It’s rare that I identify with the word “widow.” I know I certainly fit into that column but it’s never felt comfortable. The word itself screams “you’re different, something bad happened to you that didn’t happen to me.”
When I’m talking to someone I don’t know and for whatever reason it’s shared that I am a widow (although I rarely use the term) their voice drops, the tone changes, their body language turns into a pity pose. What is it about posture that allows a person to pity another without having to say anything?
Nope….not going there.
So, that brings me to the table: The Thanksgiving table at my house on Thursday night will be crowded with cancer widows. Three of us will raise a glass to our husbands, all of whom lost their lives to cancer. Colon, Leukemia and Bladder, in that order. One a few years over 60, the other two no where near it. These were YOUNG MEN. Four kids were left behind too. Lucky for them, they have strong, smart, loving Mom’s. Mom’s who are widows, but who don’t dwell on that label and instead work hard to get their kids through another day, every day, without their Dad. That is one extra layer of parenthood that no one should have to take on.
The rest of the chairs at the table will be filled with friends and relatives, but I think it’s fair to say, we exceed the cancer average of widows at a Thanksgiving table.
We will survive the night, like we have survived the years since our loved ones have been gone. We will raise a glass to their memories and there will be a twinge of sadness in our hearts. But cancer widows at the table will get through this night too.