Tonight I went to a dinner for an organisation I have belonged to for many years. I usually sit among the couples but tonight for some reason was surrounded by women. One of them asked me loudly if I had found myself a man yet, when I said "No" she said: "I thought this year would be good for you because it is Leap Year." I don't think she meant to be unkind but she certainly was playing it for laughs. I have known her for many years and wondered if she knew she was being hurtful. I am three years and five months out now and while I want a partner, I just right now want someone to go out to dinner, to the movies etc I do not at this stage want someone permanent, I thought I was ready but I am not. I wish I could have taken her aside and patiently explained this as I am sure she would have understood.Remarks like this do lead to a drop in my confidence levels I find.
Apart from that life is good. I have had some visitors and at the moment they are in Sydney for five days but will be back here after that. I have enjoyed the company but the extra work needed is tiring me. I love this long awaited visit from the cousin who I have stayed with before in England but she has brought another couple from her mother's side with her and they are pleasant people, just bit labour intensive. I live in a lovely area so there is a lot of beauty spots for viewing, photographing, picnicing close to etc. There are a lot of lovely beaches close by so we have visited some of them. The male cousin leaves for England next Monday but the two women are staying on with me for another two weeks.
It was very hot today, the hotter weather has returned, late February, early March is usually fairly hot and then it milds out as March ends. I suppose it is easier to stand the hot weather when you know it will only be for two or three weeks. The garden is very dry,my tomatoes are small as a result. I'm wanting a few days of light rain rather than a thunder storm. I love my garden and hate to see it drying out. Gardening is one of my hobbies, I also knit, crochet, sew and write (blogs mainly), The knitting and crochet have to wait for winter or at least cooler weather, it is far too hot to handle wool or acyrlic right now. So the gardening is my exercise in the fresh (hot) air.
Still struggling to come to terms with my widowhood. I know that I want to accept it and move on and mostly I do but sometimes like tonight I wish Ray could be with me, with him at my side there was no sniping or "jokes" at my expense. Of course he could not defend me, being in a wheelchair, but everyone could see I was struggling with caring for him and all the labour that took so didn't expect too much of me. And I miss him for so many other reasons. I know I need to get over this and find myself accepting being a woman on her own but it is a slow process. I am still in transition from being a wife/caregiver to being a woman on her own rather than a widow.
I have until recently continued to go out once a month with the old school friend but know it is just a very limited friendship. I did the service for his mother's funeral at the beginning of January and have not heard much from him since. Of course that is often the way after a death, the family are busy settling the estate etc. And even though he says he is not sentimental he must still feel the loss. I have not been out to dinner with anyone else this year. I have a man who was interested in taking me to the movies but he has recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer so is going through the process hopefully leading to some sort of treatment. So if I go to lunch I go with girlfriends and to the movies on my own if I want to see a movie.
I wonder how long it takes to feel "single" rather than "widowed". When I feel "single" I will maybe settle down a bit more. There are still decisions I hate to make alone, things I want advice on, sometimes I can find someone to discuss things with and sometimes I can't. I guess most single women face the same dilemma. I know I can discuss a lot of subjects on forums and I do but don't always find that helpful. The culture in America is different from that in Australia and that muddles the issue sometimes. All of my male cousins are in England or Canada so too far away to be helpful in that way. Mostly I get by discussing it with widowed friends but still wish my guy was here to help me to process information and solve problems for me or with me. That may never end as he was such a great handyman.
And so life goes on, not exactly as I want it but I am getting wisdom and strength day by day to go on with the struggle. It is what so many other widowed people are doing throughout the world and I need to put on a brave face and get on with it.