Starting Over at 45….

I can honestly say I never pictured myself starting my life over at 45. But that is exactly what I am doing! Let me explain.

It has now been just over 2.5 years since my husband died. We were married for 22 years and 2 months to the day when he died. I swear he did that on purpose because he loved the number 2. He was sick for over 2 years before he died, so his death did not come as a surprise. It was almost a blessing to know that his suffering would be over. We came to peace with everything before he died so there was no unfinished business.

We had one daughter in our marriage. She is almost 22 years old and moved out of my house for good with her husband last month. I hated to see her leave, but at the same time I knew it was time to start her life with her husband. They had to leave their dog with me for another year because where my boy goes to school they can’t get an apartment that allows dogs. Next year they will move and take her with them. I love having her because she keeps my dog company.

Since I have the two dogs, I am not technically alone. I just do not live with any humans. I am at a point in my life now that I am alone and the kids are gone that I need to figure out what I want to do. I have spent the last two years figuring out who I am and what I want out of life.

I have devoted much energy toward my job. I love being a quality accountant. The responsibility I am given makes the job challenging yet extremely rewarding. The fact that I love numbers only makes thing better. I work long hours but it doesn’t bother me because it keeps me from dwelling on being alone.

My husband expressed a wish before he died that after a while I find someone to share my life with. He knew I was too young to be alone the rest of my life. I have been talking to a great guy for almost a year. We have yet to meet in person because he lives in a different part of the country. We have connected on a level only two mature adults can reach. We look forward to the day when we will meet. He has expressed an interest to move to Indiana so he can be with me. For now we take things one day at a time. We know that everything happens for a reason and if we are meant to be together it will happen.

Other than hating being alone, I am content with my life. My future will be what I make of it.  I look at it as I am being given a second chance at life and I had better not waste it. I will always love and take care of my kids as long as I am able.  I will continue to strive to be an excellent employee and someone my company can be proud of. I might be a dreamer but I am hoping for a happily ever after in my future….

 

 

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No More “Shallow Hals” Please……..

My husband died over two years ago. I mourned his death and came to terms with it after a year.  So for the last year I have been trying to start a new chapter in my life. I can’t tell you how weird it feels that my daughter is married and here I don’t even have a boyfriend.

I tried internet dating for a while and that was a disaster. I know I am not beautiful and that I am just average looking. Most guys are looking for outer beauty and physically fit. Hence I say the “Shallow Hals”. Last year I lost 80 pounds through eating healthy and a combination of walking and bike riding. After getting sick around Thanksgiving and not being able to exercise, I have gained 20 pounds back. I now have 45 pounds that I want to lose. This is going to be an uphill battle for me because I am not going to be able to exercise for a while. It will be mid-June before I can get out and walk and ride my bike like I want to.

Here is the problem I have with men right now. Most men want  a woman who is at least an eight. I know that there are men out there that are saying you are wrong. I am just saying what has been my experience. I consider myself a 5 or 6 realistically. However if you take my personality, heart and inner beauty into consideration, I think I become a 9. Now most guys will take one look at me and never give me the chance to show them my inner beauty. I am shy when I first get to know someone. I think some people see me as stuck up because of this when in reality I am just not used to talking to men.

I am a proud catholic and I take my faith very seriously. I can’t tell you how many guys this has turned off. Almost all the guys on the internet dating sites claim to be catholic but when it comes down to it they are not practicing. Family is the most important thing to me. Losing my husband has taught me if nothing else that life is a gift and not a given. I try to make each day count. My daughter is married and 21 and yet I have a very special relationship with her. We tell each other I Love You everyday and we are always very affectionate. Most of my co-workers and friends have kids her age that will show them no affection especially in public. I consider myself honored to have such a special daughter.  My mom is also very special in my life. She is suffering from early Alzheimer’s and needs my help sometimes. Men claim that family is important to them, but when it comes down to it they do not show it.  I have lost more than one guy because they didn’t like my daughter or her involvement in my life. Any man who wants to date me has to understand that I come with baggage in the form of my daughter, son-in-law, mom and of course our two dogs.

I don’t think my list of must haves is unreasonable or too long considering I am looking for a lifetime partner and not just someone to have fun with. I am looking for a catholic, family oriented, honest, faithful, hard-working, reliable, affectionate, romantic, easy-going man. I love music and sports. I do not like party boys or playboys. At my age I want someone who want to settle down and not add another notch to their belt. I almost forgot one of the most important things. He has to live somewhat close to me. I live just outside of Chicago but in Indiana. I DO NOT want someone in California or Florida or God forbid another country. Been there done that, it doesn’t work.   I do not want a long distance anything. I want to see and be able to touch the person who will become my boyfriend.

I know this post is coming off like a dating site profile. That is not the purpose of this message though. I am just trying to vent some of my dating or lack of dating experience for other to read. If anyone knows a “good” guy who meets all my criteria, let me know.  I have read other women’s sites who are widows and are going through the same thing I am. If anyone has feedback for me, please send me a comment. I want to hear what the blogging world has to say. Even men, let me know what you think about what I have written. Don’t be afraid, I can take it!

 

 

Finding Inner Peace…..

Being a practicing catholic requires that I go to mass weekly. Most times the sermon is good but not something I can readily relate to. Today was different as the sermon revolved around finding inner peace. The priest used the example that he finds inner peace while eating a layered chocolate cake topped with raspberries.

Inner peace is different for everyone. Finding what can truly make you feel at peace with yourself and with your life is not an easy task.  For me feeling at peace involves many different things all working together to give me happiness. By far the most important thing that helps bring me inner peace is the knowledge that my close family is all healthy. Health to me is as valuable as gold. You can have all the money in the world yet if you become sick you cannot buy your way to health. Many very rich people have died from cancer because their money could not cure them. Having buried my husband at an all too early age (only 49), I live by the rule that life is a gift not a given and should be cherished always.

Another component necessary for my inner peace involves contentment of my place in life. This in itself is complicated. I have said before that I love my job and this plays a big part in my contentment. Knowing that I am doing what I love and that I am appreciated at my work makes me feel good.  The happiness of my family is another part of my being content. Knowing that my daughter and son-in-law are happily married and content with their life brings me a peaceful feeling. I also need to be content with where I am in my personal life. This right now is a work in progress. I am single and live alone. This is not by choice. I have been looking for a lifetime partner for a while now and have yet to meet the right person.  I know the perfect mate is out there if I am patient. I cannot let the pain and suffering of the past stop me from finding my soulmate.

The final component to me for inner peace is dealing with the pain, hurt and suffering of the past. I have to come to terms with the death of my husband and the pain involved with watching someone you love get sick and ultimately die before your eyes. I feel I am at the end of my journey on dealing with his death. Being able to talk about my experiences both through blogging and in person has helped me come to terms with what happened.  One is not free to feel true inner peace if there are unresolved issues in their life. This contradicts what inner peace is all about.

I may not be totally at a place of inner peace yet.  I still have some issues to resolve. I am a work in progress and never claimed to be anything different. I know that one day when I least expect it, I will realize I have reached true inner peace.

 

Losing Two Family Members……Just 31 Days Apart

Losing one family member at a young age is bad enough, but losing two members only 31 days apart can test the inner strength of a person.  This is my story of the loss I experienced two years ago.

February is a tough month for me.  It might be the shortest month of the year, but for me it holds painful memories.  Nineteen years ago my father died on February 26th.  His death was very sudden and the pain stayed fresh for a long time.  Two years ago on February 4th my husband turned 49.  On his birthday he told me he was certain he would not live to see 50.  Two years before he had a stroke and although he recovered for the most part he was never the same.  My husband knew he was dying of cirrhosis and that it was just a matter of time before he died.  He had been trying to prepare me and our daughter for his eventual death.  Since our daughter was away at college most of the time, she was much less prepared than I was.  I kept him home until three days before his death.  Putting him in the hospital on February 14th knowing he would in all probability never come home again, was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  He was very sick by the time he was admitted.  Many hospital personnel wondered why I waited so long before having him admitted.  They did not know that I had promised my husband to keep him home as long as physically possible.  My husband hated hospitals and only wanted to be admitted as a last resort.

My husband was in multiple organ failure by the time he was admitted. Two days after I put him in the hospital, the doctors said there was nothing more they could do and to have our daughter come home to say goodbye. My daughter had an over four hour drive to come home.  The doctors brought my husband out of sedation so he could say goodbye to our daughter.  No preparation in the world could have prevented the pain my daughter went through having to say goodbye to her dad.  My husband and I had talked extensively about his death and I was prepared for the final goodbye.  The last day of his life, he was moved to a private room and all treatment was stopped.  My daughter and I sat with him all day. Family came and went all day, but we never left his side.  The doctors said they were waiting for his heart to stop as all his other organs had already failed.  Before we left to go home that night we recorded the sound of my husband breathing so we could have that as a remembrance. The last thing we did before we left was to kiss him goodbye and feel his heart beating one more time.  At 11:40pm on February 17th, we got the phone call that my husband had died.  It was exactly 22 years and 2 months since we were married.  I still say to this day he died before midnight so he could say he died on our anniversary so to speak. Having someone so young die in the family caused much grief. Everyone knew he had been sick for almost four years, but it didn’t make his death any easier.

My husband comes from a family of eight children.  He was closest by far to his one sister.  His sister was also sickly for a long time.  She was a bad diabetic and had come close to death many times in the past.  They shared a bond through life that they were very alike in personality and lifestyle.  Neither of them worked for the last few years and both tended to be sick on and off.  This led them to form a strong bond of support for each other.  My sister-in-law took my husband’s death very hard.  He was the one person she counted on to always be able to talk to and get support from.  She kept in close contact with me and my daughter after my husband died.  Calling or emailing us almost daily to make sure we were ok. I could tell she was taking her brother’s death very hard.  She was always talking about how she missed him so much and why did he get to end his suffering and not her.  My sister-in-law turned 48 on March 1st.  She was in and out of the hospital with infections and such for many weeks.  She was getting ready to finally go home for a while, when suddenly on March 20th we got word that she had died.  They said her heart just stopped.  It is my belief that she missed my husband and their mother so much that she quit fighting and let God take her so she could be with them.

Even though my sister-in-law had been sick for years, she had no burial plot. She wanted to be cremated but the family had to decide what to do with her ashes.  I knew what my husband would want me to do, so I called the cemetery and asked if she could be buried in the same plot as my husband.  They said this would be possible since the container with her ashes would be small.  They could lay her to rest at my husband’s feet in the same grave. I told the rest of the family I wanted to do this and they agreed. I asked that they keep out some ashes that I could have jewelry made and also have some reminder of her with me always.  My daughter took the death of her favorite aunt very hard.  It was bad enough that she had just lost her dad but to now lose her aunt too was almost more than she could handle.  Losing two family members at such a young age is hard for any family.  Losing them only 31 days apart makes it extra tough.  I know God never gives us more than we can handle.  If nothing else their deaths have taught us to make every day count and never to take anything or anyone for granted.  If you love someone let them know, each day is a gift not a given.