Can I become a ‘road scholar’?

I’ve made a decision to try the ‘Road Scholar” program ( formerly elder hostel) by attending a 6 day program in Albuquerque  during the Christmas season. Specifically, December 20 thru 26.  Somehow the idea of being in new territory this Christmas seemed like a good idea, and it’s not a great distance to fly.  Once I get there, I will be pretty much taken care of the entire time; we will have one of the downtown hotels as our hub, and almost all meals are included.  So it’s one of those things where you just show up….there will be some limited free time, and I opted for a single room rather than being assigned a roommate,  preserving some privacy.

To say that I’m excited about the trip is not quite the right word—more hopeful, I guess.  Holidays are difficult for recent widows, even though this is my second Christmas without Roger.  I have done so much ‘work’ this year on processing the realities of widowhood that in a way I’m more aware of his absence than last year, when in retrospect, I was really on auto-pilot.  This trip kind of removes me from the need to make holiday plans, altho I still have to think about Christmas cards.

If Road Scholar works out, I may investigate some of their many other programs; I’d like to go on a birding trip and from past experience you see more birds with a group of birders than you do alone. These activities help get thru the ‘rough patches’ of life, that are endurable only thru the grace of God.  In fact, as I look around me, so many friends are going thru difficult times I’m reminded that ‘our times are in His hands’, even those time we think we are the ones doing the planning.

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Changing Seasons

I’ve just returned from a week in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and struck the right week for sunshine and fall color.Our drive to Wisconsin was filled with views of changing leaves from yellow to red to rust, with some evergreens adding to the contrast, and filtered sunlight completing the palette.

Of course, my relatives will never believe it, but we have fall color in California too, so even here fall is definitely in the air, and the scenery.

All this reminds me of two things:  One, sadly, a memory of Roger saying ” I wonder if I will ever see another fall” in May of 2011.  Of course he never did—he died in August.  But, the other thing is, I’m not as completely broken up about the loss as I was a year ago.  Whether it’s the medication, or the prayers, or the time, or a combination; I now feel more steady (most of the time) and am taking baby steps towards the future that I can see (still only a few months ahead).

There is a process to grief, and I seem to be entering a new phase, altho there will be outbursts of weeping, I know.Hopefully those will all occur in the privacy of my room, and not as I’m walking down the hall.  And there is less crying as I’m driving down the street, which makes it safer for others on the road, to say the least.

I’m slowly negotiating being the sole decision maker in the myriad of life’s little challenges, with no small thanks to those who provide advice and support, from financial counselors to friends. I think Roger would be pleased to see that I am learning to live alone, and I’m trying to incorporate all the lessons he taught me.