Interesting Parallels

 

These are just my thoughts, and yours may be very different, but hopefully this will compel some to think a little differently.

Many years ago I purchased an inflatable kayak, a Sea Eagle 370, single or tandem, my wife and I had many great times in that inflatable.  Then I decided I wanted to have a “real” kayak a hard shell, but needed a tandem, so after much research purchased a Jackson Big Tuna, which is as kayaks go expensive.  Now needed a rack for the top of my SUV, which is also expensive, and this kayak weighs 100 pounds empty. So after spending quite a lot of money I was ready to enter the “real Kayaking” arena.

Now for the interesting part, my wife was suffering from degenerative back issues since the 90’s, and I knew this new kayak would be easier for her to contribute to the paddling, and more comfortable with better seats and lumbar support which was true, but what I did not realize, that due to the size and weight of the hard shell she would not be able to contribute to the loading and unloading or moving it to the water from the car.  I did not realize that based on her personality that this factor would reduce her enjoyment of kayaking, but needless to say we used it less and less as her back problems increased.

Now here is where the parallels begin, since I had a hard shell, I had become a “Kayak snob”, and like most kayakers looked down on those using inflatables.  I mean after all they are not real kayakers.

Now this train of thought has also moved me to consider those of us trying to make a new life after losing a spouse.  There will be many of us that will respond negatively to the following, but each of has to make their own choices, and live with those choices.  If you look at life a simplistic view is everything that has happened has been based on our choices.  Many of us have preconceived imbedded choices and will not even consider any other options, for every choice there is a consequence, many times for the better and sometimes not so good, but when you limit your choices you are limiting your life and possible happiness.

How many of us have and I really hate this term but find it is used constantly “Deal Breakers” that are applied immediately before even getting to know the other person.

  1. She/he is too fat; I mean really how many of us have turned to emotional eaters in an attempt to deal. Maybe we should find out who the person is, before applying our choice.
  2. She/he drinks, (this excludes alcoholics which is a disease and may be more than any of us can handle) now what’s wrong with a drink or two and maybe a few too many once in a while, maybe it’s like emotional eating.
  3. He/she smokes, Ok how many of us started smoking again when our spouses became ill, ok so it’s a bad habit, maybe that person just needs support to quit or not, but there again pre-judgement…..
  4. She/he is too set in her/his ways maybe they just need a reason to adapt and see new avenues and discover new and interesting/exciting ways.
  5. She/he is too far away, I mean really, if distance is a problem for you personally then you are really limiting your possibilities, I have driven 10 hours to meet a lady, it didn’t work but at least I know and will not always be wondering.
  6. She/he will not move, I believe there is always a possible compromise to this, but each person has to decide this on their own, but why not consider the options.
  7. She/he will or will not marry again….at our ages what does a piece of paper mean, and there are financial considerations at play especially for the ladies, there are many legal avenues available to provide the necessary protections and security if needed.
  8. She/he just wants to have sex, alright guys this is for you, many, many of the ladies complain about this. Guys if sex is what you are after then get a hooker and stay out widowed arena.  Sex is a very necessary part of a relationship, but one must realize that there are vast differences of the emotional connection that happens when a man and woman get intimate, and guys if you will admit it sex is always better when there is an emotional connection for us guys also.  Sex in a relationship is something that shouldn’t be planned, but rather allowed to happen when it happens.

As for me, I am ordering an inflatable kayak this week!  I refuse to limit my possibilities in any area of life because of preconceived choices, or because of what other people think.

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Musings on this new life:

I have been musing about a thought that entered my mind several weeks ago.  One of the ways we heal is learning to live alone, creating a new life without the partner we envisioned as part of our life for as far as we could imagine.  We have to reinvent ourselves, looking back and trying to bring forward that person that we were prior to meeting our lost ones, doesn’t work, in order to do that we would have to erase all the years we had with our late spouses, even if that were possible, I doubt if many of us would choose that option.

So trying to put together the person you are now while keeping the memories you cherish, but separating yourself from the life you had and the life you envisioned is no simple feat.  The easiest choice would be to stay in the mourning phase forever because in that phase we have an identity, but what a dark life that would be and possibly all-consuming.  Some of us will immediately seek involvement in a new relationship, lets face that is where we are all most comfortable, and for some that will work.  As for me I tried this twice and was a miserable flop at it, and unfortunately caused some emotional grief to the women involved, for which I am truly sorry, but learning from this I am now extremely cautious when checking out the possibility of a new relationship.

Well I am rambling on…getting to the thought I mentioned above:  As we become whole again part of  this is learning to live alone.  For this thought put aside all financial considerations.

Now how many of you think you would have a problem sharing your life with a partner 24/7, totally immersing yourself in the new relationship, changing once again. Possible giving up what you worked so long to create.

How many of you would be more comfortable in a committed, monogamous relationship where each person maintains their own residence, but you do things together and spend days and nights together as each other wants.

I have had this conversation with several fellow widows/widowers and have received thoughts for both options.  I know the longer I live alone, the more I am beginning to cherish the lone life, but on the other hand, a very important factor for me is having someone to share this life with, how many of you find yourself in this quandary?

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Chasing Life

Well fellow widows/widowers it has been 18 months since my lovely wife Sharon we were together for 34 years succumbed to cancer after a long 16 month battle during which I was the care giver 24/7 and wouldn’t have had it any other way.  During these 18 months I have been trying to find my life again, as we all are, I started thinking back to my life with her.  We were both physically active not only sharing the duties of house maintenance, but hiking several times each week (6-10 miles each hike) and kayaking as much as possible.

My wife suffered from severe back problems cause by a traffic accident when she was a teenager, after numerous surgeries and under the care of a pain management Dr. her physical limitations caused us to change what we did not only around the house but for recreation.  I put together a plan for us to travel to small towns through the southeast with camera in hand and document our journey.  I retired in 2013 at age 63.  We bought another house in 2014 took us little over a year to make the house ours, painting and landscaping the whole lot and of course new furniture.  We finished in June 2015, and shortly after Sharon started having mental issues. Doctor visit; diagnosis lung cancer with mets to the brain, lymph node, bones and many other organs she was given 2 weeks.  After radiation, chemo, cyber knife she lasted 16 months, and when she finally decided to quit the battle she entered in home hospice on a Monday evening at 7pm and passed that Friday December 9, 2016 at 6:42am with me at her side.

Like many of us the major problem we have is what we do now! Well through a lot of soul searching and headache causing brain work the last few weeks; I am still going to take the journey through out the small towns of the southeast with camera in hand and document on a blog I have started.  Had to order a new one cause my lovely daughter as absconded with all the ones I had.  This journey will have a new purpose to enjoy life again and hopefully find my chapter 2 along the way and when I do then we will start a new journey through our lives together.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

First of all this is not a site about grief, each person handles that in their own way.

I was very fortunate to have had a most wonderful wife and life with her, we  were together for 34 years, and married for 32.  My wife was 8 years younger than I, so during our life together I made sure that she would be financially cared for after my demise.  Life happens and at age 59 my lovely wife succumbed after a furious 16 month battle with cancer.  We had two children, a boy, and a girl, both are well educated, married and doing very well in life.  It has been 18 months since her death, and I  finally have figured out something do to with my life.  This blog will document my travels and meetings and of course the ups and downs of life after.  I have chosen the Phoenix for this sites symbol, because it fits perfectly to where I am now.

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