This is the first in a series of posts I’ll write in the Blogging from A to Z in April challenge. My theme will be Aging from a Recent Widow’s Perspective.
I had a high falutin’ word starting with A to present to you today, but my experience of the last twenty-four hours gave the word adjusting more relevance for the moment.
Since I’m writing from a recent widow’s perspective, I want to qualify that you don’t have to be a widow to experience this adjusting deal when you’re aging. We all have to adjust to changes in our relationships, routines, abilities, and, well, everything.
My latest: I boarded a plane yesterday at 12 noon in Phoenix, Arizona, headed for Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A short time after we started down the runway, when the engines were revving for liftoff and I was thinking most accidents occur during take-offs and landings, and just as it felt like we were lifting off the ground, a HUGE screech of brakes filled the cabin. The horrendous noise seemed to last for many minutes. I braced myself for a collision. I had enough time to be thankful I was sitting toward the back; I maybe wouldn’t feel the brunt of crashing into whatever we were trying to avoid.
And just that fast the screeching stopped and the pilot announced we were going back to the terminal. Simultaneously, I knew I would miss my too-tight connection at O’Hare in Chicago.
This is where adjusting comes in. I’m maybe making too big a deal out of this, but I also know I could have adjusted easier if I were younger or if my late husband were with me. Thus the tie in to aging and widow!
Imagine six hours, instead of four, in your skinny airline seat. Imagine waiting in line afterwards for a voucher for a hotel and a voucher for $12 for dinner and breakfast; walking hundreds and hundreds of steps at O’Hare to the hotel, bent over and breathless from your 30-pound backpack; waiting in line forever with other folks in the same plight; finally getting to your room without your pjs, hair brush, or toothbrush; sleeping real fast; arising at six (four your Phoenix time), and retracing your many, many steps back to the airport and then many more because the terminal and gate for your hometown is always the farthest away from anywhere.
And then you’ll know why having to adjust your expectations of arriving home in one day and sleeping in your own bed, in your pjs, having brushed your hair and teeth, were kiboshed with one screeching of the brakes for which you never received an understandable explanation.
But, oh, the worst part was trudging past the entrance to the Blue Line, the ‘L’ train downtown, and remembering all the times I called Marv from the train, saying, “Honey, I’m on the Blue Line. Be home in about 45 minutes.” And then he’d be waiting for me at my underground exit, ready to carry my suitcase the two blocks home.
That brought tears. And they were not adjustable.