Updated: Jan 24, 2022
Come with me as I look back on the events leading to My Joyful Jaunts -
“Mom, you should write a blog.”
“Yeah, I know. I don’t just know where to start. Maybe the new me is a good place.”
Change has been my good friend for a few years. What a difference this has made in my life. It all began when a dear friend became a mentor. His name is Corey. Back in October of 2013, his not so gentle nudging created in me a desire to change. As I look back on that experience, I can see how just a few little snowflakes became a snowball.
I was widowed at the age of fifty. I suddenly became a single mother and the sole proprietor of my late husband’s business in the automotive industry. Our oldest son was married and had a daughter. Our second son was serving a religious mission in Houston, Texas. Our youngest son was fourteen and still at home.
I had a business to run. I allowed myself very little time to grieve. I buried myself in busy-ness. I have found this to be somewhat common among the widowed. Perhaps it is with other singles, but I don’t have first-hand knowledge of that. I found if I stayed busy, the loneliness didn’t hurt quite so much and it was easier to avoid grieving.
I had worked side-by-side with my husband, Levi, for seven years so I knew much of the business. With the help of an employee, I kept the business for a year until I was able to sell it. The person who bought it declared bankruptcy six months later. I only got a portion of what we had agreed upon. That really was okay, because it was only money and I didn’t have to worry about the business anymore, nor did I have to worry about getting rid of all the equipment that went with it. I didn’t like the business much while Levi was alive. I liked it a whole lot less with him gone.
I stayed busy with family, another job, and church activities, a widow/widowers group, and other singles activities. I’ve gone to dances and dinners, classes and weddings. I’ve met many wonderful friends this way. The classes I’ve taken have been very valuable. I attended a religion class with a unique and wonderful instructor. Another class might be thought of as a religious class, but in actuality, it had little to do with religion. It was a Clinical Pastoral Education class or CPE for short. I had hoped to find a career as a hospice chaplain. That class was very demanding, yet very valuable as I learned to look more inside myself. That kept me very busy for a year. Another class kept me busy for yet one more year.
I was introduced to Corey through one of my widowed friends while taking the CPE class. That’s a long story I won’t go into here. He became a dinner buddy. We would go to dinner on occasion and we would just talk. His work took him to Las Vegas so the dinner talks changed to emails, text messages, and occasional phone calls. It was in October of 2013 that a long text conversation started me on my new path. He typed in some words that changed my thoughts. The words weren’t necessarily different from things I had heard before, but I was at a point in my life where I was ready to look for deeper meaning for my life. The words were “Do you know that God wants what you want?”
Wow! What did I want? For one thing, I wanted to have someone in my life again. I also wanted to accomplish things I didn’t believe I was capable of doing. I lacked faith in myself.
Snowflakes began to fall. First off, I changed my diet and exercised some. That helped me shed a few pounds. In October at Corey’s insistence (not really the correct word, because it was up to me to make that decision), I colored my hair for the first time ever. My second son said he couldn’t remember me not having gray hair. The front of my hair wasn’t just gray; it was silvery white. I liked it. I got compliments on it. But in truth, it made me look older than I was. The only guys who would ask me out were fifteen and twenty years older than me. I didn’t want to be with a man that much older. After all, I’d already watched one husband fight illness and die. I wasn’t in a hurry to do that again. So I became a blonde. It took a long time to find a color and a stylist that worked for me. Along with a new hair color came a new wardrobe. It was fun!
In November I met up with some of my single friends to go to a dance. I hadn’t attended many dances. I was extremely self-conscious about my inability to dance well. That evening, one of these friends said to me, “What’s happened? You’ve colored your hair and painted your nails. You’re wearing bright, new, colorful clothes. And you radiate happiness – not that you weren’t happy before. There’s just … something different.” Others were noticing. Corey and I were both very surprised by the speed at which this change occurred. He started calling me “Ms. Wings.” In about two weeks I had become a different person. And I loved it!