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Monday, August 12, 2013, has marked 20 months since I lost my life partner and husband of 20 years 10 months of marriage. We were a couple since I was 18 years old, so overall, we were a couple for 28 years of my life. (SIGH!)

Ed and I dated for seven years, then we suddenly married and moved away. He CHANGED almost immediately. It was a marriage with plenty of challenges and problems. I loved him way too much, and the love for this angry, difficult man just would not go away.  I never gave up on the idea or belief of "US." 

Yet, despite all the LOVE I gave, all the sacrifices I made, all of the lowering of my expectations, all of the forgiveness, he was taken from me by CANCER, because GOD HAD A PLAN.

At times I feel that I am left with nothing but an emptiness in my life that words are inadequate to describe.

Today, Thursday, I took my 15 year old son for a hair cut since school starts in 12 days, and afterwards we went  for lunch at a restaurant that was one of my husband's favorites.  My 15 year-old is sporting a full-grown moustache and I found myself wishing I could just shave it off of his face because it is all uneven.  While there for lunch, there was an energy in the air from all of the workers who were on their lunch break; the energy was something I could actually feel in the air.  Most of them were men, many middle aged, many in their 30's, some in their 20's, and it hurt to think that perhaps, in the past, my husband would have been one of the crowd frequenting this place for a bite to eat on their one-hour lunch break.  I could feel eyes upon me as I moved through the restaurant. I sat with my son, he smiled at me with his teeth full of braces, and I gave thanks that we could eat lunch at this place. I tried to stay present in the present moment, grateful that I was eating a meal with my beautiful boy. My son is the best thing that came from my marriage, and I reminded myself of that very fact as we walked out of the restaurant.

Later on in the day when my son went about his usual teenage business, I was left with the residual sadness that permeates into the depths of my soul.  I feel like I am in a rut.  The interviews I had a few weeks ago did not deliver any job offers. Because I am widowed, the death of my husband has made me what is termed to be a "displaced housewife/homemaker. " I have a college degree, I had a career, but I gave up my career to raise my son who had special needs, so I have only worked part-time for 2-3 years in the past 15 years.  The corporate world looks at me with disdain and finds no value at what I did as a caregiver of a cancer patient, or as a devoted wife and mother who gave up a career to raise her special needs child.

I really need some encouragement, something to bring me joy, something to bring me up, because it seems so bleak in this freaking' world right now.

God, please help me to be strong, because I know I need to keep going, step by step, into this new fucking chapter of my life, and it sure as hell is not for the weak.

It has been 20 months, and somehow, I am still standing, even though there are days when I just wish I could collapse and be held by the strong arms that once offered me solace and refuge.

Thanks for reading my vent. Peace be with you.

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Comment by dublin53 on August 16, 2013 at 8:20am

Dear Mariposa-  you made me smile writing about the child with a mustache AND braces. I had that kid- although its been years. I am sorry you aren't finding a job. It is unfair that no one has recognized your value-yet. Don't give up. It is scary and frustrating and I will pray that the right job is going to come your way. In the meantime, come to this place to vent. There's not a person here who doesn't understand. Be kind to yourself. Peace to you and your son

Comment by Wanderer530 (Bernie) on August 16, 2013 at 6:27am

Mariposa, I have two boys ages 11 and 16(17 in Oct.).  They have primarily known a father with medical conditions and resulting frail health.  I resigned from my job of 18 years with DOE/Special Education to care for my husband.  I just returned last school year after three years out.  I am in enormous debt.  The past three years have been beyond descriptive words of pain/beauty . . . Everyone in widowed village has come from there.  I don't know when, and I don't know how, it is different for each of us . . . I only know that even in your moments of darkness, you have had moments of light and gifts.  I read your story, and I hear such strength in your weakness . . . Such love in your despair . . . and doing what you did for BOTH your husband and your child . . . REAL heroism and value which WILL be recognized and translate into employment.  Give yourself a break, don't let the monsters of darkness/despair win.  You have defeated them repeatedly and emerged the victor.  PEACE/EMPLOYMENT <3

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on August 16, 2013 at 4:56am

Mariposa, be gentle with yourself.  I do understand the frustration wabout going on interviews and nothing comes from them.  It seems in today's job market they want someone who has a degree and is also bilingual as well.  I am wishing you the best of luck and know that the right job is out there for you.  It just takes time to find it.

I am glad you had a good day with your son.  I had to smile about the mustache though.  He will learn in time how to even if up.  Kudos to you for being able to go to your husband's favorite restaraunt. 

I hope your days are softer.  You are strong because you are still standing and taking care of your son.  Sending hugs your way.

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