woman standing on Golden Gate Bridge

I am a recent widow. It’s been a year and four months since Ned, my beloved husband, passed away. That means that counting on the love of a man with whom I spent 35 years of my life is forever gone.  You could say that we had worked out the kinks in our relationship – something that can only done with time spent together. 

While I am quick to express my emotions, something that my husband cherished at times and was perplexed or frustrated at others, he was more measured, sequential in his thinking.   While I am circular, he was linear, more restrained than outspoken. Oh yes, he could get angry and curse, expressing deep emotions held tightly as a habit. I know what his favorite curse words were, and when I heard them, I knew that he was seriously hot and therefore I had to restrain myself.  Maybe this is what it takes to build a long standing relationship – understand when you have crossed the limit of the other one and immediately find ways to lower the temperature, to find an apology, to get back in the groove of things.  As I build new relationships, I am still in the learning curve as to what sets me off and the reaction that someone else may have.  Is there time for trial and error in building new relationships?  Only time will tell how much room for error there is.

Celia with her niece.

Did other habits separate us? Yes, I am quick to make decisions.  It’s because of tendencies I hold as a leader and many years in training as a manager and administrator.  You have a set of facts in front of you and limited time to move forward. If you do not, the opportunity will be missed.  Therefore, you do not have the luxury of spending too much time analyzing and forever procrastinating on a course of action.  But, regardless of the rationality of a decision, those made quickly may look impulsive to someone who is more measured and tempered.  For Ned and for me, our different styles combined not always happily, but, in the long run were successful.  He could be measured and analytical, while I moved the agenda along – not at his speed, but faster, so as not to let an opportunity pass us by.  When was the right time?  Because of his analysis we did not jump in too fast. Because of my moving the agenda along, we did not lose opportunities before they were gone. How did we maintain the peace? By understanding and respecting what each one brought to the relationship.  We were partners designing our life together which was different from two lives apart.

I am in the process of understanding that my life has changed.  I do not have a committed partner who understands who I am and who has known me long enough to trust my love for him, my loyalty, and my abilities.  As I find my way on this new road, I am learning how to convert this new life into a work of art, something worthy of me and as of now, my most creative endeavor.  In doing so, the buck stops here.  While I am also discovering that flying solo is not for sissies, it’s not for the reckless either.  I must ask myself, how do my actions affect others and I can’t tell you that I have figured it out.  I am, however, in charge of my life and I must build it with reason and artistry manifested and intertwined.  I hope and pray that it is so, intentionally.