An Art or a Lifestyle?

The art of living a senior widow’s life isn’t really an art. It’s a lifestyle, one I inherited suddenly. One day I was part of a couple, where days were spent together with conversations, laughter, hugs, kisses, love. We went everywhere together. I had someone to cook for. There was double laundry. Life was happy. And God was at the center.

Yes, there were three and a half years where I was mostly a caregiver, but it became part of our life. I was encourager, nurse, and always a wife who loved her husband deeply.

Then suddenly a morning came with the chaos of a squad in the house, a rushing away of the ambulance, and my calm gave way to confusion and fear. I lost my husband that day, though he lingered in the hospital for 10 days on a ventilator as his body began to shut down.

One day I returned to the empty house knowing it would remain empty. I had a new title of widow. No one to talk to, no laughter, no hugs, no kisses, and no one to care for or cook for. The world says time heals. That is false information. The only healing is an easing of pain through having a relationship with Jesus. With knowing my husband’s earthly journey had ended, and he no longer suffered. I knew where he was. He wasn’t lost. Just absent for a time.

Learning to cook for one is an art. Filling the hours in the day is an art. Learning to navigate alone is an art. But the overall lifestyle is not an art. It’s just a different life. One can make of it whatever one wants. Some fill their hours with outside activities. I fill my hours with indoor activities. As such, the art of conversation is stifled. I spend quiet hours hearing only the sounds of the house. I miss the talks with my husband.

Yet, I’m not lonely or sad. I’ve adjusted. Moving to a new home helped. Mostly God helped. I have the reassurance that my husband is now pain free and living with Jesus! I have the reassurance that I will see him again. My lifetime has known many heartaches through the death of loved ones. I know it is part of life. The loss of grandparents and parents is to be expected. Not so the loss of a child. And though I knew death would part my husband and I from the moment we said “until death do us part,” there was no guideline as to who would pass first.

I’m grateful my husband went to heaven first due to his health. He couldn’t have taken care of himself alone. His bodily tent was wearing out. I miss every part of him, both the earthly tent, and the beautiful soul that resided inside. He would be proud of me. I know that, and it gives me the courage to continue forward in this new lifestyle, this new closeness with Jesus.

Lifting my cup of tea with a melancholy smile and a grateful heart for the years God gave us together.

By Carol Ann Erhardt

I'm a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and best of all a child of God. The beautiful colors in God's world lift my spirits and give me inspiration. Every morning is a new beginning, and a blessed gift from God! I enjoy a cup of tea each morning and give thanks to my Savior for life eternal.

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