My six month relationship is over. It was nice having someone to go out with on Wednesdays and Saturdays, I enjoyed the company, the meals out (we each paid our own way), the long conversations and the feeling that someone cared about me but regretfully my man friend found it "too complicated" and we agreed to stop. So I still see him around the place as we shop in the same place and he still came to our church market today but that is all, we smile and stop and say a few sentences, then move on again. He is no longer my man friend, just someone I know. I am sad about it, not heartbroken but still sad. As the song says: "When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes."
That and another couple of things that went wrong took me by surprise and tripped me back into that old black hole for a few days. I guess one ending reminded me of another and I was mourning Ray again. That Ray who was the steady influence in my life for 46 years, 44 of them as my husband. As I've said so many times, no-one can replace him. And I didn't try to do that, I was looking for a companion and thought I had found one. All I wanted was a friend to go out to events and different places with, and it seemed to be working like a dream and I was so happy. I don't know what triggered him saying that it was "too complicated' and he needed to go back to his old routine again. And so I go on again, back to being alone.
Christmas is coming with all the usual complications, number 1 son has decided not to come and so all plans are in disarray, his children will be local but I don't know whether his ex-wife will want to meet with us on Christmas Day as she is working the night before. And so I start my planning again, who will be where, with whom, bringing what, when will they arrive etc. I don't know why it always seems such a big deal but it does. We don't have Thanksgiving Day ( the early convicts had little to be thankful for in the beginning of our European influenced nation) and so the last important family day for me was Mother's day in May. Not that I saw all the children and grandchildren then but I have seen them all since one way and another. But I was so looking forward to them all being together around the table as the last time that happened was four years ago, the Christmas after Ray died.
Spring is turning to summer. hot dry windy days, cooler nights but humid now. I love summer so am not disappointed I just feel the same as I did last year when I was longing for a companion to go on picnics and to the beach with. I have lady friends of course, many of them also widows, and through the year do go out to lunches and for coffee to meet up with various groupings but from the time school breaks up a week before Christmas right to the end of January most of them are busy with family and holidays and all the distractions summer is famous for and so not available in the usual way So I have a feeling that loneliness will prevail again. I am used to being alone now and quite enjoy some solitude but I do not want to be alone all the time.
There have been a few pre-Christmas get togethers and I admit that has been fun. I love a party by any other name. As most of the groups I go out with are aged 70+ is is not exactly a rave but we do have good food and good fellowship. I have three more to look forward to. Once again I find I am being moved up a seat so a married couple can sit together or someone leaves the table because it is top heavy with women, three of us in one group being widows and we are often asked if we mind sitting together as that is "more convenient". Why do they always have to have an even number of chairs around a table anyway? So not being a member of a couple discriminates against us in some ways.
Australia with end of school, summer and Christmas all rolled into the same period of time can be a hectic place. A lot of my caravaning friends are getting packed and ready to move to one of the far distant relatives to enjoy the Christmas period away from home and closer to family. And I haven't even sent out my Christmas cards yet so will have to do so soon. It is not as painful as it used to be to just write: "love from Sue" on the bottom of them now. I hated that the first couple of years but now it seems routine. Who else is here to love them? I realise on most of them I just write that for old times sake as most of those I send cards to I have not seen for many years. My fault as much as theirs I guess. And the distant relatives in England will have to get a card too after all they were so kind to me when I went there a year after Ray died. I want them to know I appreciated their hospitality.
And so summer and Christmas roll towards me, each with their own special delights and disappointments. I am a widow. I am a widow. I am a widow. Nothing is going to change that. I can choose to be a lonely one or a fun one or a merry one or any combination of the above. If I sulk and cry and rend my clothes who will care? My children will maybe be alarmed for a moment but no-one else will care. It is as always: "suck it up buttercup."