though.  I think we're going to start doing more outings with the local widows and their kids, I think it'll be good for both of us.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A healthy evironment?

So this morning Gramma was all cranky because she was running late to get somewhere she didn't want to go to, because she allowed herself to get talked into it.  When she gets home later she will be complaining that she didn't get anything done today.  How is this our problem? It isn't, and its not fair that she's short with my daughter because of her own decisions.  Then old Gramma comes downstairs, my daughter gets frustrated with her because she doesn't wear her hearing aids, and my daughter gets tired of repeating herself constantly , then she gets frustrated with my daughter because she can't figure out what she's talking about.  Long ago I stopped playing translator, spending hours of my day repeating things that are not worth repeating.  Old Gramma just doesn't care about making us all deaf, so we walk into the house regularly to two televisions that are both at maximum volume.  Even then she can't hear them, not well enough to understand dialogue,  she has multiple pairs of TV ears, which actually work, with which she can understand a TV show.  She doesn't use them though unless someone fetches them for her, turns them on, turns down the TV, and guess what, that isnt my job either.  So my daughter and I just spend our time in the basement or our rooms. This is even more so since she absolutely had to have a new dog. She is incapable of taking care of this dog, walking it, feeding it, even coexisting with it. So now she spends all day yelling at a dog that she had to have, a dog she still claims she wants, a dog that my MIL has to take care of, a dog that destroys everything it can get access to. Ultimately a dog that has everyone living like prisoners in a house that is supposed to be our home.  It's not exactly a welcoming environment, not a place I'd even want to have friends over to, assuming that there was a place to have them, or that I had any.

Mission Statement.


So I may not have a whole lot of local friends, but yesterday proved I do have a handful of good online friends.  Thank you everyone.  I'm really ok, I just needed to vent.  C reminded me that my feelings aren't unusual given the circumstances, that she'd feel the same way.  Time will tell what the future holds, I'm just impatient at this point.  There are certain things that I need to get done, things that have been put off for far to long, and I'm going to try to focus on them for the next few weeks as time allows.  I've gotta go get my daughter and I ready for a last minute invite to a birthday party now so I'll write later...

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Date Tonight

So M is still not feeling well, so we called off tonight, or she did really, I was more than willing to come bring her tea and soup on her couch, but she wants to be feeling better for our first date, and I can understand that.  I'm actually handling it better than I expected.  Something just feels so right about "us" that I'm more ok with waiting than I thought I'd be.  It could also be that it's what she wants, and what she wants is important to me.  Don't worry, it's just her, I still don't give a damn about what just about everyone else wants, it's just that she's made the short list, and it's a very short list.  Part of my problem is that I'm a big picture kind of guy, I see how one little thing effects all the others.  For instance, I'll now spend tonight trying to reorganize my daughter's room, and moving some stuff down to the room in the basement.  As far as the basement goes, I was going to build shelving down there, but have been holding off mainly because I haven't had time, but also because if there is a good possibility that my 2 year plan includes relocating, why would I spend the time and money building custom shelving.  With all of the thinking I've been doing lately I'm pretty sure that even our short term plan will include moving, so the shelves won't be getting built regardless, I'll just hang some basic stock shelves to get stuff organized.  Ultimately though I'm goal oriented, I need something to work towards.  I'd like that goal to be streamlining out life and making us more portable in order to facilitate an easier relocation at some point in the future.  While that will likely be the goal regardless, it would be nice to fit some people, locations, and circumstances into it to give me some real motivation to make it a reality.  As time goes on circumstances will hopefully give it a time frame too, being as I know I work better, or at least more efficiently under pressure.

A Powder Keg Of Emotions

So most of you know that I was supposed to have my big date tonight, and we'll deal with that in a minute, she's still not feeling well so that is up in the air, and I have mixed emotions about that.  So I was driving to work this morning, and I had ordered a new CD of Christmas Classics on Piano.  I love piano music.  I love Christmas music.  I pop it in after I dropped my daughter at school, cranked it up, so that the chords echo through the car.  Driving with music filling the car transports me to a different place, depending on the music and my mood that is either a tranquil reflective place or a very alive and vibrant place.  This was a tranquil and reflective place.  It took about 10 minutes and I had tears in my eyes.  I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy, I was just overwhelmed with emotions that need to get out.  One of my first realizations is that I miss going to church, especially during the holidays.  The problem is that it's not as easy as just going, the church I was a lifelong member of is down by my mother, I never joined a new church up here.  We were married, and my daughter was baptized in my wife's Catholic church.  Even though she wasn't really a practicing Catholic anymore, it was important to her family, and is where she wanted to be married, and it's not like I was active in a local church at the time as an alternative.  Gramma keeps saying she's going to bring my daugher to the Catholic church, and I'm ok with that, but it's yet to happen.  If I were to start bringing her to a different church I imagine there would be some comments and judgments made, not that I care, I just don't want to deal with the drama.

This train of thought gets me thinking about how I need to get out of this transitional place in my life, this perpetual purgatory of living with my in-laws and not having absolute control over my own life and my daughters.  Of how much happier and a better life we would have if we escaped the grasp of that house.  There is another side to it though, because it would be a totally different life, a life where we couldn't afford many of the things we enjoy now, because it would be tough to make ends meet on our own, and childcare would be a nightmare, not just a financial burden.  The other aspect I always consider is that I do want to move forward with my life, I want to have a new relationship, and I don't want to uproot my daughter and I twice.  This always leads me to be inclined to stay where we are for now, save some money, and hopefully meet the right person, fall in love, and move once, one major change instead of two.

This was just one aspect of this thought though, the church issue actually got me thinking about M.  About how she has a church she likes, that her children are involved in.  Thinking about how they're in their Christmas pageant made me long for all of the effort I used to put into doing all of the sound and lighting for the Christmas Cantata at my church, and got me thinking about how much I really enjoyed going to church during the holidays, and how this year I might actually drive all the way down to my old church with Hannah for the Cantata if they still do it.  Actually, I just checked, they have a website now, and a new pastor, music director, and organist.  The Cantata is on the calendar, for a Saturday that I have to work, but I'll be home with time to spare, it'll just be a lot of driving that day.  Anyway, thinking about how nice it would be just assimilate into M's life, go to church with them, just blend into their established routines, and how much easier it would be than finding a church as a stranger, and then developing a routine of going from scratch.

Ok, so I am a stream of consciousness thinker, and very tangential, so this got me to ponder a different issue, mind you this is all while I'm now crying and driving to work.  Ok, so I had mentioned earlier that M is still sick, and she wants to postpone our date, she's worried that she isn't at her prime because she's sick.  I understand that, but she's had a tough week, and I want to be there for her, I told her we don't have to go out, there is no pressure, that I'd be happy enough driving up and just giving her a hug for 1/2 hour.  For me this not knowing how we're going to hit it off, if we'll have chemistry in person, well it's really taking it's toll on me.  I don't handle the unknown well, if it's not going to work I just want to know sooner rather than later, the not knowing for me is worse than if it didn't work out.  In this case I'm not so worried about it because I'm pretty sure that this is sort of meant to be, but there is still the what if it's not.  I'm starting to think that this anticipation is raising my blood pressure and giving me my headaches and acid reflux, something I've never had an issue with.  I'm not sure if she realizes how much it doesn't matter to me if she's all dressed up or operating at her peak.  I'm long past that making a difference.  I'm hesitant to put this next part into words, but I will, but I'm also going to qualify it.  Actually let me also explain something else that I've been contemplating.

I have to keep grounding myself, reminding myself that I've only known her for a month, that we haven't met in person, that she does live in the next state, and that to have a life with her would mean uprooting mine.  So my mind has been operating in overtime trying to keep my heart in balance.  That said, if we do hit it off in person, and we both feel the same way, and we decide to pursue a relationship with one another, well, I know it won't take long for my heart to win.  I think I could fall in love with her very easily if I allowed myself to.   I have from time to time had to stop and make sure I'm not falling in love with the idea of M, and not M herself.  Does that make sense, the idea of a future, a family, a partner, and not the person.  I'm convinced that this isn't the case, because I resisted the idea of getting close to her based on the challenges, but as I got to know her better those challenges changed into opportunities, because of her, because I liked her enough to change my view on things that I had originally seen as roadblocks.

Oh, I said I was going to qualify this, so let me do that now.  I did say above, that "if we both feel the same way".  I do acknowledge that we are not really at the same point in our grief or in our lives.  I also acknowledge that there is a good chance that I am much more motivated to write that next chapter in my life, and open myself up to someone new.  That being said, if she doesn't feel the same way, if she simply wants to date and see where things go, I'm ok with that.  My mind can handle keeping my heart in check, for a while anyway.  It's important to me that in any new relationship I get into that both parties feel the same way and want the same thing, especially before any life altering decisions are made, especially ones that will effect children on both sides.  It's also important to me that the children be a factor and that they get along with one another and with both her and I if there is going to be a future together.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I was sick last week, M is sick this week, but we made plans to meet, and as of now we're still planning to follow through with them.  Actually, in just 25 hours I should be getting into my car to start me weekend with our first date, first meeting actually.  To say I am excited about getting to meet in person after an amazing month of communicating via electronic mediums would be an understatement.  I mean each time my phone chirps I smile thinking it might be a text from her, which almost 1/2 the time it is, but my GMail makes the same sound, so spam has become a real disappointment.. LOL.

I'm trying not to stress.  I mean to ponder things like is it really best to meet at the end of what has been a really rough week for her, while she's still under the weather, but then I reflect on how badly all I wanted to do was be there for her each time she had an issue this week, and realize that this is my chance to be there for her now.  Or to think about what type of long term ramifications this first in person meeting could ultimately have on the rest of my life, or the impact that us hitting it off could have on so many people in my life over time.  Or to stress about how I know my daughter is going to try waiting up for me, and how I'm sure my MIL will be full of questions when I get home, and how I'll likely hear from them both during the evening, and will have to decide what to tell them, decide how much to share about where I am.  I don't want to keep it a secret, but mentioning that I'm willing to travel to another state to see someone, well that will inevitably lead to a question about how that would work, am I planning on moving, is she, am I going to bring my daughter there with me, what about her kids, etc.

These are all issues that I've spent plenty of time thinking about, and have decided to put on hold.  They are issues I'm happy to discuss with M and some other folks, they are not issues I feel like discussing with my MIL at this point in time, because ultimately, nothing she has to say about the matter is really going to matter, I'm going to do what I'm going to do, and when I need to make a decision I will, and that will be it.

So yeah, I'm looking forward to this date, not looking forward to some of the backlash I'm sure will come, but I'm willing to deal with it.  I should probably be more nervous that I am, but honestly I'm really feeling pretty confident that we're going to hit it off.  I suppose that ultimately that sets me up for a huge disappointment if I'm wrong, but that's something else I'm not going to stress about right now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I agree, with everything in today's widow's voice blog and the comments thus far, especially about not settling when dating, I've only dated a few people, dating is not something that I've ever really done, I sort of get to know a person, and then just end up in a relationship.

I, similar to Michelle, met my wife, knew she was the one, broke up, dated other people, and when we got back together it was to get married.  The few ladies I've dated were "I want you to rescue me widow." and "Soon to be divorced awkward mother.", I don't really count the brief dating of my late wife's slightly older but never married friend around the 6 month mark, that was likely just loneliness, but it did get me past a hurdle involving the realization that, while not with her, there is a good chance that I will indeed be able to have a happy relationship one day.  It just wasn't the time, not yet.

Fast forward a year.  The later two dates were a valuable learning experience, with both there were loads of warning bells early on that they were not going to work, but it'd been almost 2 years, I didn't want to be alone, I didn't want to do everything alone, it was great to have someone to go on an outing with, someone to take my daughter to the bathroom, and the second one had an absolutely adorable daughter herself, whom my daughter and I both enjoyed spending time with.  I wanted the happiness that comes from coming home to someone again every night, sharing my life with someone, and them sharing theirs with me.  But also realized that requires the right person.  With both I did find myself thinking, I could make this work, this would be better than nothing, but that is no way to end up in a functional relationship.  If I am going to get married again, I want it to be another successful outcome, yes, I do see my marriage as successful, being widowed by a long term illness is the epitome of following through on your vows, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death do us part, check, check, check, can I get one of those shiny star stickers on my marriage license?  Did we have some issues, sure, but really who doesn't.  I do not want anything less than what I had the first time though, the second time around, there is no reason to settle, in fact, it's not just me anymore, my daughter is a factor now, so my criteria need to be high.  I actually decided that I'd take a break, see who maybe just falls into my life.  I was starting a bereavement group, I had been invited I think as one of two "experienced" widowed folk, which is good, I don't mind sharing my experiences, and it'd be good to get to meet some other local widowed parents.  I've got plenty on my plate anyway, so I'll get some stuff done, be productive.  So that is what I did, for a brief while.

Now I have a lot of widow friends on facebook, we probably all do, we are a cohesive community.  A few weeks back, one of these widows, who at the time I didn't even realize was one and the same with someone I had previously conversed with briefly over in Widville, posted a picture with a comment.  I just happened to see it in my news feed and in my usual sarcastic way left a comment.  This led to a little light hearted back and forth, and I didn't think much more about it, after all while this widow is really cute, and looks to be "my type" (another lesson I learned from dating, we have a type of person we're attracted to for a reason, stick with it), but she was in the next state, like almost 2 hours away, and that's if there is no traffic in NY.  I had already come to terms that us widowed parents are pretty firmly planted where we are, the kids are in school, they have their friends, we have our jobs, we have our families and our in-laws, we have our support systems, not to mention there are memories there, cemetery plots there, etc.  There is more than one widow mother in WV who I think I'd hit it off with, but they're 1/2 way or more across the country.  It just isn't going to happen.

Or could it, granted we're not talking half way across the country, for those of you who have read my first post here, you have an idea where I'm going with this.  Two days later we were both online, this cute widow who had posted the not so cute picture.  We had a lengthy conversation that also started over a FB comment, now I'm a number person but don't give signs as much credit as some do, but the 22nd has always been a number for me, as well as doubles, for the last 10 years or so, mainly because my wife and I went on our first date on 11/22, and both of our birthdays were also double their month.  So the fact that our first conversation was on the 22nd, exactly one month shy of this 10 year mark, well, I was conscious of it.  Add to that, by the end of our conversation that night, I was thinking to myself, so how bad is a 2 hour car ride really.  In the weeks since we've chatted a good deal, I've done a lot of thinking, and have come to a solid conclusion, even if she isn't "the one" (which hasn't been ruled, but we do still need to meet in real life and see how that goes), there definitely is someone out there that is.  Someone that wouldn't be settling.  Someone who I truly think is amazing, and will think the same about me.

I find myself now at a place I haven't been at in a very long time, those of you who know me well, well, you know I very rarely care what anyone thinks of me.  With the exception of one person, I did always care what one person thought, in fact, what they thought of me probably mattered as much as what I thought of me, to the point that I often suppressed what came out of my mouth, thought more about my actions, etc.  I'm sure that you've guessed that person was my wife and most people would tell you that her effect on me was a good thing.  Even with people I've dated, especially the ones post loss, I certainly had a this is me, take it or leave it attitude, complete cockiness, a mindset that someone else wasn't worth even the slightest compromise of who I am.  I'm finding myself more cognizant of myself though lately, and not because I'm trying to win someone over, it's because I care, that super obnoxious comment that I might have made, what purpose would it serve?  Not to sound cliche, but sometimes, another person actually makes you want to be a better person, not that I'm saying I'm not a great person already, I doubt you'd ever hear that come out of my mouth.

I want to reflect a little on some of the date descriptions that Michelle mentioned in her blog post for a minute, because I do worry about if I am close to being some of them.  Yes, I am a fixer, but I don't think that I'd ever be seen as "I will fix you man."  Maybe more as I will come fix your house man.  I don't see being a widow as something in need of repair, I mean I'm a widower, it's part of who we are, we don't have a desire to erase the past.  I do have a desire to have a future though and she does mention something about this man that I do worry about, he was so motivated to "fix her" that she felt pressured.  As anxious as I am to meet this widow in real life, I don't want to pressure her into something she isn't ready for.  I am a few months further out, but I also had months of pre-grieving.  Now everyone reaches different points at different times, and there are differences between men and women, but you could make a case that I'm a good six months further out than her.  I do worry that my eagerness to meet and see where this can lead, could do two things, the first is if she's not ready it could push her away, lead to avoidance, and run the risk of ruining something that could have been before it even had a chance.  The second thing I worry about is giving in to pressure, I think this would be less of an issue, she's a strong woman, and the distance factor would make avoidance much easier.  With this second scenario though I'd be worried that doing something before you're ready might be destined for long term failure down the line, and that wouldn't be good either.  It's hard to be patient about something that you're excited about, but I'm trying.  I've told her that I think she's worth waiting for, and to let me know if she needs me to back off.  I hope that she would tell me, and talk about it, rather than avoid it.

Lastly, I'll admit that "delegation man" sounds like a good idea, but that's because I do need a neurotic woman to keep me on schedule, make sure I take care of things, but I'm looking for a relationship and a partnership, as much as certain jobs like making sure my daughter gets registered for dance class, or sending out invitations for her birthday party might be best handled by her, whomever she may be (both are things I forgot to do until the week of) I see plenty of things as jobs that should fall on me, like shoveling snow, taking out the trash, or pretty much anything else that she sees fit to remind me to do.  As far as being an additional child, yeah, maybe I am, but I'm a pretty useful one who pulls my own weight.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Empty Bed

Back when my wife was in the hospital, on the nights that I was home with my daughter, I'm sure that being alone in bed sucked, but she was still just a phone call away, and I was so tired that I'm sure I fell asleep before I could think about it much.  After she died, for a while my bed wasn't empty because my daughter often fell asleep there and I didn't always move her, I'm sure that a factor there was that I didn't want to be alone either, but she's been back in her bed for a long time now, at least until the early morning hours when she wanders in my room and I don't care where she is lying down as long as she'll let me go back to sleep for an hour.  Pretty much though for the first two years though I didn't dwell too much on how truly lonely it is to be alone in bed, especially if there is nothing worth watching on tv at night, or if I wake up early in the morning and am wide awake hours before I need to get up like this morning.  I really missed having someone there, even if they were sound asleep, just to cuddle up to and snuggle with.  I think this is brought on my a few factors, because in my typical fashion with the absence of someone to spoon this morning I sat here analyzing why now I suddenly long for this.  What I came up with is a multifaceted answer, where all parts are likely factors to varying degrees.  The first is simple, it's cold out now, the seasons are changing, and a warm body to intertwine with on a cold morning would be a wonderful thing.  With the changing of the seasons also come the holidays, and while I love this time of year, I also love spending it with someone, doing things with my daughter, doing things for my daughter, but I miss having a teammate.  That's getting off topic though, another part of it is that at this point I'm just ready, I'm ready for a new relationship, I'm ready to give (and hopefully receive) love, I'm ready to start writing the next chapter of my life, this isn't a new book, no cover has been closed, the previous chapters in this book have led me to where I am now, but there is more to write, one way or another future chapters will lead to a happy ending.  Those factors are surely the base for my feelings, but I think there is another factor that leads to the sort of sudden onset of this very lonely feeling, and that is that I actually believe there is someone out there who is a good match to fill this void in my life.  When you think you'll never find someone right, well, you sort of accept that you're alone, but when you think that there is someone, being alone just doesn't seem acceptable anymore.  This part makes sense in my head, not sure if my fingertips are explaining it so well though...  Time to get ready for work now...  I'll burden y'all with my stream of consciousness again later...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Status Issues

This is a repost of something I had written as a response to a thread about defining one's self as a widow, I am copying it exactly as written, even though it might be slightly out of context in absence of the rest of that thread...

(WARNING: This comment contains sarcasm, if you find it offensive, then don't read it.)
Personally - I don't see myself ever defining myself as a widow, even if I had my parts swapped out, I wouldn't be a widow, because that's not who I was at the time of my loss.  I'd have get my parts swapped out, get married again, and then have another loss to really be a widow, and that's just not going to happen.
As far as identifying myself as a widower, yes I do, I will always be Claire's Widower, one day I may also be Megan's or Crystals's of Kristina's Husband (couldn't help it, I'm in that sort of sarcastic mood), but that would be in addition to, not instead of being Claire's Widower.  There will come a time when a new title will better define what I am at the moment, but the other title will be a part of how I got there.
Now for the real issue, the controversial one, the one that people loose friends and fight with family over.  Your facebook relationship status.  Mine is currently Widowed, it had been married, somewhere probably around 3 months I changed it.  I was definitely ready to, I was OK with identifying myself as a Widower, that hardest part was breaking the link between our profiles, maybe Facebook should have a way to have your relationship status be "Widowed by" just like "Married to" so that the profiles can still be connected.  I left her status as married, there is no option for dead and I'll be damned if she gets to be single again, and to call her a widow, well that makes me dead, so for all eternity, she's still married to me, I can prove it to, on her headstone, that's my last name there in big letter across the top.  As far as my future as far as Facebook relationship statuses, well, if I was casually dating someone, I'd still be widowed, if I were seriously dating someone, well there may be a point in time when it would reflect that, if I got engaged, well it'd be time to change it and have it reflect that, and if I were remarried it would reflect that too.  At this point the link is already broken, but I'm not about to make that connection to someone only to change it back again, so it'll take the right person for me to no longer be "widowed" on Facebook.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


That last line of my previous post has me remembering with fondness a previous time in my life.  A time before I was married and had a child, when I was an active member of the volunteer fire department and an EMT.  Specifically my bedside manner.  I got to play the role of the grumpy prick with the difficult patients.  I think one of my trademark lines went something like this: "Listen, you can either cooperate and let us bring you to the  hospital, or sign that you're refusing care, but you'll be calling again in an hour, in a lot worse shape than you are now, and I have a tv show that starts in an hour that I don't want to miss, so cooperate now or take your chances later."  I can't remember a patient that didn't change their tune after a few minutes with my blunt dose of reality...


So my daughter developed a fever at school the other day, I had to go pick her up and bring her home.  I was telling my pediatric nurse widow friend this via a text and she inquired to what her temp was, so I grabbed the thermometer, got her temp, took a pic, and sent it via reply text.  The response I got was, "wow, how'd you get a hospital thermometer".  Well I bought it on e-bay of course.  This whole thing led to a conversation later on, and my response to "why" I bought it was simple, and one that I'm sure anyone widowed secondary to their spouses long term illness, especially if there was outpatient chemotherapy involved, probably understands with no further explanation needed.  Here was my answer: "When the difference between spending the night with your wife at home in your own bed or driving back into Manhattan to spend the night in MSKCC's Urgent Care unit is 0.1 degrees you go and buy a good thermometer."  For over a year that 100.4 ruled our lives, changed out plans, caused us to spend both of our wedding anniversaries in the hospital.  You don't let some $10 Walgreens thermometer have that much power over you, it doesn't seem so bad when the Welch Allyn Sure Temp tells you that it's time to go.  You don't second guess it, you don't wonder if maybe it's not really that high.  This thermometer is still mounted in it's wall cradle under the keyrack inside my bedroom doorway.  Everyone in the house still uses it whenever they think they have a fever.  With the case of probe covers I bought my supply will probably last another few years.  I still remember when she'd feel warm and I'd grab the thermometer my wife complaining that "I'm your wife, not your patient." and my reply of, "Yes, but I want a living wife, not a dead wife, now open your mouth and let me take your temp."

Should this blog be called, "import a widow, or export a widower"?

So, the title of this blog is the dilemma that I've been debating...  I meet these amazing widows online, but they don't live locally, they usually live across the country.  The people that do live locally, well, I haven't come across too many amazing ones.  Well, this was what I was thinking when I named this at least.  Of course back then I was also sort of dating a widow that didn't live locally, and debating the logistics and ROI of actually helping to relocate someone to where I am.  A lot has changed since then, we broke up, she slandered me in the online widow community, I've reevaluated who and what I am looking for, all in all I think it was a good educational experience.  I've always had a certain attraction to women in certain professions, the nurturing ones, nurses, teachers, child care, mental health.  My late wife spent half her working life in child care and the other half as a social worker, her dream was to be a child social worker in the schools.  Well, this is something I should stick with, because this last widow was an unemployed business woman, and well, right from the start a certain something was missing.  I also learned that cute is better than hot, but I think it goes hand in hand with the nurturing thing, because I think I see cute in a nurturing person.  Cute and hot is good, but hot alone doesn't work.  I also saw a local divorcee a few times, she was sort of in a related employment field, and she is a mother, but she was just a little too odd for me.  Again, a learning experience, I've had people find things I've done in public to be embarrassing, well, they had never met her, but I have a new respect for their feelings, and now pay more attention to my own actions.  I had been sticking with widows because we tend to understand one another, our emotions and such, well she didn't seem to have a problem in that regard, but then again we only went out a few times.  I'm still inclined to think that I'll form a stronger bond with a widow.  I've also gone back to my thinking that a mother is a better option, mainly because they're more understanding of the limitations on time that having children encompasses, and the fact that especially for a sole parent their needs absolutely are the first priority.  Now that being said, the folks that meet all my other criteria, even if they don't have their own kids, well, they probably do get it, so that might not be as much of an issue in real life as it is in my head.  I think that the issues I had for the first person I had briefly dated who was jealous of my daughter has left a certain bitterness towards women in their 30's who have never married and had children.  Now unmarried women without children in their 20's is another story, and what guy who is a 30 something wouldn't love to get himself a 20 something.  I assume however that most of those 20 somethings probably have better prospects than a 30 something widower with a child.  But there are a few teachers at my daughter's school that I'd gladly take on a date if they were interested, but I'm not about to ask, that could make for a volatile environment, and she loves her teachers, of course that's probably why I do think about it, these ladies already love my daughter and she loves them.

So her teachers aside, the same issue still exists though, a certain lack of selection here at home.

Ok, so here is the current deal, there is this one nice person I've been talking to online for a while, but she's currently in the relationship, and while we did meet once, and got along great, I have a gut feeling that even if she was single that it would be more a friendship than a relationship, but I'm not sure, sort of on the fence about the potential there.  Then there is a local widow who I guess I sort of have a crush on, we're in a bereavement group together, but her loss was only a few months ago, so it would be a long time before anything could come of that, and that would be assuming that when and if she is looking to date at some point in the future that she'd even be interested in me.  That's just a few too many ifs at this point.  Then there is a widow from online, now this one doesn't like across the country like the last one that I had met at widow camp, this one is right in the next state, with no traffic only a 2 hour drive.  This would be much more feasible.  She is cute, hot, nurturing, a mother, and a pediatric nurse, now if that doesn't fit my stereotype for a match I don't know who does.  The problem is that like all of the other amazing young widowed mothers I've met online she's firmly planted where she is.  Her kids are in school there, their friends are there, her job is there, her house is there, and her family and her in-laws are there.  My job is here, my family is here, and my inlaws are here.  My daughter doesn't have a ton of friends yet, she's still in pre-k, so she's going to be switching schools soon anyway, and I don't have a house here, and honestly without a wife and a second income couldn't really afford to buy around here anyway, and even then it'd be a stretch.  Granted me late wife is here, in the ground, and her husband is portable sitting on a shelf.  This is where the non widowed folk cringe and think we're nuts, and the widowed folk agree that this is something to be considered.  But like I said, it's only a 2 hour drive, if either one of us moved to the other's location, well, I'm sure there would be plenty of trips back and forth, like every other weekend at a minimum.  So I've been thinking about this a lot, the reality is that I'm the more portable one, I could move easier, at least in the near future before my daughter gets established in a school and makes friends there.  The big issue is my job, I do like my job, and it's not the kind of gig I'm likely to find anywhere else anytime soon.  So it would be a big change for me, and it would mean giving up my amazing benefits, and probably retiring early.  Now some of you may think that I'm over analyzing the potential for a future with a woman I haven't even met in real life yet, but there is a connection there.  When I met my wife I knew withing a few weeks that I would someday marry her.  I feel in love with her quickly and intensely.  Now while I am admittedly much more cautious now because it's not just me, but I have to think of my daughter, I still see that same potential here.  Now people will say things like if it's meant to be it will happen, or if you love one another enough you'll find a way.  Well that is true, and that's what I'm afraid of, if it is meant to be, if we do fall in love with one another, but we're 2 hours away and neither one of us is willing to change that, well that'd really suck.  One the same note, if one of us were to end up making a huge sacrifice to accommodate the other how would that play out, would the other person be supportive and appreciative enough to counteract any resentment about being the one to make the sacrifice.  Compromise if great, but in this case would involve a house boat in the middle of the LI Sound and two power boats for commuting, so that's not going to work here.