Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Blues

There is a daily fatigue that seems to settle into my bones during the winter months. An undercurrent of fear simmers that I will fall on the ice and break a bone. Who would care for me? The winter weather and darker days exaggerate my being alone.

These are the days for hunkering down and snuggling a bit longer under the covers. I miss having a warm body next to me sleeping. I miss the absence of a strong male presence in the home. Someone to rely on when the roads are slippery with snow coming down - just knowing they can be called to come make a rescue if I land in a snowbank.

I feel vulnerable and lonely. Soon after my husband died, someone told me that I was so lucky I had the boys to raise - because I would never be lonely (and I would be too busy besides). But I think it goes without saying that I am lonely for romance and adult interaction. You can be lonely even living with a large number of people (think homesick college freshman living in a dorm).

Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner. I felt I had that when my husband was alive. We served as cheerleaders for each other. Now I have to rely on the occasional well wishes of friends and acquaintances. There is not a daily support mechanism in place. And truth be told, it gets pretty old pretty quickly being your own cheerleader.

I miss looking forward to a night out for dinner, a movie or a show with a partner. Those are the kinds of activities that help recharge our batteries. I miss planning a romantic dinner at home complete with a special meal and candles. I miss all the physical aspects of being in a romantic relationship, mostly the day-to-day hugs, affectionate pats, smiles and verbal affirmation.

We are ending finals week at the boy's school and I am convinced that the best decision was made to keep them here. But it does come at a great price because I have lost regular physical contact with Sam and I am sad about that. Long distance relationships bring with them their own challenges, in addition to all the others that exist in maintaining a committed relationship in the first place.

The well-known author and psychologist, Dr. Kevin Leman, who wrote all the birth order books, believes that single parents should not even consider remarrying until their children are out of school. He feels there are too many conflicting problems and issues in attempting to blend families together. I can certainly relate to his reasoning since I have struggled with balancing the needs of my sons with that of my own. And there is a part of me that remains annoyed with the situation of Sam moving out-of-state to take a job. It is such a slap in the face to me. To have met a decent, compatible guy and have him move away. It seems so ironic that I made a conscious decision to date only locally because I did not want to face a relocation. And then the same situation ended up presenting itself. I am beyond trying to figure out a rhyme or reason to this and just want to be able to rely on some safety and reliability for a change instead of having to dodge curve balls.

My husband's death came at a rotten time in regard to the boys' ages. It would have been easier if they had been younger or older in terms of relocating and remarriage. But I guess there is not much point to dwelling on that. It is what it is and I am where I am and have to somehow make the best of all of this from this point on. And part of that means facing any upcoming winter storms on my own here, at least for the time being. My sixth winter on my own.

Today I am grateful that:

1. We are surviving finals week.
2. The temperature today will be close to 40 degrees.
3. The boys have worked very hard on their academics (they had three weeks of missed work to make up).
4. We have not gone hungry this month.
5. The boys were welcomed back to their school with open arms, love and support.


  1. I disagree with not marrying until your kids are grown. I married after a divorce, we combined our families (one son--his; son and daughter--mine) and called ourselves The Brady Bunch. We would have celebrated our 35th anniversary a couple of months after my husband died. He was great with my kids and they were very devoted to him. At the funeral, my son read a beautiful letter he'd written, saying "We alsways called you Ralphn but we thought of you as our dad."
    What if I'd waited until the kids grew up? I'd have missed a lot of happiness.

  2. I completely identify with what you are saying. I so miss the physical presence these days, the physical touch, smelling a man, the whole thing. Bleeurghhh, this sucks.

  3. Right there with you guys. The loneliness and deafening quiet are sometimes too much to bear. Unless I have the kids with me, for the most part I am completely alone. I have gotten sick a couple times and it dawned on me that I could succumb and it would be days before anyone found me. As far as getting hurt etc. you are so right. Who the hell is going to take care of me? I jokingly made a comment about a nursing home and my sweet youngest said "No way I will ever put you in a home. I will always take care of you!". He is his father's son. The problem is I don't want my kids taking care of me I want my husband here with me. I'm hating on Mick Jagger right about now.

  4. Thelma - It is wonderful to know of a successful and loving second marriage. I really wish that for everyone who is seeking it. I just know in my situation that being widowed with sons the ages of mine has not been conducive to marriage because it would involve relocation. And after the losses we've faced, moving out-of-state is hard to contemplate. Can I ask how old all the children were when you got remarried? And did you have to relocate or were you able to remain in the same area? Thanks for providing proof that great happiness is possible to have again!

    Boo - I'm wondering if the extreme missing of the physical qualities has to do with it being winter and cold, etc. Just a thought that there might be a connection.

    Kelly - That is the sweetest comment from your youngest! But don't I know that all of his sincere intentions do not make up for the lack of your husband being with you now and in the future.

  5. I like to think of myself as still having a relationship with Joe. Just a different kind of relationship. A spiritual one. But the physical relationship, having him there to hold me at night, to hug me when I need it is the part I will NEVER get over missing.

  6. Kelly - I like your inspirational view of still having a relationship with Joe. I've never had that perspective and find it very refreshing and a new way of thinking for me.

  7. Email me sometime. I will tell you more about it.

  8. When Ralph and I got married, his son was 3, mine was 5 and my daughter was 8. Easier than teenagers, I'm sure.