Tuesday, May 01, 2018

What I Have Learned

Be kind to widows. We have friends in high places.


It was May 1 thirty years ago today in a candlelight ceremony held at United Nations non-denominational chapel, I became Mrs. Edward L. Sclier.

I wore a knee length, high collared, long sleeved chantilly lace dress the color of champagne and I remember choking up at seeing the tear welled in Edward's eye when the minister asked him, "Do you take...," and he said, "I do."

Who knew that sixteen years later on May 1, we would embrace and kiss our last kiss?

Until that moment, we were like two chips in a cookie happily rolling along. I truly believed the magic would never end. And, yes, we were just like Bogey and Bacall, because we did have it all. I loved him so very much, and the beautiful part, he loved me back.

A lot has happened in my life since that fateful May 1 day in 2004.

I have learned many lessons.

I have learned life goes on without Him by my side.

I have learned that I can think his memory, speak his name and look at his photograph without busting out crying.

I have learned it's okay to make mistakes, to cry out loud and to not give a rat's rear what that person in the same food aisle in A&P is thinking about me as I wipe away my tears.

I have learned that when it comes to grieving a beloved, there is no right, no wrong way. There is just one way--my way--your way. And so long as I remain true to myself, honest and law-abiding, I am good with that.

I have learned I can ride a horse, hit a golf ball 150 yards, work a serve and hit a tennis ball over the net, though, I stink at every one of those sports.

I have learned that life goes on. Mine. There is nothing like the birth of a grandchild to teach a widow that lesson. Thankfully, I am blessed with one grandson and one granddaughter to act as daily reminder.

I have learned that I can live in an apartment the size of a dime, drive to Honesdale, PA and get lost in Boston, MA, how to read a road map, distinguish north from south, how to shop for one, how to cook for one, how to go to a movie all by myself, how to take myself to dinner, how to buy a ticket for a train ride to the big city, register for a class and attend it, too, how to entertain myself on the cheap, heal a broken heart, write a check, buy and sell a stock, a house, too, and do it all alone.

I have learned how to cheer myself up when I am down, and most especially how to laugh again. I just love watching Seinfeld reruns for that. They help get me through the darkest hours. Seems no matter how many times I watch the same episode, I can laugh out loud as if it was for the first time, over and over and over again.

I have learned to love again.

Perhaps that is the great greater greatest lesson of all.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna
...And sometime when I wasn't looking,
I got a new life.


Widow Tip: We never get over grief. We just learn to live with it.

Mourning Joy:

Q: What's an inkling?
A: A baby fountain pen.