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Suddenly Alone

Updated on January 27, 2011
Lonely sea
Lonely sea | Source

The Day My World Changed Forever

Here I am, one of those baby boomers that the news keeps talking about, approaching retirement. Every time I hear that I stop and think, wow! How did I get this old so fast?

It seems like yesterday I was a young woman starting out making a life for myself. I graduated from high school and thereafter, business school. Once I finished business school, i got married. I was so happy to have become an adult, making my own path in life and my own decisions.

Our History

My hubby and I met in 1966 and married in 1968. We were blessed with a son and daughter. I was a stay at home mom, as my hubby didn't want me to work outside the home. Back then, a lot of women didn't have to. My hubby was a blue collar worker, a machinist, making pretty decent money for the time. One day he decided he was tired of it all, and wanted to see how the other side lived, so he pursued the white collar profession. He was very successful at it, and had just gotten hired as a manager in a large pharmaceutical firm. He couldn't have been happier.

The Day I'll Never Forget

One weekend, on a Sunday, he decided to go out fishing on his boat. I packed his lunch and sent him out for a day of fishing.

Around 4 pm, I received a phone call from a medical center, saying to me, please come to the hospital, there's been an accident. I froze, dropped the phone, and ran out of the house, hopped in my car and flew to the hospital. On the way there, mind racing, I suddenly knew,,,,,and started crying while driving like a maniac through the rain.

I arrived at the hospital and the nurse led me to where my hubby was, saying to me all the while, they worked on him a long time,,,,,in that instant my fears were realized. He was gone. They had to carry me out of there. The rest is a blur. I do not remember getting home. I knew phone calls had to be made. My hubby had just been in his new job only about three months, and I had to call them to say he wouldn't be in on Monday. They asked, is he sick? I had to say no, he lost his life in an accident. The silence on the other end was deafening. He was only three days shy of 37 yrs old. We had 20 yrs together, for which I was certainly grateful.

I had to tell my children, that was the hardest part of all. Some member of my extended family made all the calls to the rest of our family and friends His funeral was phenomenal. There was a constant flow of mourners. At each viewing it was pretty much standing room only. My husband was very much loved and painfully missed..

The Aftermath

So, here I was, 37 yrs old, two children aged 15 and 17 at the time, all alone. Somehow we got through it all, time began to pass. The pain lessened, but the impact lasts forever, along with the memories.

It is true, even after the death of a spouse, life does go on, the world doesn't stop just because your world has ended as you knew it. Since my husband's passing, I have had many lessons along the way, and have remained single. There did come a point when it hit me, oh no, do I have to learn how to date again? Do I even want to? The thought was so foreign, after all, I was used to running around the house with no makeup or not shaving if I didn't want to. and I thought, geeze, what's the dating scene all about at this age? Not only was it shocking to me, but it presented a new version of my world that not only I would have to get used to but so would my children and extended family.

So, I have reached a point in my life where I am perfectly content to stay single. I no longer feel the need to have a marriage or significant other. My life is filled with my work, my children, grandchildren, and very dear friends. When these folks aren't around, I have my two kitties keeping me company.

Carrying On

The memories are always there, and it is true that nobody ever dies. They do live in your heart forever. I have a plaque that hangs in my room that says 'God gave us memories so we can gather flowers in the winter'. I love it and it reminds me, yes, He certainly is right.

For those of you out there who have experienced this, I say to you, cherish what was, embrace what comes. You were blessed to have had that loved one in your life, for however long. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so please, carpe diem! There are a lot of cliches out there that people say when you lose a loved one, and I won't bore you with them, but they are said because, as I have found, they are true and they do help.

So, tell your loved ones every day, in some fashion or other, not only how much you love them, but why. You never know when you will never again have that opportunity.  Little did I know that the day he walked out to go fishing, there went my life.

Alone on a Pier

photo by CathyK @
photo by CathyK @

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