Friday, December 28, 2007

Keep your head down

In my first months of widowhood, I imagined my life as a sidewalk, with each square representing one page off a page-a-day calendar. The most horrible, most painful thing in the world was to look down that sidewalk, to see all those squares stretching as far as my eyes could see, and Nick wasn't standing in any of them.

So I kept my head down and focused on my feet; I didn't even have to look at an entire square, just the little portion that was right in front of me. Eventually, I was able to notice that there was grass lining the sidewalk; every once in a while I could see trees off to the side or flower gardens that brought a sweet aroma into my life.

I could lift my head a little and see a stretch of the sidewalk -- and it was okay. Nick still wasn't there but it was okay. Sometimes I couldn't bear to see the way in front of me, and I'd put my head back down for a while -- and that was okay, too, because I knew that there were trees and gardens and other people along my way.

These days, nearly 3-1/2 years later, I can enjoy the the walk -- the trees, the flowers, the people. I still see that sidewalk before me, and Nick still isn't in any of the squares. But I also see that the sidewalk doesn't run straight for ever and ever. There are turns and twists, and I have no idea what awaits me around the next corner.

Sometimes I stub my toe or get a leg cramp; or I get tired and hungry -- or just plain cranky, not wanting to walk anymore. So I don't! I lie down and look up at the sky above me; I breathe deeply and watch the clouds go by. And it's okay.

I posted this on the widow board this morning and decided to make it my blog entry for the day -- 'cuz sometimes I just need to put my head down.


  1. This is beautiful and inspiring. It is a super representation of how we all, widowed and non-widowed alike, would do well to approach living life.


  2. That is really well written and I hope, someday, to notice the grass.

  3. It's interesting - all the different approaches to survival that there are. If I hadn't focused on the horizon, I'd have never gotten up every day.

  4. WOW--wish I would have written such beautiful prose---
    It is nice when we begin to see beyond that which is immediate---

  5. I saw it at the board today, and I thought it perfectly illustrated this journey, and how best to keep walking. Thank you.