How an innocent statement can mean so much more.
It’s interesting how people assume what’s perceived to be normal. I do it….. We all do it…
However we never really know what is actually going on in anyone’s life unless we really know them.
I took the kids swimming early this morning. The changing room was full of dads and their kids. Then another bloke said to me “look at all us dads getting up early on a sat morning with all our wives in bed with a cuppa”
I just nodded and smiled politely and carried on getting the kids changed but this really made me think..
My first thought was… Mine isn’t.
Second thought was… Your wife probably deserves to be in bed after a busy week with the kids.
The third thought and most important for me was the realisation of how lucky I was to have the chance to take my kids swimming and then see their faces while they have fun in the pool.
I am a lucky man. So from that innocent comment which could’ve easily effected me in a negative way it actually done the opposite and I was thankful for that.
Ticket to 80 years old??
If there is one thing I have learnt through the difficult times it’s the fact that life is short and very fragile. Through the journey of life there are countless ups and just as many downs and no one knows what the future holds for them. Sure you can plan things and look forward but you never really know and nothing is really guaranteed.
No one knows when they themselves will take their last breath……. Even writing that sentence stirs up the awful memories I have in my mind and then the reality of it hits me.
When Helen was alive we often talked about what she had achieved in life. Many people go all their lives without finding true love or being able to become a parent and Helen had this. She had a happy loving childhood with a roof over her head and food on the table so in many ways she was very lucky. Some people struggle through life living on the streets and wondering where their next meal will come from. I tried to focus her thoughts on the quality of her life rather than quantity.
No one has a guaranteed ticket that grants them 80 years of life.. or 90 or 100 for that matter. I’ve not bought a Wonka bar for a while but I’m pretty sure they are not being given free with them.
Life can be over in a matter of minutes and my families story keeps that in the forefront of my mind at all time not to mention the countless other stories I get to hear about through the response to this blog. It’s mind blowing how fragile life actually is. Happy lives torn apart in an instant as well as slowly over time.
What I am trying to say here is that no one has a ticket to guarantee them a certain life expectancy. There may not be a tomorrow so enjoy your life NOW, be happy and have fun today. Don’t wait until tomorrow.
Not so easy I know and I am tested each day but I try my blooming hardest.
Labelled a Widower
As soon as my wife passed away my status changed from married to widower in the blink of an eye. A label I don’t like too much but it’s been forced upon me. It’s not because of what it stands for because that’s out if my control and everything has to have a name. But, it’s because its seen as a negative thing. I see it as a negative thing and people on the outside looking in also see it like that. Of course though it is negative; It means my wife is no longer alive and that sparks off negative thoughts and emotions in me and in others. Everything has to have a name I guess..
Single Parent sounds much better and although that’s what I am however it just doesn’t tell the whole story.
One word… Widower… The story to a certain extent is told.
Being a widower could feel like I am not normal in some way. It certainly doesn’t seem normal to me but what is normal?
When Helen was too ill to leave the house or we had multiple trips to the hospital to attend we used to crave a normal life. A life where Helen was healthy and busy being a Mum and me at work being a Dad. Is that normal though? Helen in her wisdom would always remind us both that our life was normal. It was our kind of normal and our way of life, there is no standard life plan out there.
I am a widower now and a single parent to two young children. This means I can be a very lonely and I do have increased responsibility of my 2 children. I worry about my own health as the sole parent and sometimes worry I am doing the right thing by them. But….. this way of life is now my kind of normal. Not what I would have planned but it’s the way it is.
Together with this new label I have been automatically enrolled into instant membership to a horrible little club. It’s a club that’s doesn’t even exist but there is an obvious appreciation between people who are in this non-existent club. It’s a club of widowers and although I don’t want the label or want to be in this club I do find comfort in it. As a Widower I have experienced and continue to experience things that most will not. But due to the wonders of the internet and social sites I have met some amazing people wearing my type of shoes and living my type of normal. It makes me feel more normal.
I still don’t like the label much but following Helen’s advice and the people I have met I have learnt to accept the label and my new kind of normal.
It’s just the way it is