Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2012, 6:20 am
View from QCA: Family makes a home
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By Shirley Barrett
Time. Some say it takes time. However, for me it seems to be forever because the loneliness is as fresh as when my husband and dog Simba left.
Three years in March since I lost both. It is like a part of one's own life is missing and you just cannot get it back. I seem to search every day to find that piece of the puzzle to make life whole again. One's life does change and it is not easy to accept. Guess that is where the problem lies. I want back what I had for 57 years.
I haven't sat at my dining room table to eat a meal. The lace tablecloth gets washed and placed back on the table. My hutch sits empty. It used to hold special glassware.
So many things still are packed away. The pictures I cleaned very often sit against the wall. I don't want to hang them because I still want to move on. To where I don't know.
Since my husband and Simba are gone, so is my feeling of home. They were home. One thing I have learned is that a big house or a small Apartment are not home without the spouse, and beloved pet.
I've been told to get over it. That is easy to say, but not that easy to do. It is a struggle each day. I'm a people person and in no way do I want to go it alone.
So I am out daily. I only need to sleep a few hours, and then I am walking out the door. I don't have the desire to do all the things I used to do because planning for just me is no fun. My life was cleaning, cooking, making the house nice, and I loved it. My home was my life.
Taking care of someone else and their needs was what I looked forward to. Maybe that is why I don't know what to do for me.
My husband would never even have me put gas in the car. He would say, "That's my job. You take care of the house and I'll take care of the car, and yard." I said, if I run out of gas, I am going to blame my husband. He was quite the man. I wonder if there are still lots of men out there who fly to that service station and fill that tank with gas for their wife or girlfriend?
There are still a few good men out there because I meet them at the gas station. When I ask if they would fill that tank for me, they just smiled. Yep, they are still around.
I am happy that I can still do things and have my health. I go many places, and keep busy. What has changed is home. I need to get that drive back to make a home. How does one make a home just for ONE? Maybe there are people who love being alone and it would be easy. That is not my nature. I don't like the peace and quiet. I don't like boring. I don't like the nothing-going- on lifestyle.
Now, I am here and there, loving music, loving Music Guild, Playcrafters, and just checking out what is out there. Although I find things to do, one has to have a home life. That's the part of the puzzle is missing.
I guess I am tougher than I realized, but it sure doesn't feel that way trying to find one's place in the world when all that you knew is no longer and one has to start all over. I'm no longer that 17-year-old, but young at heart I'll always be.
Shirley Barrett lives in Rock Island.