If you are a widow, you probably already know which ones they are for you. If you’re not a widow, you may gain some new insights from my list. Here goes. My top 5 worst days to be a widow.
5. My birthday. My friends and family do their best to help me celebrate my birthday each year. But at the risk of sounding selfish, I admit that I still miss having my husband Gene to share the day with. I still want to receive a gift from him, the one who loved giving me gifts. I still feel slightly guilty about receiving more birthdays to celebrate while his earthly celebrations have ended.
4. Christmas Eve. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a bit sentimental. Well, maybe very sentimental. And the peak of my sentimentality usually comes on Christmas Eve. For whatever reason. The first time I was alone on Christmas Eve, I was sure I would dissolve in an ocean of tears. But that didn’t happen. I was fine. I did what was meaningful to me. I ate the foods I like and listened to my favorite music. I enjoyed my time glorifying my Savior and thanking God for the gift of salvation. Now, I’m okay if I’m alone. And I’m okay if I’m with family. And I’m okay if I’m with friends. God has taught me how to be okay with whatever comes.
3. Valentine’s Day. Okay, I know it’s a manufactured retail extravaganza focused on our culture’s skewed views of romance. But sometimes I just want some flowers and chocolate. And a kiss. And the reassurance that someone loves me for who I am.
2. Cancer diagnosis. Perched on the edge of the white paper covering the doctor’s examining table and hearing: “This is cancer.” An experience I’d wish on no one. Looking out the window to see the tops of trees and a gas station sign. Hearing him ask: “Are you here alone?” Wandering through the waiting room, across the parking lot, and into my car. Gripping the steering wheel until my palms hurt. Numbly driving home. Although I didn’t feel afraid during the entire cancer ordeal, Jesus and I fought the aloneness together on many days during that year.
1. New Year’s Eve. This one has consistently been the worst day of the year for me since Gene passed away. There’s still something disconcerting about facing a new year knowing I’m entering it without him. Music, hugs and kisses, balls dropping and fireworks rising. Signals of a joyful beginning to a fresh start. Although my optimism grows a little each year, this is still the day I feel most alone.
Most days, I’m fine. Most days, God and I cope with whatever comes. Most days, I appreciate the benefits of being single. But sometimes. Sometimes. Sometimes I just want Gene there with me.
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).