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Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

In the past few weeks, I have:

Spoken with authority to a tax attorney and realtor to help someone out
Cooked a gourmet dinner for 25 people
Pushed a woman's car out of a busy intersection
Bought a snow blower after negotiating the price
Celebrated New Year's Eve in Manhattan by myself
Chastised a drunk on a train
Changed my own windshield wiper blades

Yeah, I know...

But after months of what I call my "Emotional Constipation" period, I have emerged with a sense of empowerment that I forgot I had. Your life partner left you and owes the IRS beaucoup bucks??? Let ME talk to the experts. Dinner for 25??? Hell, I cooked for 500 when I had my catering business. 25 I can do in my sleep. You ran out of gas??? Been there, done that. Put the car in neutral and steer while I push. Yes, I'll take the floor model of the snow blower since you don't have any more. But you won't give me the sale price since you forgot to remove the sale sign??? Then I'll go to the big box store across the highway. I don't see anyone else here beating down your door for it. (Pause here...I did use my poor widow, lost everything in the storm schtick which sealed the deal). I'm not invited to your house party because I'm not A COUPLE??? Screw you, I'm going to NYC alone, and I'll have a better time. Hey Eminem wannabe-you think talking about your balls and your niggas/AKA friends is cute? Sexy?? FUNNY??? You DISGUST me. Don't say you're sorry to me-you owe an apology to all the ladies and everyone else who just heard your pathetic rant. And your installer is too busy helping A GUY put on his windshield wiper blades??? Poor baby. Get out of my way-I'll read and follow the instructions on the package.

Back when son #2 was graduating from college, I was sitting in the airport with Wingman, my parents and my BFF waiting for the plane to Buffalo. BFF was trying to open a granola bar, and Wingman tried to wrestle it from her to help. She grabbed it back saying "I don't need a man, I need a pair of scissors." For some reason,that struck me as funny as the line "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle". And ever since Wingman died, I've had to adapt to the woman/man role like the first prehistoric fish adapted to land. Some times I just have to hold my breath and pray.

Like early this morning. Son #3 screamed for me to come down to the garage. There, a mini Niagara Falls greeted us with a burst water pipe. As he frantically looked for the valve to shut the water off, I grabbed my file of contractors to get the plumber's number. Papers were flung everywhere without finding either his name or number. I called his friend/my HVAC guy and with panic in my voice pleaded to his voice mail to get him to make an emergency house call. He called me back just as my son found the valve and was over in minutes. Since the pipe was not the city water for the house-rather the well water for watering the lawn, he said it could wait. There were burst pipes with more immediate needs than mine.

He laughed and told me to bring my voice down a couple of octaves, that it wasn't as bad as it first seemed. True, the storm had already destroyed everything that had previously been stored in the garage so the water didn't do any further damage. But all I could think about was spending the day with ice forming on the newly sheet rocked and painted garage walls and my mind went back to an old "I Love Lucy" episode with her trapped in a freezer:

And the roaring voice I so recently rediscovered disappeared and in it's place, a was sound more like the old me.

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Comment by missmyhunny on January 11, 2014 at 9:06pm

Hi Barbstar, You have a great way with words :)  Being a widow is a big learning curve for sure. Sometimes it's so sad we just have to laugh, and we are all true survivors. We all grow stronger in our determination to merely survive. Enjoy reading your posts.

Comment by only1sue on January 11, 2014 at 6:23pm

Yes, had to learn to do a few things I haven't done before but that was when my husband had his strokes in 1999 and I've either done them or got a handyman to do them since then. It is sometimes good to reduce the roar to a purr if it seems

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