Many years ago I heard the saying, “Find a way or make a way.” for the very first time. At first, it turned me off. Was it saying that I should do whatever it takes to reach a goal? But then I realized that it was, in fact, encouraging me to look at things outside the box and think about less than obvious ways to make things happen. That saying can certainly apply to this journey of widowhood.
The world rocks on its axis when you lose your spouse. You don’t realize all the little things they do that now become your responsibility. Stupid little things like changing the light bulb in the fixture at the highest point of the vaulted ceiling can become a challenge. Even cutting grass for the first time and buying a new weed wacker can be a challenge, a cause for celebration when you do it successfully, and even bittersweet because, well, there’s always that little bit of the feeling that he should be here and you shouldn’t even have to do these things!
But beyond the mundane day to day tasks, the home repairs, and maintenance that come up, there’s also the task of rebuilding a life without the one person you planned to live the rest of your life with. And somewhere along this journey, you realize that they did, in fact, live the rest of their life with you, and you can’t help but have a feeling of gratitude among all of the other feelings.
But how to rebuild? That’s where “find a way or make a way” comes in. Sometimes life throws you a real curve ball and you realize that your life is not going to be at all the way you planned or hoped. Maybe that other old saying about never tell God your plans is true! However, no matter what happens, you do get through. You find a way or make a way. And somewhere along this road, you may get a little braver (or a lot), a little more comfortable in your own skin, and you begin to make a way. A way that is uniquely yours. And you begin to see how everything comes together to make you who you are now. If you’re lucky, you may even begin to see a glimpse of what you might like the future to be. (But there goes those plans again!)
I am not at all the person I was almost three and a half years ago when he was still here. I’m in a totally different career, and while I’m good at it and it’s a good fit, I can honestly say that while I like it, it doesn’t feed my spirit the way my other career did. Still, I am grateful for what it’s teaching me, and I’m happy to be in a job that positively affects other people and makes a difference. Here’s hoping it’s just another step on that trip to making a way.
Would it be great if he was still here? Definitely. But he’s not. It is what it is now. Find a way, or make a way, but realize you’re never really alone.
This week I was blessed to spend my vacation time with a group of people who are like family to me. They’ve seen me at my best, my worst, and have helped me travel this journey in a way I never thought possible. I realized while with them that, for this week at least, I felt truly like myself again. My spirit was filled (in fact, it soared), and for a few days, I was good enough again. For this week, gratitude was enough. Will I ever get to do that again? Who knows? But for now, I’ll find a way or make a way.