"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Now I am in charge

By on September 24, 2018 in Articles with 0 Comments

Connie and Jay Bean: A lifetime of living in 12 1/2 years.

By Constance B. Bean

Some years ago, at the age of 70, I wrote an article for The Good Life about finding love and romance a second time.

A dear man, a widower named Jay Bean, stepped into my life. We had a wonderful ride of 12 1/2 years together before I lost him to cancer.

Jay used to tell me that he wished to be married to me for 25 years. I would laugh and say that
he would have to live to 100!

He would simply say: “So?”

Well, with 12 1/2 years between us we achieved those 25 years and we did a lifetime of living. What a gift for us both at this late stage to have found one another.

The frosting on our cake was always the love and support of our children and grandchildren.

Jay was a man who adored his family and with his love I was the beneficiary. My family grew because of the love Jay and his late wife Sue nurtured all their years together.

We both came to our union with a history of other spouses and children. Merging these lives launched us on a new adventure.

So now, what does one do when one’s spouse is gone?

Also, the knowledge dawns that you are running out of decades to enjoy a full and productive life. What do I do now that I’m all grown up without the love and support of Jay?

Losing a spouse is difficult. I also lost my first husband, Earl, after a 48-year marriage. Each loss is different.

With Earl, I lost a lifetime of marriage and the father of our three children we both adored.
With Jay, I lost my best friend, partner and companion. We were adults who embarked on a new adventure by choice.

Earl and I were two youngsters madly in love, as only the young can be. We grew up with our children and never gave much thought that we would one day be old.
Jay and I brought to our marriage a lifetime of memories, children, habits and expectations.

Oh my, what a leap of faith that was for us both. But it worked well.

When Jay died, three pastor friends celebrated his memorial service. It reminded me that we are never alone.

The first thing I realized is that now I am fully in charge.
Though I was surrounded by a loving family and excellent advice, I was the one upon whom final decisions rested.

My goal was to pull myself together to take care of the business at hand in order to not be a burden to my family.

Those first days were a blur.

I know of no easy way to keep moving into the real world except placing one foot in front of the other.

People do different things to get through these early days, and I was no exception. I relied on my faith as my comfort. There are excellent books and articles to read to help with your thinking.
There is family there to love me, but they, too, were grieving the loss of their father.

There are wonderful friends who have rallied around and kept me busy with things they know I enjoy. Delicious food arrives at my doorstep because cooking for one can be a challenge.

There are times when the grief will overcome me and I dissolve into tears. I found crying in the shower to be therapeutic. Some of the pain washes away.

Sometimes the loss hurts so much I have an actual pain and wonder if it could be something else. Other times I am at such peace and so grateful that the one I love is no long in pain and suffering.

I also found that I sought the company of friends who were happy in their own lives and kept a positive outlook. I sometimes felt so empty that I had nothing to give to anyone who was unhappy or negative about their own situation.

What I am saying is that there is no correct way to grieve. It is truly an individual process.

With this new journey of being in charge as I begin my life alone, I remember I was blessed with two husbands with whom I could share love.

With time, my life is beginning to take a new route, one that has adventure ahead. With good health and the ability to enjoy family and friends, I can experience all that lies ahead.

Making decisions is becoming easier. I am functioning at a level I find acceptable. I have even found a handy man who helps with household things that require attention.

I have learned it is okay to attend events on my own or with friends. I can laugh again and be thankful for all the blessings I have.

I look forward to continuing in this decade of my life and, with a bit of luck, entering the next one. It is important for me and the ones who love me to be capable of moving forward with the talents I have.

All of this experience is what makes The Good Life.

Constance B. Bean is a retired educator living in the Wenatchee Valley.

About the Author

About the Author: .

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top