Journal of a Living Lady #380
Nancy White Kelly
Don’t know why mortality has been on my mind lately. Maybe it is because of all the funerals I have attended lately. Just a couple of weeks ago, on the same newspaper obituary page, were the pictures of three long-time friends.
One day recently a casual friend called and asked if she could come by and visit. “Of course,” I said though I was a bit puzzled. Neither Buddy nor I were sick. She mentioned that we were the second of two visits she was making that afternoon. The other was to mutual friends who have battled life-threatening illness for a long, long time.
We had a nice visit. The sweet lady brought Buddy and me a funny book, nuts, and fruit. We chatted for over an hour. Still in the back of my mind I was wondering what was behind this Sunday afternoon drop-by.
Only as we hugged and said good-bye did I get my answer. This day was the anniversary of her husband’s death. She was doing something besides having a pity party. She was bringing encouragement, even laughter, to others. What an inspiration she was to me and something I plan to remember if Buddy should pass first.
Actually widowhood is a frightening subject to me. Buddy is twelve years older than I. Although my health history scuttles the statistics, chances are that I will out-live him. That scares me to death.
The longer I live the more I realize that our culture is primarily a society of couples. A once-married, single woman sticks out. I look around in church and see numerous friends who not so long ago had a man by their side. Now they look incomplete, even lonely. I admire their courage to keep going in spite of their loss, but don’t long for that courage myself. I don’t want to be unmarried to Buddy, ever. There is something about Buddy’s warm body and over-wrapped arm at night that gives me security. What peace to know that if I were lost in the woods, there is one person who would swim a river to find me.
What would I do without him? I don’t know how to start the well pump when lightning strikes. How do you light the furnace when the season changes?
Who would fill the gas tank when I don’t notice the warning light? Who would prod me to go light on the salt and sugar?
Marriages are made in heaven - but then...so are thunder and lightning. There have been a few misunderstandings in our 46 years of marriage. As we grow older, there has been some amusing miscommunication.
Last week I was invited to a wedding shower for a soon- to- be bride.
As I was trading my lounging clothes for fancier duds, Buddy inquired as to where I was going. I replied, “To Hiawassee.”
He came to the bathroom door.
“Why, “he asked.
“For a shower,” I replied while powdering my nose. I frowned at him. He had seen the invitation on the table.
Buddy’s wrinkled forehead told me he didn’t hear me correctly. I repeated slowly, “I am going to Hiawassee for a shower.”
He still looked confused. Finally he asked, “Why not take a shower right here?”
“I am going to a wedding shower, honey, Remember?”
He moaned as the words registered. I laughed. He laughed. We both laughed again and we are still laughing.
Life would be bleak without my Buddy.