I've come to the conclusion that there must be some perks to being a widow or widower. Since I really have yet to find any, I've decided to come up with my own reward system. I'm basing its design on merit badges earned in groups such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
The sash comes with the title (widow or widower). No need to pay any dues. Trust me, if you haven't already paid them, they'll come due soon enough. And you won't believe the frequency with which you'll have to pay them.
I've already earned several badges, but I'm sure many more will become available as I continue living this life. There are lots of badges for firsts: first holiday, first night spent alone, first time you realize that you're no longer numb and this hurts way more than anything else you've ever experienced.
Some that I've already earned? Well, I've got the "I just found out there's no life insurance" badge. I'm also ready to sew on the "I used to enjoy holidays and birthdays" badge. There's a really worn looking badge on my sash...that's the one that indicates all the frayed nerves I've experienced. Also, I'm proud owner of "The recycling man really loves me because of all the empty wine bottles I put out" and the "I survived the call from the Social Security Administration". Anyone who's been a part of that call understands why that badge is bigger than the rest.
Some of the badges are really beautiful. There's the one that identifies me as a proud but unwilling single parent. You see, that one was given to me by my daughter and she put all the love she had into it. There's also the badge for the day I realized that even though I had changed completely, I was going to come out of this as a better woman.
But none of these are my favorite. My favorite badge is a small, nondescript white one. That badge holds a place of honor. It designates that I'm fighting the good fight. It means that every day I get up and try again to be the best woman that I know how to be. And I try even though I don't feel like it, even though I'm tired, and even though I often feel like I'm in it alone. That badge may be the most important one I have. It reminds me of all I have yet to do and all the life I have yet to live.
So, fellow widows and widowers, step right up. Design your own badge. Wear it proudly. You deserve it and so many more!
5 years ago