I woke this morning with the realization that my husband has been gone for almost a year and a half and that I’ve made a life without him; there was a time I wouldn’t have believed that possible. For those of us fortunate enough to have a long-term marriage, the simple things in our everyday life can eventually be taken for granted, but when one is left alone it’s those simple things that suddenly become monumentally important….and hard to cope with. Sometimes it’s the little things that bring home just how hard it is to be alone.
For instance; Who will find and scratch that illusive itch on your back? Who will massage that perpetually achy shoulder? Who will warm your cold feet? Who will open that pickle jar or medicine bottle that your arthritic hands can no longer manage? Who will help with that necklace your fingers can’t quite fasten? Who will put medicine on those pesky mosquito bites that you can’t reach yourself? Who will bring you a hot bowl of soup when you feel ill or run to the store for a few items when you don’t feel like doing it?
These are such small and yet such monumental things. Man [or in this case, woman] wasn’t meant to be alone….we all need a help meet. I’ve come a long way, I’ve almost conquered the loneliness of being by myself by playing music all day or leaving the T.V. on for background noise. This method works 90 percent of the time…the other 10 percent we won’t discuss.
My toolbox has been getting a workout lately, especially the hammer and pliers; one or the other seem to work pretty well on jars and even small items such as eye drop bottles.Thankfully my sons had the foresight to make up a well stocked tool box for me from my husband’s tools.
I’m learning some alternate ways of taking care of myself. I’ve acquired a long back scratcher that works on the worst of those itchy spots, and Salonpas help with that achy shoulder. Socks in bed work well for cold feet but some of my shorter necklaces may have to be retired. When I don’t feel well I drag myself to the kitchen, open a can of soup using my electric can opener, and heat it in the microwave. As for those hard to reach mosquito bites, well they just continue to itch; happily I don’t usually have many. And if my hands are particularly stiff I forgo things that have to be peeled and fussed with. Most of the time I have enough fresh food on hand to last a few days without going to the store. In all fairness, my children would be happy to help with shopping or anything else I need. It’s just that sometimes it’s the little things that need attending to at a particular moment in time that make you realize how hard it is to be single. I suspect that it gets harder and harder as one gets older but I won’t dwell on that, because for now I’m learning to be creative in my management skills as a single adult.
Yes, sometimes it’s the little things that trip us up, that make us want to say ‘uncle’, that make us think outside the box, that make us more creative, that build new talents, that give us more empathy for others. And spiritually speaking, sometimes it’s the little things that make us or break us, that keep us on the straight and narrow path or cause us to take a fatal detour. Sometimes it’s the little things that have the biggest impact on our lives. Watch out for those little things for they can turn into our biggest hurdles….or our greatest blessings.