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November is here, usually my busiest month of the year as it always includes a week in Broken Hill to help my younger son celebrate his birthday. That is still ahead of me. It also includes the beginning of the end-of-year events, as not everyone waits till December to start their Christmas parties. There is also the Lions Bunnings BBQs and the Lions Christmas raffle with my name on the roster. And all the planning for the leadup to Christmas both in the church and on the home front. November takes a lot of stamina and I am a bit short on that at the moment.

I did go away for a week to visit friends in the country. Six hours on the train but it was worth it to be out where it is fresh air and green fields and a big blue sky overhead. Armidale is a University town and has a lot of impressive buildings and a settled population, so a very pleasant place to visit, add old friends to socialise with and it was a very pleasant week. I think it was exactly what I needed after the deaths as it also helped me to put some thought into what had happened and how  I can put that into perspective.

I am going to the Womens weekend with the WAGS women stroke survivors and caregivers, I originally said I would stop going when Ray died but these women mean a lot to me so our friendship continues. I will just be a listening ear most of the time which is fine. When I needed to vent there was always someone willingto listen to me whenever I needed to talk things out.  Now I am available to others who need to talk. I won't be in the dance competition this year though because I can't turn around as I used to since the operations. My left leg with the cut muscle stops me from doing that unfortunately.

Today, a typical hot day in late Spring, I went to the Lymphodema Clinic at the hospital about half an hour's drive from here. I go by bus as there is very little chance of finding  somewhere to park close by. I got to the Clinic and no they hadn't got my name on their list but they could give me a later appointment. Luckily it was ony half an hour later. I was there to pick up my new pressure "Stockings" not the normal wear but pressure garments that basically cover me from my toes to my waist. It feels a lot like a wetsuit when it is all on, so that is why I feel like a mermaid. 

Because I feel self conscious about the way the stockings look, much like thick granny stockings, I will buy a couple of maxi (long) dresses to wear through the party season. I had meant to wear a bright blouse and skirt but that shows a Iot of leg. I wish I had the confidence to just wear what I want but it doesn't seem to be what I can manage. I am a woman and I want to feel fabulous, glamorous, pretty, all by turns. Bah humbug! How do you do that wearing a nice summery top and thick brown stockings?

Still working on family Christmas arrangements, it seems we are all scattered this year with Steven and family having Christmas in Adelaide and Trevor in Broken Hill I will be with Shirley and family I don't mind, as long as there is a part of my family present I am okay. I have had little interest in the food side of Christmas since Ray died and as for presents they are really unnecessary.  So what means the most is to be with those I love. And with those I loved the most gone from this earth therein lies the problem.

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Comment by Rainy (Misty) yesterday

Sue, you're a champion among us widows.  Good for you for keeping your head level and above water.  I know the struggle is very real for you, 

Comment by Blue Snow yesterday

Haven't been by to see how you're doing this summer and I came at the right time to get your pep talk in the comment about not letting winter get us down. We had our first snow last week and I really did/do need to readjust my thinking. Glad you are keeping busy and seem to have found yourself and place in the world of widowhood.

Comment by only1sue on Monday

Thanks laurajay, don't let winter get you down, it is an ideal time to do handcrafts, paint with any colors you have, mash paper into new paper mache shapes, do any craft you have materials for. Also time to chat to friends, write a novel, put some zing into photo albums. What a lot we  used to do and winter flew by. I grew up poor so made do. Summer needs a lot more planning but is starting to take shape in my mind now.

Comment by laurajay on Sunday

Sue!  Way  to go!  You are an inspiration the  way  you do not  stay  "down"  but  dust  yourself  off  ,   get  up  and keep  going!  Hugs!  Perfect time for you to post  as  I was  having  a pre-holiday  ole  lady  moment here  with  the  bad  weather, winter  coming  and  early  darkness.  You  took  some of the humbug out  of  the  pity  party.

I hope  Santa  fills  that  old  stocking  with  tasty  treats....LOL    lj

Comment by only1sue on Sunday

I went to the Womens weekend and swam in the motel pool wearing my old stocking on Saturday afternoon.  The water was cold but not too cold and I stayed in about half an hour doing gentle exercises and felt good. That night I danced for three hours on and off and felt even better. Today my knees were a bit sore but not so bad I was in actual pain. Another step in the right direction.

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