As a widow I try to live life one day at a time. As a member of a couple both when Ray was well and afterwards when he had the series of strokes I would plan at least three weeks ahead. Now I am not that optimistic, I do put all my engagements on the calendar and hope nothing happens in between but I no longer have the confidence that life will happen the way I plan it. I used to be a really confident person but somewhere in the past seven years that changed. Maybe it is something to do with all the medical procedures I have been through as they all came as a surprise that changed my life in so many ways.
I know some of this comes from being alone so much with no-one to bounce ideas off. Ray and I were very different people but surprisingly this never mattered as between us we could see two sides of an argument. Of course this was difficult if we didn't want to compromise but mostly it was good. So if I was uncertain about something I asked his guidance and between us we came to a decision. Now there is no-one I can do that with and so I am not always confident I know what I am doing. If I saw more of one of my children I might have been able to do it with them but they know little of the reality of being a widow. And as is the way in this modern age they all have their busy lives to live.
Today I am having a tummy trouble day so lots of time to think as my energy level is low. Yesterday I had enough energy to take down curtains and start a Spring clean, today it is enough to get up onto my feet and make a sandwich. I foolishly bought some snack food without reading the ingredients and my old enemy palm oil must have been in the mixture of ingredients that made up "vegetable oil" and that was the cause of my troubles. I just wish there was a rule that all oils had to be listed individually and then I would know exactly what I was buying. When this was put forward for legislation the manufacturers said this would make labelling too difficult and so it was never passed but for those of us with dietary allergies it would have made life so much simpler.
I don't have a lot to complain about, mostly I live my life day to day. Today was Thursday and usually on this Thursday of the month I go to lunch with three other girlfriends but we moved it a week forward for the sake of one of the others which was just as well as I wouldn't have gone. I enjoy the meet ups as the four of us have a lot in common. I do rely on these planned lunches with widowed friends now. Like most widows I am rarely asked out by my couple friends, the fear of odd numbers at dinner I suspect. Where did that come from I wonder? Maybe the unlucky thirteen? For sure I am not the femme fatale widows were once portrayed as in the movies so the good wives have nothing to fear from me.
It won't be long and we will be planning for Christmas. School goes back for nine weeks and then it is the seven week break we have as the summer holidays. Trev and Alice will be here the first two weeks in January so I will probably have Christmas Day with Shirley and family. They move just after Christmas to their new house that goes with Shirley's new job as an Aged Care Chaplain. It is not far from where she is now so not a traumatic move, just a general upheaval as all moves are. But just in case I will have enough festive food here so that if those plans fall through I can have Christmas Day at home.
All changes bring fears of my life not having the stability it used to have. There is strength in being part of a couple that we don't appreciate at the time. Even when Ray was really sick if I told him what was happening I felt as if we made decisions together. I know that sounds silly but it was the way I felt. He was my mate, my partner, my rock. On my own I am not that confident person I used to be. There is that saying: There is safety in numbers. And also: One is the loneliest number.... and that is how I feel right now.