Yesterday I called a friend whose husband died two months ago after years of numerous and serious medical problems. When I asked how she was doing, she said, “I’m going to be candid with you. I’m relieved.” I understood, all too well, what she meant. I also wondered if there are those who might judge her and find her truthful admission to be shocking and inappropriate? If so perhaps it’s because they haven’t been there… or maybe they’re not allowing themselves to be honest.
It doesn’t mean we don’t love and miss them. Just that we’re relieved… for both of us… that it is over.
On the day we take our marriage vows it never occurs to us that another woman—with whom our husband promised “for better or worse… until death do us part”—may be the one who comes to our aide when he dies. Both of my late husband’s ex-wives were there for me the day they died. Perhaps this happens more often than I imagine, but what are the odds it’s happened to me twice?
I owe each of these women a debt of gratitude for being so kind to me.
Last week a girlfriend told me about a group in San Antonio that’s looking for female mentors to help young women who are exotic dancers. Our conversation reminded me of a dancer I met in my 20’s. I wrote this piece soon after. Since most of us will never meet an exotic dancer, I thought you might find her story interesting, insightful… and sad… and because not all of us had ideal childhoods… It might make you think about how she wound up in this position but you didn’t?
The naked blonde undulating down the runway oozes with sexuality in a dance she does five times a night, six nights a week, and her skin looks smooth and creamy under the lights. The men who watch her are all alike. Cash registers who dispense twenty dollar bills.
The blonde stops in front of an overweight man in a plaid shirt and shakes her breasts in his face. His money clip is on the table.
ANNIE WITHOUT LULU
Instead of children I’ve always had dogs, sometimes three at a time. They’re my family. Annie and Lulu were eight weeks old when I adopted them from the animal shelter almost two years ago. From the beginning the “experts” told me someday I’d have to make a choice and give one of my darling girls away, but I didn’t believe them. “Litter Mate Syndrome,” they called it. I’d never heard of litter mate syndrome and never had problems with any of my dogs. What do the experts know anyway?
In this case… Everything!
Our journey began early July, 2016. We went to a nearby RV park, in-spite of the ridiculous Texas heat and rain, to try-out our new motorhome. Within the first half-hour Turk made a newbie mistake. Randomly pushing buttons, he accidentally turned off the 12-volt switch which shut down all power to the coach, including our AC. Continue Reading
Grieving the death of a spouse is like trying to hang-on to a 50-pound yo-yo. Grief plunges you to the bottom of despair, then raises you up for a brief glimpse of life, as you knew it, only to drop you again… and again. I never dreamed surviving the death of my second husband would make breast cancer seem easy.
In the last few weeks, two of my friends have lost their husbands to a serious illness. I’ve lost two husbands to death. I know how they’re feeling.
ME AND MY FIRST HUSBAND ON A TRAIN IN SWITZERLAND. I WAS 22.
So many of you have left comments on my blog, Instagram and Facebook and even sent me emails, telling me how much you like my writing and urging me to write my story… a memoir. Thank you, sweet friends, for supporting what are sometimes difficult things to write, but that’s what I do. I’m a writer, and our stories are not always pretty. While I haven’t decided whether writing a book is something I want to do, you’ve made me think about it. In the meantime I found a piece I wrote 20 years ago for a writer’s workshop. The assignment was to write the first page of your memoir. For your consideration… xoxox, Brenda
I’ve often wondered if he liked to possess me just as some men like to own fast cars. “This week she landed on an aircraft carrier, cooked a gourmet dinner for 12 and won a race at Texas World Speedway.”
I was fast and sleek and hung my ass out over the edge. A risk taker. A reflection of him.
My favorite fall sweater had several loose threads when I packed it away last spring, but I wasn’t ready to consider throwing it away. A few days ago, it wasn’t even out of the storage box when I started twirling and tucking the loose threads, thinking I could magically reattach them.
Discarding things has never been easy for me. It’s not that I’m a hoarder. I’m a fixer. A serial fixer. There… I said it out loud. Moving on from people hasn’t been easy either.
Recently I heard a young woman say dating is obsolete. “Really?” I asked, to which she replied, “No one has time for that silliness anymore.”
Fourteen years ago I left an abusive relationship with the clothes on my back and no shoes on my feet. I was done with love and my dreams of that knight in shining armor riding in to save me was history. I was too old for fairytales. Continue Reading
It’s every woman’s lament at one point or another. But this time, it’s not about my clothes, and it’s true. I feel a little bit ridiculous. No… a lot ridiculous, ever thinking we were in good shape. Over thinking I had everything under control, over how many trips I took to the thrift store. I’ve decided the thrift store visits were my philanthropy for this year. And even after all of the prep work, I’m shocked at how much stuff we still have that has no place to live. Our coach looks like something from the television show “Hoarders.”
To use one of George W. Bush’s best words, “I think we have sorely misunderestimated how much stuff we could bring!”