Yesterday was very strange. My son’s class of 4th, 5th, & 6th graders (all 10 of them this year) held their annual Thanksgiving Widow’s luncheon. There were 30+ widows and widowers in attendance. Each student hosted a table and that student was in charge of caring for the needs of the guests at his/her table. It was so sweet to watch these energetic children, in their Sunday dress clothes, carefully delivering cups of coffee, plates of turkey with all the fixings and finally dessert. After dessert was served it was time for Bingo. The prizes ranged from home-made pies and breads to farm fresh eggs, hand crocheted lap blankets and cross book marks to hand sewn pillows. What a wonderful day.
Normally I would be in the kitchen with an apron on, helping in whatever way I could. Today however, I was a guest. My W2Y compadres weren’t there with me, they had to work. But I know that, had they been there they would have felt the same thing that I was feeling. Where do I fit in? My son was so happy that he could invite me to the luncheon. I was so not happy to be sitting there with a room full of senior citizens as the lone 40-something widow. For the most part I’ve gotten over feeling like there’s a neon sign flashing over my head “W*I*D*O*W”, but today the sign was back. Just to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten that I’m a W*I*D*O*W, I got a call for Larry from a hospital later when I got home about an overdue bill. The sarcastic side of me really wanted to say, “I’m sorry, you guys failed… you’re not getting paid!” Not the answer my Heavenly Father would approve of. Another answer I wanted to give them was, “Get in line, I’ve got medical bills of Larry’s that are older than yours that I’m still working on”. Better, but still not the answer God would want me to give them. I told them something to the effect of, “I will be paying it. I’m working on his other medical bills, the ones that are older, as best I can”. Joy Joy Joy. All I want for Christmas is no more medical bills. I’d ask for no more bills, but that’s probably a bit too much to ask for. :-}
So where do we fit in? The W2Y Club… Widows 2 Young? We don’t fit in with the elderly widows, our challenges are different. Single mothers raising kids who are grieving the loss of their fathers, for one. I can’t even wrap my mind around the word “widow” and apply it to myself. Amy, Bonnie, Robin & Sarah – fellow members of the club – know what I mean. That word feels like a burden, a lead weight that we have to carry with us. It weighs us down like a jacket and boots made of wet sand, dead weight that we must drag with us as we maneuver this obstacle course called grief. I hate titles, and W*I*D*O*W has to be one of the worst. “Hello, I’m a widow. I was once loved, but the man who I loved and who loved me back is dead now, and I am all alone. Yes, I’m alone and pathetic. Nobody loves anymore. The day will come when I will wake up on Christmas morning all alone and hope that one of my children invited me to come for dinner. ” Oh goody! Yes I’m very good at feeling sorry for myself.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow. What am I thankful for?
1. That I survived the first year without being institutionalized!
2. That my Heavenly Father loves me so much He lets me rant and rave at Him and He still picks up the pieces and puts me back together.
3. That Jesus Christ loves me so much He gave up his life for me, and rose again so that I can be clean and acceptable for eternal life in heaven. And even though there is no marriage in heaven, I will still be reunited with Larry in God’s eternal family as brother and sister in Christ.
4. That I’m privileged to be the mother of 4 amazingly incredible sons who blow me away every day. They are growing in to men that keep me saying, “Wow God, did you see that?” Very humbling to see your babies grow up to be real men of Godly integrity, in spite of all the mistakes you’ve made.
5. The support of family and friends. You know who you are!!
6. My house is paid off and so is my car.
7. 14 1/2 YEARS OF NEARLY PERFECT MARRIED LIFE WITH A PERFECT HUSBAND – LARRY BRANDON!!!!