Monday, December 14, 2009

Touched By a Comment

I received a comment on this blog that really touched me. I haven't posted a lot since starting this blog. I don't really promote it and it hasn't gotten a lot of hits. I even began to wonder if there was any point in keeping it. It is sometimes painful for me to write, and was I really helping anyone? Then I got this comment...

I don't know how she found me, but she is suffering through the loss of a husband as well. As I read her lengthy comment, I connected to her and our pain seemed to blend. It was almost as if we were reaching out, giving each other a virtual hug. Her husband has been gone just about the same length of time. She is dreading the holidays as much as I am.

She told me that she read every word on this blog and it got her through a rough night. I am glad she found comfort in my words. That is exactly what My Widows Web was created for. By offering comfort, I have also received comfort. My pain, loneliness and grief doesn't seem so solitary. There are others out there hurting as badly as I am, and through this blog, at least 2 of us that are going through the same thing, have reached out and comforted each other.

To each of you who have read My Widows Web, I hope it has touched and comforted you in some way. Just knowing that you are reading, and that you offer me the gift of encouragement, friendship and a virtual hug is comforting to me. I don't feel quite so alone, knowing that you are out there reading my words. Some of you are finding comfort, while others are giving comfort to those of us that need it...bless you all!

Your comments mean a lot to me, no matter how these words touch you. It is like reaching out to a large, loving, virtual family. I know you guys are there when I need you, and I am here if you need me. The commenter and I are both dreading the holidays and the upcoming birthdays of both of our husbands. I know you all will help her and I get through this...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Humorous Camping Escapades
Camping is all about memories of good times. We sure have a lot of camping memories, rather they are good ones, or just plan humorous, I wouldn't trade them for anything!
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I Smiled Today!!!

Such a small thing...a smile, but there have been times lately when I wondered if I'd ever smile again - especially when I thought of my wonderful husband. It seemed like every memory would render me to tears. They were just to painful.

I got a comment on an older article I wrote at Associated Content. It was one about our humorous camping escapades. He and I loved camping. After his death, I sold the camper and his beloved golf cart. And I cried as I drove away from the camper that would know longer create memories for us. I cried as the golf cart we used at the campground left my garage on the back of a trailer, headed for its new home.

My heart broke as I pulled up that article about our camping experiences. Could I read it without bursting into tears? You know, I read ever word and at the end I felt a slight smile tugging at both my face and my heart. Yes it hurts to know we'll never add to those memories, but I have many great memories I will forever hold dear in my heart, and for that, I do have a reason to smile. Thanks for the memories, Baby, I'll cherish them always...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The "Silent Killer"

While doing some research recently, I discovered that there is a Bill in the House Committee concerning Pancreatic cancer. It was presented in January of 2009. I never knew pancreatic cancer was so deadly until my family had to live through it.

My husband was a healthy man and never complained about anything. Oh he had minor colds, flu and even a couple hernia surgeries due to his job, but other than that, nothing. We never knew that pancreatic cancer was sneaking up and about to take him away from us.

Our Oncologist called it a "Silent Killer" and indeed he is right. He explained that by the time any symptoms present themselves it is because the cancer has spread and is causing problems somewhere else in the body. My husband had his first test to determine what was causing some minor pain. We expected to be told he had another hernia.

The diagnoses of pancreatic cancer tore our world apart. Still, we were sure some surgery and a few weeks recovery time would get him back to normal and back to work. That first test was February 23 and by April 23 he was gone. A "Silent Killer" indeed, because up until the first week of March, he was going to work everyday and looking forward to a long life with his family.

Once the cancer reared it's ugly head, it showed us just how fast it can take a loved one from you. March and April were spent mostly in Hospitals...not that they could do much but to control the pain. In the end, we tried to have him at home with us, as per his wishes, yet the pain was so unbearable we could not control it.

Pancreatic cancer is such an awful disease to suffer through, yet very little is known about it. There are no early detection tests, and the death rate is astronomical. In fact, it is so bad there needed to be a bill introduced asking for more education and awareness and funds to fight this particular type of cancer.

The mortality rate is set at 5 years, yet most don't make it to 1 year. Some only manage a few months after diagnoses. I certainly know these statistics are true. Pancreatic Cancer research is far behind its time. As a matter of fact, pancreatic cancer research is about where Breast Cancer research was in the 1930's.

Read HR 745 for yourself. My article about it is on the side bar. The statistics will overwhelm you. None of this awareness will help my husband, or my family, but it may help someone else in the future. This "Silent Killer" has got to be stopped, or at least slowed down!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Loving Memory

October has been a really tough month for me. My last post was on the 3rd and I haven't been able to bring myself to write much since then. We were married on October 6th, 1972 and this is the first year I dreaded that date rolling around. October 23 also marked the 6 month anniversary of my husband's death. So no, I did not like October very much.

It was a hard month to cope with, yet I know it is the first of many milestones I will have to face as I continue on this journey of learning to be alone. I have spoken to several women in my position and they all say it is a series of ups and downs. You may think you are getting on fine and the next thing you know, something triggers the intense grief all over again.

After 6 months of "ups and downs...mostly downs" I can attest that this is true. Certain songs will trigger the emotions, certain shows that you have watched together and sometimes it will be just a memory that will pop into your head. They tell me it will all get easier to bare, but at times I sure don't feel like it will.

I did accomplish something to honor my husband that seemed to help me. We have built a beautiful memorial garden in my back yard. You see, my husband's wish was to be cremated and I carried those wishes out. So there is no cemetery to visit as he is eternally sealed in a beautiful mantel clock urn. The urn sits on his dresser in our bedroom, as per both of our wishes.

That is why I built the memorial we can have somewhere to visit, reflect and place memorial flowers. On the day of our anniversary I added a beautiful water fountain to the garden. water cascades down the top of a tall column and there is a flame burning on the top. It is called the Serenity fountain. I found that to be very fitting. He would have loved that fountain.

It will soon be to cold to sit outside and watch that water cascade from the ever glowing flame, but the garden is positioned right outside my office window, where I spend countless hours writing. It makes me feel better.

My rambling point here is to do whatever you need to do to make you feel a little peace and comfort. The garden was my way of feeling closer to him and somehow comforted. I tend the garden and keep it weed free. While I do that I talk to him. I believe he is listening.

We all will grieve in many different ways. My comfort is in keeping all of his things close to me. Some feel the need to remove the clothing and personal items of loved ones. Whatever feels right to you is the right thing to do. Just like I mentioned in my earlier post about the wedding rings. It is my intention to keep them on, you may feel different and that is okay.

I write this in loving memory of my husband who I desperately miss. October was hard, Honey, but I made it. I know you are watching and saying, "I knew you could." I love you...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

With This Ring...

You know the rest of the line. I have been thinking alot about those lines lately as I look at the wedding rings on my hand. The vows say "Until death do us part." I got news for who ever wrote those words...they ain't true.

This may come off like a rant, so bear with me. I still feel married! It is a horrifying thought to even contemplate taking off my wedding rings. Do other widows wonder about this? Are we supposed to take off the rings? The answer, I believe, is to do what ever feels right for you.

My wedding rings have been with me so long they are like a part of me. My husband's wedding band resides on my index finger just across from my own. he put it there "for safe keeping" just before he went in for a surgical procedure. It has been there ever since. Remove it? Not on your life!

For me, they are a comfort. Others may view them differently, so I say, "to each their own." If you want to leave your rings on for now, for a few months, or for the rest of your life, that is your decision and your's alone. No one can tell you what is "right or proper" on this situation, because it is different for everyone.

If and when the rings come off, it will be when I am ready, or if I ever am. If you have looked at your rings and wondered what is the right thing to do about them, leave them right where they are. If you have to ask,"Should they come off" then you aren't ready to answer that question just yet.

Things have to come in our own way, when we are ready. For me, I am not ready, nor do I think I will be for a very long time. For others, it may be different. The point is, it is each individual's decision to make. There is no politically correct length of time to leave your wedding rings on, and even if there was, who cares?

The word "Widow" is just a label. It is how each person feels inside that counts. My heart and soul still feels married, even though I must use the word widow now when I fill out paperwork. Those of you who now have to check that hateful little box know what I mean. Widow...I detest that word, I'd rather stick with "With this ring..."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Some Articles That May Help

In my first post I stated that I had turned to writing as a sort of solace after my husband died. Continuing to do something you are good at and that you enjoy is actually good therapy. if it is also something your husband was extremely proud of, it will make you feel even better to continue it.

In fact, I still speak to my husband about what I am writing. (It really is okay if you talk to them.) The articles I wrote for Associated Content deal a lot with the illness and different ways I handled things. Were they hard to write? You bet! Tears streamed the entire time I typed, yet the articles somehow made me feel better.

My husband was all about helping whoever he could, and I know he would have wanted me to use my words and experience to help someone else. I had no one with experience to help me figure out how to tackle many of the issues I faced as a new Widow. That is why I decided to write about it.

I am just learning this blogging and linking, so bear with me as I try to figure out how to put in some smooth links for some of the articles that might be helpful to you.

I realize that these are pitiful attempts at links, but I hope you can get there from these, as I believe these articles may help out a bit.

As I continue my journey through this new life, I will update you on my progress, and even my set backs. I hope you do the same by leaving comments or questions. Let's help each other...

Donna Thacker

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Journey, My New Life

Suddenly finding yourself a new widow is a devastating thing. You go through so many emotions you aren't sure what you feel. You feel lost, alone, afraid, angry, hurt...all of this rolled into one. You don't lnow where to turn, you don't know how to go on with life, such as it is.

I know, because I am a new widow. It has been 5 months since I lost my husband and the pain is still as great as the first day. I felt like I had no where to turn either, so I turned to the only thing I know...writing. He was very proud of my articles, and read everything I wrote.

I have recently been working on articles about medical issues and some of the things I have had to deal with as this new "widow." I write these things as a way to feel close to my husband, and as a way to help others that are going through this turmoil.

My hope, by starting this blog, is that other widows will find me and that we can perhaps help each other as we journey forth into this new life we neither asked for nor wanted. It doesn't matter if you are a new widow, or it has been years, the pain and loneliness are still heavy on your heart.

The process is overwhelming and you just can't do it alone. Perhaps we can all help each other and make it just a little easier, as our journey continues through life.