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Thanks for the memories of 50 years

50 years ago yesterday Ray and I got married. It was a warm day for winter as today was and we got married at my local church and went to an old dance hall nearer to his family's home where family and friends had gathered for a fancy supper and some dancing. A work colleague describd it as a "real hillbilly wedding" and it certainly wasn't formal and with the dancing to a three piece band it was quite an energetic affair. My Mum and mother-in-law handled the catering to the satisfaction of all and when we left to go on our honeymoon the party continued without us.

We had 44 years of marriage and I wish it had been 50. I can imagine us trying to get ready now with a houseful of children and grandchildren milling around, the house noisy with excitement. Instead I am sitting here alone feeling sorry for myself. We did celebrate our 40 year wedding anniversary at a local hall with friends and some of the family, that was a good party. Our Lions Club had a singing  group at that time and they were our entertainment for the evening and it was catered for by our children. I have kept the cards and looked at them last night. Some of the people are still in my life, some have gone to glory and some are not in my life any more, which is a pity. I hate to lose friends.

I posted a photo of Ray and I on our wedding day on my Facebook page last night and a few people commented that they were at the wedding so I do still have contact with some of Ray's cousins through social media. We are so blessed with many of our modern forms of communication but I am still sitting alone tonight. Fine words do not always translate into action, because  no-one acknowledged my loneliness. And that is the way my life as a widow continues. I smile and laugh and joke but deep inside I am lonely. As are so many here.

Today I worked on the bookstall at our church Market Day. We enjoyed quite a crowd because of the dry windless day. My partner today is a small person so she does the cashier's job and I act as salesperson. There is an amazing amount of conversation around old books and it is always a most enjoyable day. We can sell books very cheaply because they are donated and so many people do as  I do, buy a book, read it at my leisure and in due course return it to the Op shop for resale. It is part of the art of recycling that items can be resold over and over. We are very conscious as a church about waste, it is part of our justice platform that we are careful of our actions and how they impact it community.

Tomorrow it is church again and hospital visiting, I have done a lot for that lately. It is the cold and flu turning into pneumonia season so some of our old folk have succumbed. The short days mean activities are all crammed together and I feel like a dog chasing it's tail again. There are two medical appointments and a funeral already booked into my week. Don't get me wrong, I love to be busy, just not too busy. The Women's meeting I went to yesterday meant I caught up with an old friend and got a hug so that was very worthwhile. Hugs are not nearly as regular as  I would like them to be in my life at present.

I'm hopeful my report from my specialist on Wednesday will be positive and I will be able to plan a little way ahead again. My travelling days are somewhat shortened because of the Lymphoedema but I can still have days away, just not too far away. I went to a dinner where we get a report on who is where, the couples with wealth are more often away somewhere  exotic but others (and sometimes me) are away visiting family rather than some foreign country. There is little equality as far as wealth is concerned but because we were all involved in the same organisation attending is about keeping old friendships ongoing. Sadly some of the reports are about absences due to ill health.

I know I am lucky because through the hospital visits I see so many worse of than myself. I know some people do not like to make a comparison but for me it is comforting. I can say to myself: " Lucky me at least I do not have "345's " problems. If I'm thinking of those who need help I can access food from the church for them or find an agency that can maybe help. There are resources out there but maybe when people have problems they lack the ability to work things out. I always urge my older ladies to take any government help available, our War Widows in particular. The over 80s need help but sometimes their pride stops them from accessing it.

This life we have lead as people who have known much sorrow does equipp us for helping others. We know what it is like to be lonely, to be sad, to sometimes be helpless. For this reason I give as much time as possible as a volunteer, the problem is being older I find I am more easily tired out before the job is done. Things that I could do without any troubles a year ago I often don't do at all now. Age shows up on my face when I am tired. Friends are kind and compliment me on an outfit or  an accessory but I know I am changing, not the girl I used to be. But as of yesterday under other circumstances I would have been married for 50 years.

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Comment by only1sue on August 8, 2018 at 4:40am

 Athena because I had the original PET  scan my  specialist knows where my body has problems and I have confidence that she will priortise them into some kind of order so that the most important treatments come first. I pointed out to someone today that if you have an ingrown toenail and cancer the cancer treatment comes first no matter how painful your .toe is. It makes sense to me anyway. I always think of myself as healthy so really I will do what is needed to keep myself that way.

Comment by Athena53 on August 8, 2018 at 3:57am

That's great news, Sue!   My dear mother always said you should never let them scan your body because they'll find things you never knew were there and weren't giving you trouble.  So far I have managed to take her advice except for the usual screenings such as mammograms.  When Ron was dying of acute myeloid leukemia, they scanned his back after a fall.  In addition to two compression fractures of his vertebrae, they found a spot on his lung that was possibly cancerous.  His primary care doc wanted to biopsy it!  The oncologist treating him for AML said don't bother unless the AML goes into remission, which it didn't.  

Comment by riet on August 8, 2018 at 1:37am

Dear Sue, 

I am so happy for you, your pet scan was ok. That must be a big relief. I am 66 and always something is bothering about your health at that age.

At this moment I am extremely sensitive for everything what is related to cancer.  My husband suffered brain cancer for 4 years.  He fought against it with all his strength and hoped to live for years and years ahead. But he passed away last April.  And I certainly am not ready with that.

Cancer is a dirty beast.  And I would not know how to handle this if I got this diagnose now.  But of course you have no choice then.

I admire your courage. You make so much of your time now.  I still am searching how to get my life organized after having done everything together  with my husband for almost 50 years.

I sure hope you have a lot of good years ahead of you. Hugs from Belgium

Comment by only1sue on August 8, 2018 at 12:33am

My PET scan did not shown any sign of melanoma. There were signs of other medical problems that need to be addressed in order of priority. The next appointment will be with a neurosurgeon. The other pressing problem is the thyroid. But hey! I'm 71 and bound to have a few  bits and pieces going wrong. Just hope there are a few good years ahead of me still.

Comment by only1sue on July 31, 2018 at 1:31am

Riet, thank you for understanding. We too had our celebrations for our 40th with family and friends, music and great food thanks to our children. We all knew he wouldn't make 50 and so 40 was the ideal time to celebrate. Even then he was very tired by the end of the party. On our 44th he w as already on pureed food and our way of celebrating was a dish of icecream. So many memories of our years together, good and bad.

Comment by riet on July 30, 2018 at 9:49am

Dear Sue,

Congratulations on your Wedding Anniversary.  I am sure you and your husband would have celebrated this with a huge party. Yes you must feel lonely now. 

That's why I want to give you a big hug. I am feeling with you.

Next Saturday, 4th of August would be our 47th anniversary.

My husband wanted a big party on our 40th. A bit strange because everyone else celebrates their 50. But we had it and it was great.

Now I am asking myself: he couldn't have known we never would celebrate our 50 together.  He wasn't ill at that time, on the contrary.

Why did he insist on having such a party on our 40?   Of course there is now Why?  I just am glad we did so. 

We have a heat wave on this side of the world.  Completely different from 47 years ago which gave lots of rain. It was the most glorious day of our life.  Finally living together.

Thinking this would be for ever.  And now completely overwhelmed by the fact he is no longer with me.  

Dear Sue, I am sorry to have read your blog too late. And not being able to send you my congratulations right on time.

All my best wishes for you.


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