I was struck by how much Easter Sunday seemed to resemble/represent widowhood.
I worked the weekend (Sat., Sun. & Mon.) and left for work on Sunday at 5:30. Driving to work at that hour on Easter I was pretty much the only car out on the road except for the odd police cruiser. It reminded me of how lonely and dark widowhood can be. Really out on your own, all alone amid such a big world. No one can tell us how to navigate the widowhood path. We have to forge our own way. I visioned myself in this way as my car lights cut a path into the darkness ahead of me.
I was also reminded, driving in the dark morning hour, of all those sleepless nights where I'd toss and turn until 3:00 a.m. or when I'd wake up at the hour and just end up staying awake the rest of the night.
I didn't really mind working on Easter since I was off at 2:00. But I did feel that it was a reminder of how once we are widowed, our lives are not the same. Holidays no longer resemble what they were. This was an odd ball holiday for me - but really, since widowhood I'm not sure there has been one that has been "normal" or that felt right/comfortable. There was that sense I often have of feeling like I have to fit into another world.
After work, we were supposed to go to my brother's for dinner. But my oldest wanted to be with his girlfriend and my youngest didn't really want to go. I would have gone and had my youngest join me but I was so exhausted I couldn't muster up the strength to drive home, freshen up and then make the half-hour drive to his house. I did not believe I had the stamina to make small talk and act pleasant - yes, I was that drained.
In the past, I would have forced myself to attend but no more. I can't pretend to be superwoman anymore. I can no longer try to please others at my own expense.
As it was, I picked up a takeout Mexican dinner for my youngest and I - I had a two-for-one coupon. They served ham, yams, fresh green beans, egg/potato salad and coconut cream pie at the nursing home and that sure looked traditional and yummy! Again, I thought about how widowhood robs us of small, simple pleasures like this. I was too tired to prepare a real meal and too tired to go to family. What a sad reality. Hopefully, my youngest will have a girlfriend next year to bail him out of a pathetic Easter dinner with his sad, tired mom! Then both boys can eat their holiday meals with their girlfriends!
It was a hard day for me. Work is tough, I'm on my feet eight hours straight and doing a lot of lifting, pushing, running and so on. Again, an apt description of widowhood. The exhaustion along with the challenge of having to do everything by oneself. And interesting enough, I'm working at a job that is a totally one of being a care giver. But at the same time, there is the reality that I'm not on the receiving end of that chain. I'm only being observant and real here - not going the pity party route. But I've had to parent and raise my sons on my own with very little support of any kind. And doing so has been very difficult for me - talk about running on empty all the time and feeling like you're constantly running in place.
Is it possible to view this day with a positive spin on it? Might be worth an attempt to see if I can swing that but I worked today and am so tired I can no longer think to give it a try. Maybe tomorrow.