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College Widow Healthy Healing 101 Widow Repair

Healthy Healing 101: College Widow

January 20, 2007 I was questioning the use of getting a college degree. Is it God’s will that I finish college?

Pastor Brogey said that the “Best way to know the will of God that you don’t know is to do the will of God that you do know.”

While reading What Kids Need Most in a Mom, I found this advice: open every door and try everything. God will close the door if it’s not His will.

I decided to put the maximum effort into college this year, and if it’s not God’s will, He will stop me. “Open every door…”

It’s funny that I found this advice in a book about mothering. It actually seems off-topic, but answers always come from unexpected places.

Living a Lifetime in College

February 26, 2007 Did I think that I was going to be in college forever? I was in college when I started dating Jason, and I was in college when I got married.

At the end of the semester in 2005, I was hugely pregnant. My classmates were relieved to see me arrive on the day of the final exam.

“We thought you might be having the baby!” one of them laughed while he grabbed me a chair.

Jason died while I was taking a maternity break from college. I was grieving and working at a new job while I was in college.

As a college widow, I have a lifetime of experience- I’ve lived through more than most people do in the first forty years after graduating from high school.

What in the world do I expect to do after I graduate? I have a pile of books beside me, and I have a lot of papers to write, but it will all get done.

Living at my parents’ house again is almost like starting over. Sometimes I want to pretend that I’m fresh out of high school, never having seen death.

I desperately want to read comic books and stay in bed all day. Or maybe go camping on Hunting Island with friends for days at a time, eating hotdogs and raiding Diet Sprite from the cooler and snickering because the people in the next campground offered us beer.

The Things You Will Do

March 6, 2007 This evening I did my history presentation in front of the class. I did hours of research for the paper, and I did really well with the PowerPoint presentation.

The class wrote comments: they loved the pictures and the stories. I am so proud of how it turned out, and I am so glad that it’s finished!

How funny that I got a C in Public Speaking when I started college, and now I’m a tour guide that speaks publicly for a living!

March 10, 2007 I was published in Bluffton Today! They wanted articles from a student’s perspective, so I wrote about local businesses and how flexible they are with student schedules.

It was a great experience, but I laughed when I got the check. I spent much more on gas and my restaurant tab than I was paid for the piece! Even so, maybe this is the beginning of a writing career.

The People You Will Meet

June 19, 2007 My summer class professor has a wide, straight smile that draws the attention away from the lower jaw. His eyes are set between crinkles, and his hair is sparse and composed of gray and white intermingled, but it’s more on the white side.

He does not clearly answer questions in class, and his quiz questions are so random that I answer them solely based on the memory attached to my sub-conscious.

There is a girl sitting behind me, and the professor uses our names interchangeably. I doubt he will ever stop calling her Bonnie.

Summer classes are three hours long, and this one is at the air station in the evenings. One of the Marine students comes in every night in his camo and lines up three energy drinks on his desk to stay awake.

The Things You Will Miss

July 19, 2007 My non-Western Lit class will end next week. I have enjoyed this class more than any other. I feel like I’ve learned so much about writing from so many college papers. My last paper has been so easy to write, like it’s flowing from my psyche.

I like every classmate individually. On Monday, we will keep talking about the last book called Disgrace by Coetzee, and on Wednesday I will turn in my paper and leave them forever. I have learned from the people and from the literature, and I hate that it will end.

Nobody from college has any idea what I have gone through. It’s not good conversation, and I felt like I was starting a new life with new people.

I wonder what kinds of things the average person is holding in the pockets of their minds. If I can walk around cheerfully, with a smile on my face hiding grief, what kind of story is behind the quiet girl behind me in class?

 

Take A Road Trip Travel Heals a Widow's Heart Widow Repair

 

 

Road Trip: Travel Heals a Widow’s Heart

My aunt was right when she said to leave townIt will seem like a new life when you get back.

1. Leave town with your child(ren). Go on a road trip and explore.

2. Take lots of pictures.

3. Write about it so you don’t forget a single detail.

I went on lots of road trips, and each one lightened my heart just a little more. That dark cloud of pain had to move over just enough to make room for new memories and new life.

Widow and Son Travel to the New World

May 2007 So I went to Virginia. A family friend named Evelene invited me to ride with her and her mother Eve to Colonial Williamsburg where we would meet up with her son and daughter. “Bring Caleb too,” she said.

I worried that I couldn’t leave work because it was tourist season, but my boss Rose gave me her blessing. My coworker Larry handed me $50: “You and Caleb have a great time. You deserve it.”

Caleb did very well during the road trip. Miss Eve made me feel at ease because they didn’t mind when he was fussy. Eve was like most grandmothers- always trying to feed me and Caleb. My friend April helped me with all the baby gear after we arrived.

Widow and Son Explore Williamsburg

Take a Road Trip Travel Heals a Widows Heart Widow Repair Colonial Williamsburg VA

 

We started off by shopping in Williamsburg. I bought zipper pulls and a little fold-out fan for Caleb’s cousins. Caleb got a Revolutionary hat and a drum.

April and I read a program of events and took Caleb to what I thought was a petting zoo at the museum. We looked at the auditorium curiously. Would they bring the animals on stage?

Instead, three goofy adults entertained with various folk songs and instruments. Caleb loved it; he sat on my lap with rapt attention. Half way through he turned and chattered to me like he was commenting on the show.

Information on the brochure was actually printed “Instrument Petting Zoo.” No animals of course, but they invited the kids to come up and try all the props.

Following the show, I carried Caleb into the women’s restroom in the visitor center. Always friendly, Caleb kept repeating “Da Da” to everyone in our path. A woman smiled at him and said, “Your daddy’s not in the bathroom honey.”

I felt my heart crack. It only took an instant to imagine Jason standing in the lobby, waiting for us. I didn’t tell her that his daddy is not here, not even on earth, that he is completely intangible, only a memory. I smiled back at her weakly and hurried outside.

Widow and Son Explore Jamestowne

Take a Road Trip Travel Heals a Widows Heart Colonial Williamsburg VA Widow Repair

 

We went to Historic Jamestowne to see the old fort, a church and some monuments. The grounds are beautiful and well-restored. I can’t tell you much about the historic significance because Caleb wouldn’t sit still long.

The outdoor exhibits were so interactive- we actually became part of the scenes. Caleb did not hesitate for a second- he pushed back the animal skin drapery and ran through the Native American huts.

He tried to follow chickens into the woods, and he ran his hands over the soft fur of a deerskin while the guide explained tanning.

He climbed into the carved canoes and squealed like he was being tossed around on the water.

It was the best experience I could imagine for a curious toddler.

We climbed off the wooden gangplank to a replica of a colonial ship (It was so small)! A swarthy looking black-bearded sailor told us about the history while Caleb squirmed to resume his exploration.

Widow and Son Explore Yorktown

Widow and Son Travel to Yorktown VA Widow Repair

 

We went to Historic Yorktown on Thursday. It was so quiet and quaint right on the beach. We ate at a restaurant called the Carrot Tree in a house that was built in 1736.

The bathroom upstairs had a claw foot tub, and a sign said to be nice to the historic plumbing. It reminded me of when Jason was re-doing the plumbing at an old house in Ridgeland.

It was fun shopping, and they had a very convenient trolley. I bought a golden jade necklace, but the clasp broke the next day. That’s what I get for buying cheap jewelry!

Outside, Caleb was mesmerized by the cannons. His eyes twinkled with mischief, and I loved to see his dimples when he smiled through the spokes.