One Year as a Widow

Tomorrow my husband will have been dead for one year. One whole year that I’ve survived without my wonderful husband. I honestly can’t say how I’ve made it so far alone. I wouldn’t have without my daughter here to need me though. I would have happily given up on living as soon as he took his last breath and didn’t need me any more. I still would, if not for Pepper.

This past month I had so much going on and none of it is related to my dead husband except in that he isn’t here to help with the difficulties or with calming my anxiety about everything going on in the world. There have been so many little irritations in my circle that I’m overwhelmed dealing with them all.

The oven broke and I can’t get anyone here to fix it for a while. We have a toaster oven I’m trying to use instead, but don’t really have it figured out yet.

Pepper isn’t sleeping well. She’s been up until somewhere between 12 am and 2am every night, she used to go to sleep at 9, but she just can’t settle. I can’t either. For me it’s anxiety over COVID-19 and the riots causing nightmares that mean I don’t sleep until even later than she does.

It’s also really hot in our new house. Even when it’s just 75 outside it’s well over 90 indoors. We’re adjusting, but we were extra miserable those first few really hot days before we got some fans and a freestanding air conditioner set up.

The mailman at the new house is delivering my packages so poorly I finally submitted an anonymous complaint about him.

The landlady from our old apartment sent another bill for painting and changing light bulbs and cleaning the carpet. I paid it because it was easier to pay then to fight, but if she tries to get more money out of me I will find a lawyer and have them deal with her because I am so done with that woman.

I’ve been trying to figure out all of the legal paperwork I need to be sending in for Pepper to officially begin homeschooling this year and I was stressed about the July 1st deadline coming up, but I contacted the HSLDA for help and Pepper doesn’t have to report for official schooling for another year because of her February birthday. Hooray for one big thing off my plate for a while longer. We’re still learning of course. Pepper loves to do her schoolwork, but I don’t have to worry about the record keeping aspect quite yet.

We’re planning a road trip from New York to California for July. We’ll be gone 3 weeks. We are going with my father in law to visit my husband’s siblings in Colorado and California. Neither Pepper nor I have ever been that far from home. I’ve never been away from my own bed for longer than three nights and Pepper has never been away from her bed at night. I’m anxious about keeping the kid happy and quiet for multiple days in the car and getting her to sleep in strange hotel rooms. But I’m grateful for the stress of figuring out how to keep her entertained and calm for 3 weeks away from home because it distracts me from thinking about how this was supposed to be a trip my husband and I took together. He was born in California and he was going to take me to see where he grew up. He died before that could happen and it’s killing me that I’m going on the trip we always dreamed of taking and he won’t be with me. I wish we weren’t going at all. I don’t want to go without him, but Pepper is desperate to see her cousins. The weekly Zoom calls just aren’t cutting it for her.

But not everything has been negative.

We are loving having a yard at our new house. Pepper has a sandbox, small kiddie pool, a slide, and a sprinkler. And a new bike she got for Easter that she’s learning to ride with training wheels. We are outside to play or to read at least once a day rain or shine.

Pepper has been extra excited about her school supplies for the new school year and has been trying to sneak in a few pages or projects whenever she can convince me to let her. Her new snap circuits are currently her favorite.

I’ve been reading quite a bit and enjoying most things I pick up and I am looking forward to planning a tbr for the trip that will include a favorite book of my sister in law so I can read it while I’m with her in person to talk to her about it.

Our beloved library opened again, for curbside pickup, so we got to borrow a few new stories that we have really been enjoying reading together. And I didn’t quite realize how much I missed our librarians until one of them brought out bag of books to the car.

I still bought a lot of books last month (the haul will be up soon), but it wasn’t the 88 books I bought the month before so I’m okay with seeing some progress.

We’re doing okay overall. I’m just tired and sad and honestly trying to hold off on tears as much as possible. That may not be the right choice, but it’s what I’m doing to get through the days for now.

I made it through the first year alone. Some widows I’ve talked to say it gets easier from here and others say the second year is even harder. I’m just going to keep doing what I need to do to survive and to keep Pepper as healthy and as safe as I can, one day at a time.


6 thoughts on “One Year as a Widow

  1. Hugs to you Lori and Pepper too. Enjoy the road trip. Hope the good outweighs the bad from now on. We have been pretty anxious about Covid 19 but are only just sleeping better. It’s worse in the UK now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s strange how when things break down we discover how necessary they were. When my oven broke recently I realized how much I missed it. I had to get creative and make non-baking meals. I do have an electric skillet with a cover and tried biscuits with it, which were only so so. You can do a lot with your toaster oven too. I’m excited for your trip. I wish you were coming to WA as I’d have you stop by. We took our kids on long trips across the states. We bought the car games and the magnetic paper dolls and scenes. There is a lot you can get that will keep her busy, we use to play “who can spot a VW Bug first” but not many of those now.also license plates from different states, or a certain color car. Put aside the things you don’t need to do right now, and go with your plan for one step at a time. Use your year to see how far you have come. Oh, and remind me of all this when my year comes, okay? Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, a year! I feel you’ve accomplished a lot looking back. I still can’t believe you managed that move too. Keep positive. I think tears are a lubricant to keep us moving forward. And now you’re taking on homeschooling too? Amazing. Give yourself more credit, and hugs for you both from me. Keep enjoying that yard 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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