My bedroom is small, a shift from the larger one we had planned on. I’m comfortable now sleeping on a twin bed, half of the split king we had shared. The smaller bed leaves room for a desk, a chair, a chest with a TV and even a small armoire...tight but okay. Two large windows look past the well-lighted parking lot toward the hills and are covered by venetian blinds. I can be fascinated by the light patterns on the ceiling created by the early morning sun.
I wake, glance at the neon numbers on the clock—3:00 am. I rise slowly and silently not to wake my companion. Laughing at my old habits, I flip on the lamp, walk to the bathroom. Though I’m chuckling my heart fills with your absence and the challenge of living alone after all these years. Someone said to me at your memorial service, “Now you are free to do whatever you want.” What I want is to turn on the damn light when I can’t sleep, to turn on the TV, to eat crackers and peanut butter in bed in the middle of the night.
Those bigger ideas, the bigger wants, the bigger dreams will just have to wait—all the choices are overwhelming right now. I find myself self-medicating with Facebook, Dancing with the Stars and Blue Bell coffee ice cream. At the same time aware that I have those choices now, I'm grateful that I can begin to explore options and opportunities I had only dreamed about. What next? I am learning how to be a widow. I've never done this before.