Widowhood

David Rockefeller: A Worthy Role Model

April 6, 2017
Colonial Williamsburg

Lev died April 7, 2009—eight years ago tomorrow. There I was, unprepared for all that I must do, immediately confronted with practical and legal realities. Overnight, I moved from the role of smiling spouse and gracious hostess to that of executor, trustee, CEO and—most dreaded of all—matriarch. I am not sure that anyone had confidence in me. I certainly had none in myself. Because I …

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What to Do About Valentine Day?

February 9, 2017
wedding & funeral

Valentine Day—while not the sinkhole that Thanksgiving and Christmas, birthday and anniversary are—is still a day for widows to approach with caution and plan in advance. Or a day to stay home, order in a pizza and binge-watch old movies on Netflix. As Laura Amendola blogged in “Finding Your Path in the Month of Love”: “Sometimes seeing red hearts and cupids in the store windows …

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Resolved: To Schedule Priorities

February 2, 2017
Scheduling priorities

A friend who traveled this road many years before I did said, “I am a better person because I lost my husband. I am kinder, nicer, sweeter. I have my priorities in order. I know what matters.” I had to agree. “Yes, you are. And so am I.” As she had, I re-ordered my priorities after Lev’s death. I asked myself the question: How do …

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Resolved: To Be Healthy

January 19, 2017
Bartlett Farm truck

Most New Year’s Resolutions are goals to change. This year most of mine are not. As I prepare to officially enter the “fourth stage of life,” that period from 76 until death (a depressing subject I prefer to ignore), I am spending more time than usual evaluating where I am and where I want to be. I want to become more proactive in cultivating habits …

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Resolved: To Count My Blessings

January 12, 2017
Philippians 4:6

In my grief after Lev’s death, I could not imagine that life would ever be good again. I moved from despair when I started living in gratitude mode—counting my blessings, continually saying thank you, God. Only then was I able to find joy in my memories of the past and—eventually—in my anticipation of the future. I began to take time before lunch every day to …

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Resolved: To Bury, Burn, Dig Out

January 5, 2017
Time to Bury

Wiser, more gifted writers than I have been busy making their New Year’s Resolutions, and I am learning from them. My original list of Resolutions, posted here last week, is inadequate. Maria Shriver, who continually delights and challenges me with her weekly Sunday Paper, has done it again. On New Year’s Day she wrote, “I’ve Been Thinking.” “Yesterday, I wrote down all of the things …

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Looking Backward, Looking Forward

December 29, 2016
looking both ways

My Christmas push is over, and I have the gift of three weeks to spend reflecting on this past year and planning the next. New Year’s Resolutions are fairly new for me. For 46 years, life revolved around husband and children, and I felt little need to set life goals and priorities. Importantly, Lev assumed so many responsibilities—business, finance, insurance, cars—and was always willing to …

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It Ain’t Gonna Happen

December 8, 2016
Christmas clutter

Last week, when I so smugly blogged about Allowing Time for Serendipity, I envisioned the perfect Christmas, organized in relaxed, leisurely fashion. Well, as we used to say back in Texarkana, “It ain’t gonna happen.” Not this year. Every room in my house is in about the same state as my library and bedroom; clutter everywhere, with more to pull out the closets when and if I manage …

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Allowing Time for Serendipity

December 1, 2016
serendipity

My motto for widowhood is “Say Yes!” but in my frantic attempts over the past seven-plus years to stay too busy for sad and bad memories to take root, I have stayed too busy, too organized and structured, too proactive to react and say yes to last-minute invitations that promised joy-filled moments with family and friends. And sometimes I have said yes to things that …

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Seeking Peace in Troubled Times

November 24, 2016
Philippians 4:8

As we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the words of the Apostle Paul seem more relevant than ever. I first reflected on his advice December 13, 2015, and I have returned to it over and over during the ugly election campaign. Now I am reminding myself to seek peace first of all with those I love most. That begins with me. After I …

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