Monthly Archives: August 2016

Widcations ……

…… is what I call vacations with other widowed people.  And I’ve had a great couple of weeks with two great friends, who happen to be widowed.

So here, mostly in pictures, are the evidence of my widcations.


This is Gracie, enjoying Connecticut.



These are from New Jersey.  We went to the top of a lighthouse on a full moon evening.  It was pretty cool.


These are a beach in NJ.


And a casino.  Believe it or not, this win was from a quarter machine.  Whoop!


Gracie, trying to convince me to buy a bone that was as twice as big as she is.  I didn’t go for it.


My friend Beth, playing with my spoiled dog.


Children love her.  She sometimes returns the affection.


And sometimes she doesn’t.


Look closely and you’ll see a pigeon, evidently waiting for a bus.


Gracie, in Grand Central Terminal.  One of my favorite buildings in NY.


A drugged Gracie, on our way to Maine.


Notice the glassy eyes.  She had a great trip.
So to speak.


This is a WONDERFUL restaurant in Portland, Maine.


Kim D.  …… you must’ve hated this moose.  🙂


Gracie, growling at the “animals”.


I love shopping for Little Man/J Bear.  Totally love it.  🙂


This place was in the middle of nowhere, no cell reception, no internet, but THE most amazing lobster!!


Glastonbury, CT      A cool town with a lot of history.


This is for you, Kelley.  Because …. well, it’s obvious.  🙂    ❤


My cat-dog.  She was a terrific traveler and I loved having her along.  Most of the time.  She really was good.  If you don’t count that time she clawed her way out of the new soft-sided crate that I’d purchased to replace the first soft-sided crate that she’d destroyed.   Sigh ……


A Ball of Sadness ……

…… is a post that I’ve been considering for almost 3 weeks now.
I have hesitated to write it because of the subject matter …… and the mixed feelings I have about it.

It started with a Saturday night dinner with my wonderful friend J and her family here in NY.  There were 10 of us and we had a great time.  The food was terrific (Indian … yum!) and the wine was delicious.  We had a great time                                                                                                            .

As we walked out of the restaurant, J noticed that its next door neighbor was a psychic.  He had a sign up to do readings for $10, I think.  His store was downstairs, below street level, but it was a nice looking store in a good neighborhood.  J decided to go down and talk to him.  Then she stayed for a “reading”.  Her brother in law then decided to go down and wait to have one done after she was finished.

I had never seen, or talked to, a psychic.  I’d never even been tempted to do so.  I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, where such a thing is preached against.  Even after Jim died, I never thought about talking to a psychic.  Now that I know a few hundred (at least) other widowed people, I have several friends who have done so.  All of them have reported positive outcomes.  But still …… I’ve never given it a lot of thought.

That night, after J was done, she came up the stairs and back to the sidewalk where the rest of us were waiting and said, “This guy is real.”  I said, “Really?” and she nodded.  She said that she really liked him.  And suddenly, I thought, “Why not?”  It was only about 10-15 minutes and I wanted to see what this was all about.  I was skeptical.  I was beyond skeptical.  Even as I sat down on the sofa across from him.  Maybe he knew that.  Maybe he didn’t.

He didn’t tell my fortune.  He didn’t tell me that he saw dead people.  He did nothing amazing. Except this:   As I sat down and made myself semi-comfortable on the sofa, he did the same.  Then he looked at me.  I looked at him, totally waiting for him to say something that I could laugh about later.  He paused for a moment …… and then he said, “I sense in you a ball of sadness.  It’s deep within you and you hide it from most people.  You smile and laugh on the outside, and most of the time you even feel the laughter, but it’s still there. You don’t let everyone see it.  Something happened …… I’d say it happened about 9 years ago.  It changed your life forever.  You’re moving forward with your life, but the ball of sadness is still within you.”

Jim died 9 years ago this December.  To say I was stunned is putting it mildly.  Though I never gave him any indication that he was right.  I just kept looking at him, waiting to see what else he would say.  I never nodded or said anything.  I just waited.  And listened.

He also said that I had experienced another hurt after that.  A friend, a good friend, had betrayed me and hurt me tremendously.  That hurt had done a lot of damage and many things changed after that.  He said that I didn’t let it stop me, or control me, but that I used it to move forward and to let go of the negative in my life. He was right.

He only spoke a few minutes more and then we were done and it was the next person’s turn.  I’m not sure I connected with the rest of what he said, but to be fair, I also wasn’t listening at 100% because I couldn’t believe how spot on he had been.

Again, he didn’t do anything spectacular.  There were no thumping tables.  No lights going off and on.  Jim didn’t  “come forward”.  Or speak through him.  Or whatever.

He just read me.  He saw me.  He saw into me.  He saw my ball of sadness.  The one I don’t talk about too much anymore, because honestly?  I don’t think anyone wants to hear about it all that much.  (Excluding other widowed people, of course.)

Yeah, I write about it sometimes, but I do that for the people who are on this path with me. So that they’ll know they aren’t alone.  So they’ll know that someone else gets it.  Even after almost 9 years.  As obscene as that number feels to me.

My take away?  I’m good.  My life is good.  I am blessed.  Beyond belief.  I have 7 wonderful children (don’t forget Son #4).  They’re adults but they’re still, and always will be, my children.  I have a beautiful, adorable, amazing gift of a grandson.  I live where I want to live and do what I want to do.  I’m blessed to be able to help people …… in all kinds of ways.

I can say, “God is good” …… and believe it.

But.    There is, and always will be, a ball of sadness within me.  I miss him.  Every. Single. Day.    Even when I’m not aware of it.  Even when I’m happy.  Even when I’m feeling blessed.

I miss him.  And there’s nothing I can do about it.  Nor would I want to.

I didn’t learn anything that I didn’t already know.  I was just surprised that a complete stranger could say it so well.