You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2015.

FullSizeRender

 

I can only say that “widowingon” these past 4-1/2 years has become significantly easier with the birth of my two thoroughly delightful and wonderful grandchildren, who are now a little over 18 months old (grandson) and a little under 17 months old (granddaughter).

I have given myself the name, “Grammy”, after a coveted music award, although my grandson, in his first attempts to identify me during a recent game of hide and seek, altered it to an easier to pronounce toddler version:  “Gammy”.

I’ve even given my husband, whom they’ve obviously never known, the name, “Grampy”.  They can both easily identify him in family photos as Grampy, even when some of these photos were taken of him decades ago.

In the photo books that I made for each of them as birthday presents chronicling the events of their first year, I made sure to include Grampy’s photo, so that he is part of their earliest memories of family.

I can honestly say that these two little people are a source of immense joy, which has certainly helped me create a happier and more fulfilled life after my husband’s death.

 

 

Advertisements

TTN group

Not long after I moved to Manhattan about 3 years ago, I joined The Transition Network, a national organization of women with chapters all over the country for women over 50 years old (www.thetransitionnetwork.org). Its primary purpose is to offer women “in transition” (from widowhood, divorce, a change of jobs, retirement, a move, etc.) a way to meet other women through peer groups or special interest groups created around a shared interest.

I am a member of several peer groups now and have met quite a few women (many are widows as well). Our groups typically meet in one or another person’s apartment in the evening for 2 hours for appetizers or dinner and wine. We talk about topics that are either proposed growing out of current events or seem to come spontaneously from the fact that as women we are encountering some similar experiences growing older in New York City. Some of us also get together ay other times to go out for dinner, the movies, the theater, opera or just to take walks in Central Park on nice afternoons to collect our wits.  Not everyone I’ve met will be my BFF, but I can appreciate that everyone is an interesting person and I try hard to be tolerant of eccentricities.

The prevailing wisdom about aging is that we need social contact to age both gracefully and with a degree of contentment. I know TTN has chapters in many cities throughout the USA and also has a relatively modest membership given the enormous benefit they offer. I would check them out.

operapicture

Watching “La Traviata”, an opera about love and death, during a matinee performance at The Metropolitan Opera during Christmas week.  I can only describe it as a “4-tissue opera”.

My resolve for the New Year is to resume my blog with greater regularity! I’ll start with how I managed to get through the 2014 week between Christmas and New Years when all members of my family were out of town.

So here I was at home in New York City during the week when not only most families are together but, historically, when I have spent all or most of that week with members of my immediate family.  The historical precedent went back to my immediate family growing up, to 10 years of holidays spent with my husband when we were married and without children, to 30 years of holidays spent with my husband and children and then, after my husband’s death, to five years of holidays spent with one or another of my children and their spouse’s family.

To my amazement, I’d never spent that week between Christmas and New Years alone.  Not ever.

I decided it was pointless to feel sorry for myself so I pulled out the Arts section from the New York Times, went to my computer and bought tickets online for a matinee on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24th for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” which is playing on Broadway, a matinee ticket for the movie, “Selma”, on Friday, December 26th and a matinee ticket for the opera, “La Traviata” on Saturday, January 27th at the Metropolitan Opera.

Just having tickets to pin up on the bulletin board in my kitchen was a mood-lifter.

All three of these productions were superb and I enjoyed each immensely, although I can  describe “La Traviata” as a 4-tissue opera.  If you are unfamiliar with it, it is a heartbreaking story of love and death, and resonated deeply for me.  The retired Welsh teacher on one side of me and the visiting woman from Florida on the other could only have wondered about all the tears, but it was a performance I was glad to have seen.  The retired Welsh teacher ate a bag of grapes during intermission and a sausage pie.  We sat in the Family Circle and the air around us reeked of sausage pie well into the second act.  I’ll admit that it was hard to concentrate on the melancholy of the opera when my stomach was ready to upchuck.  That aside, it was an exceptional opera.

The trifecta of extraordinary culture, beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere I went, and all those people at the theater, movie and opera raised my spirits immensely.

If there is one take-away on these experiences to any one reading this it’s just this:

Don’t sit in the metaphorical dark. You’ll be in the dark when they turn the house lights down, but going out and doing things is an enormously helpful way to dispel gloom.  If possible, try not to sit next to anyone eating a sausage pie.