I Don’t Want to be a Widow

grave 2013 169Today I reflect on this past week and how troubling it has been for my mind, my soul, my marriage.  My faith and trust are rocked.  I am frustrated, angry, sad, helpless, scared for his health, but told to not rock the boat.  Don’t. Say. Anything.  But this is my blog~ my words and thoughts, and with respect to my hubby, but for my ulcer’s sake, I must vent. And because I don’t know if I’ve won tonight’s lottery, I will choose my words carefully.  🙂

How does it happen though?  A man gets a small loan, starts a business in his garage.  He sacrifices, works hard, makes good business decisions, and his socks are blessed off in just a few years. The American dream!  He is now a billionaire who employs thousands and shares his blessings!   While his statements still say he does everything based on his Christian foundation, I think there may have been an earthquake.  Reality.  check.  needed.

A man died on January 3rd of this month.  I don’t know the entire circumstances and won’t lead you to believe that I do.  But I do know he was born the same month and year as my hubby.  And I know he worked for/with the same people.  His wife is now a widow.  They will offer condolences.  Life insurance.  Flowers. Cards. She is alone. Another manager will replace her husband. Everything will go on.  No press on what happened.  No lesson learned.  Still demanding 14-18 hour days.

Frankly, I do not want to be a widow.

Health. Exhaustion.  Marital struggles.  Divorce.  Missing your son’s buzzer shot at his basketball game.  Wondering what your redhead’s face looked like the first time he sang on stage. Being chastised for taking a weekend off for your wedding anniversary. Unknown Sacrifice. 

Remember where you came from, dear owner.  It is good and it is right to take a stand for the unborn.  But look out for the living as well.  Especially for those who, no matter what, still lovingly give you their all.  And I mean, their all.

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77 Responses to I Don’t Want to be a Widow

  1. I don’t want to be a widow either x
    I think it’s normal when something like this happens to feel our own mortality and that is probably a good thing.
    Time to take stock and change what needs changing? My Hubby worked as a F.D in a stressful company and he was a changed man, not for the better. I felt he was lost to me. outside stresses can change and impact on your relationship.
    He left that job and has never worked in one like it again, we have never been happier. The path less travelled is often very scenic.

  2. Chin up beautiful, the universe knows your needs and wants. Keep believing that they already belong to you, your beautiful desire for a happy healthy marriage is what we all want. I just want to lend you a bit if my hope and strength for a better day, week, month, year and life. So much love, Sheri

  3. I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this, but know that you are not alone! Working as a guard for DOC right now is a very similar situation and I pray that the powers that be open their eyes and see what the rest of us are seeing before some tragedy makes that happen. You cannot continue to make loyal employees bear the burden of staff shortages without having to deal with the consequences at some point. One day off a week (if we’re lucky) and double-shifts for many is not the safest (nor smartest) way to run a prison. I will be keeping you in my prayers and am always available for a good venting session (sounds like we could have a marathon)! Love you, Paula!

  4. Rhonda says:

    We both know the toll your hubby’s work takes…having been married to one in a verrrry similar position for 31 years and he in that business for 18 of those…it takes a toll on every imaginable part of our lives…not the least of which is their health. Have him take care dear Paula…make sure he sees the forest for the trees, before he sees the roots pulled out of the ground. I send you all I have in this regard for best wishes..along with hugs to you. Bless you , bless him, and bless the day the ‘other woman’ in his life takes a back seat. It’s not too late, nor to important. ❤ and you know I do. xoxo

  5. DeLynn Willard says:

    Sadly, there are far more owners, upper management that should read this than I could line between here and Memphis.  It is all about the bottom line….exactly how much did we gross this month?  Having worked for large corporations and directors who I promise were related to Hitler I was not shocked or surprized by your words.  Now, it is even worse, with people being laid off, let go, reduced hours as they age, no matter how hard or how many hours they work.  Why pay someone who has worked for you for years this salary when you can hire a 25 year old and cut the salary in half.  That happened to a friend this week.  He knew it was coming, had already happened in several departments before his.  I don’t want to be a widow, neither does his wife or any other.  However, in this economy and in the penny wise mind set of todays corporations that is not their problem.  They are shooting out our jobs to China to be made for $3.00 and raising the prices.  Wonder if thy ever think….enough widows, unemployed or way underemployeed, no one can afford their made in China over priced merchandise. You are right of course, they will send their flowers, cards and then go on, hiring someone at a much less salary.  Withing six months I promise, they will have to pause and actually really think if you mention his name.  After all, it was not their spouse and sure did not hit their bottom line. I so enjoy your posts.  Keep them coming!


    • Gone are the days of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. You bring up many good points in your comments! Thanks so much for letting me vent to you. I do try to be mostly positive….but I had to get this one out! 🙂 So many folks are touched by all that you mentioned. I appreciate you sharing!!! paula ♥

  6. I feel your pain, my husband also has a very demanding job and misses out on a lot of family stuff because of it… He doesn’t see it himself and I just don’t know what to do about it.
    Sorry, I couldn’t be more help but I really do understand where you are coming from. 😦

    • Thanks Maggie. I don’t know what I would do in my present situation AND if I were in another country, too! You are a strong woman. My husband does see it….he simply cannot fix it and needs those that CAN change it to step up and do so! ♥

  7. It’s hard not to be shaken by something like that, Paula. I lost both parents early on in my life, and I don’t take anything for granted, and I can tell that you don’t either. Best wishes for many more happy years together.

  8. I don’t want you to be a widow either. Hope that all is well with you.

  9. I think there are a lot of people right there with you, wondering what they will need to do to recalibrate and find balance in an ever-demanding work environment. I can hear a lot of frustration and very real concern in your words as you examine the risks involved in your family’s well-being, and I know I will think of you and ask God to give you and your husband the wisdom to know your steps through His guidance–and to speak to others who may be part of the stress! Hugs! Debra

  10. It sure is important to be grateful every day.

  11. Praying for you and your hubs, money,prestige and all that entails is not worth missing out on life for, unfortunately most don’t listen. love and hugs (((xx)))

  12. jmgoyder says:

    I really feel for you. I remember the years before my husband got sick he was a workaholic (not in the corporate way but in the farming way) and he would not take a holiday – nearly drove me mad!

  13. Wow… I don’t know what else to say… except I highly doubt I could ever be a manager. I’ve seen how hard my employer works my manager and for little or no thanks. Frankly, I’ve got better things to do.

  14. bulldogsturf says:

    stuff I tell my sister… ummm I’m sure you feel better having put this down in the form of a post… but will it improve anything for anyone.?? I doubt it… in today’s money driven world we are all but slaves to the owners… We scream and shout about other countries and their slave labour practices, but are we any different..? Do we not demand more of the pound of flesh deserved for the salary we pay.? Today the employer will grind you down till nothing is left and happily fire you for a cheaper younger person on whom he can start all over again, and with the current employment problems people accept this just to keep their jobs…
    I at the age of 61 was basically forced out of my senior position to be replaced by one half my age… I worked 12 to 14 hour days .. he works 8, but can bull s t better than I could and basically lies his way through the day… the fall will come as we all know and he will be replaced…
    However I have a computer program that I developed that is now being encoded and actually is nearing completion… how did I handle loosing my job.? with a smile on my face,, do I work hard now.? No, I’m enjoying my semi retirement and preparing for the marketing of our product.. but there is no pressure and no one to answer to… I’m sure I will live longer than I would have had I still been employed by the Flesh eaters for whom I worked…
    Is my wife happier.?? Oh for sure, she sees me more, in fact we have probably become closer than we have ever been, and get the opportunities to do things together..
    But, and this is the crunch… there are no guarantees that we will not pass on in any case.. so I do say one has to live life to the full when one gets the chance… never miss an opportunity to just relax and enjoy each other.. the other can be snatched at anytime..
    Living with a woman that has been fighting Cancer for the last 19 years having had 3 different types.. I can assure you one realises that life can be cut short at anytime… not only from work situations but from health and for that matter accidents through no fault of your own..
    Live life for today.. no one wants to be a widow or widower…

    • The post helped my deepest “innards” and reminded my man that I love him. (I know this because he came home, hugged me and told me!) We do cherish each moment…..but this being the week it has been….and losing a manager, the same age….it was a scare knowing well that it could have been us just as easily. I hurt for this family.

      Good for you for coming out on top of your ordeal and for being able to spend more precious time with your wife!

      None of us are guaranteed tomorrow…..and we are thankful for each day. Even the wicked ones…..just not as much. 🙂

      ♥ paula

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  16. artblablablablog says:

    Well said. I believe God wants us to have boundaries and to be good stewards of the many blessings that we have. WE ALL have to defend our boundaries against those who don’t care about our lives outside the workplace. Pray and take action, pray some more. We get so distorted in our thinking about what is important, our society is so goal oriented, using financial compensation and “stuff” as a measure of a good life. If I think of all that really puts joy in my heart, it simply has to do with love. Just by itself, love. Seldom found in the workplace and what life and living is all about. Love to you and yours. xoxo

  17. artsifrtsy says:

    I remember as kids seeing TV shows about how machines and computers would make us have so much more free time in the future – boy was that off base. I work of a Christian based company too. I love my work, but the workload is crazy. There is no possible way to get everything done before the end of the day, the week, or the month. My boss is thinking business 24/7 – it never ends. For me I have had to draw some lines. I don’t answer email on the weekend anymore unless is this to let him know that I am unavailable until Monday. I am 100% on board with the vision, but I have a life and it’s my job to push back. No one gets a prize for giving up their life to the company, no matter what the motivation of that company. Of course I say this after driving to Dallas and back for a 4 hour meeting on a Saturday – it’s hard to draw lines. I hope thing settle down soon and that your hubby can get his life back, you both deserve it.

    • It is thes same, but worse every year. While others are giving thanks and celebrating the birth of our Lord….we are consumed with demands. It is that part of this life you learn to accept. Not joining family for xmas, etc. Not really caring if you put up a tree or not. You kinda get numb to it all. Now it is inventory time. No thought is given to how some one can physically put in the hours….it’s just “do it”. Even superman needs more than four hours of sleep at nite! Glad you are home safely from Dallas, Lorri. Hope you captured some good shots while you were there!

      • artsifrtsy says:

        I block out 2 vacation times a year when I am strictly unavailable – you need your own time. It’s easy to get things backwards – you don’t live to work, you work to live – your work funds your life, it’s a means to an end. That goes for the owned and management too

      • We attempt to do the same….”attempt”!

      • artsifrtsy says:

        Yeah – it’s hard. I have to remind myself that the world does not end if I don’t get everything done. Once you give over too much of your time it’s very hard to get it back.

  18. adinparadise says:

    How sad for that poor wife, and I can understand your feelings as you see her now bereft of her partner in life. I’m so thankful that my hubby always put his family and his health first. He has always known that no-one is irreplaceable in a company, but in a family it’s quite a different matter. Wishing you and your dear hubby a long and happy life together. Hugs.

  19. diannegray says:

    What an amazing post. It’s scary watching people literally ‘work themselves to death’ and you have to wonder if the money and stress is all worth it in the end (I think not!). I gave up my highly stressful and well paying job last year to move to the country, relax, and write full time. There is so much more to life than earning the big bucks and corporations feed off people who are willing to do this. I’ve never felt as ‘alive’ as I do now 😉

    I don’t want you to be a widow, either and I wish you and your husband a long and happy life together.

    • Good for you!!! And thank you for your sweet wishes. And for you ear ~ ♥ paula

      • Many years ago we decided it was better to live on less money and have a healthy husband. We haven’t regretted that decision. I very well remember wondering if I would be a widow because his job was very stressful and thankless, plus he had no backing from his superiors. Sometimes you have to change your dreams and modify your lifestyle.
        I want the best for you and your sweet husband.

      • I have learned from this post there are MANY folks in the same boat. We are frugal folks and would just like some time to enjoy life. I don’t think it’s asking too much. 😉 Thanks for listening to me vent, Delores….♥

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  21. Bonnie says:

    You are amazing. I love your honesty, and your dedication to your relationship. I read things out of order, so I know you had a respite day, for which I am so glad.. For both of you. I am glad you chose to vent – it strikes a chord with all of us, and in reading, we all have to find a moment to evaluate our priorities in life and get closer to understanding what is truly important to our hearts and souls. Your candor reaches every one of us! ♥

  22. tchistorygal says:

    Paula, Paula, Paula. This post has touched many hearts hasn’t it? No one wants to be a widow. I was at 43, and it’s a long story. A good friend of mine said, “I don’t think I could go through what you are going through.” When she was about the same age as I was when my husband died, her husband was diagnosed with liver cancer. He lived 5 more years amazingly. It is hard to be a widow, but I think it would be harder if God didn’t take care of us and give us just the right people in our lives to see us through the hard times. I am like Dianne Gray, in that I retired from a very full time job. I am still busy, and it’s almost like I’m working, but I’m doing what I want to do, and loving it immensely. I loved my job, but retirement is great. Lots of love to you and your hubby. I hope and pray that you will be happy for many, many years to come. P.S. When I married my second husband, I had one rule for him – no dying before me. So far he’s kept that rule. 🙂

    • There has been some great feedback to this subject that’s been on my heart. Even phone calls and private e-mails. So many could relate. I am so sorry that you have been there. So so sorry. But how does one survive anything without faith and support? I am glad you set up some guidelines in your new marriage! 😉 enjoy every moment! (And I think you do) ♡♥♡ Appreciate you so much! Luv and hugs .★

      • tchistorygal says:

        Paula, in my case my first husband had been sick a very long time. It was hard to see him suffer. I had support of my church, my mom, and the teachers and principal at our school. I felt surrounded by love. It was pretty amazing. Nonetheless, it was so hard to be alone. At first I called friends to tell them I was coming and going from home because no one was there to tell. But I couldn’t live alone. Almost as soon as my mom left to go back home to Portland, I took in a teenager, a senior girl who worked near my home. So I don’t advise widowhood, but there is nothing you can do about it. I was just so lucky to find V and have someone in my life again. The amazing thing is that people are able to cope with so much grief and loss, and still live and eventually enjoy life again. God is good. 🙂 ML

      • Marsha ~ I am so sorry for your loss. And I am thrilled that you found love again ♥ I love how you are surrounded by people that care deeply about you. What a blessed young lady to get to live with you when you both needed each other.

        I’m sure we are all stronger than we think we are. You are on the other side looking back and you share hope with all that know you. Thanks for that ♥ psb

      • tchistorygal says:

        Paula, none of us know exactly how long we will be here. In my case, my first husband knew his life would be limited, and we decided to marry anyway. His sister died when she was 35. They both had a recessive genetic defect. Looking backwards, I probably should not have married, but I think he was better off than without marriage. Your situation is much different. When you don’t know that something is wrong with you, you are probably not as careful about taking risks. Mark was very careful, and lived to be almost 48, but sadly, it was not the full, normal life that most people expect.

        I was lucky to have T. She saw me through some hard times, as did my current husband. 🙂 Don’t dwell too much on the possibilities – I did, and it was not very healthy. Enjoy every moment, and live it to the fullest. You have so much to offer each other, and have such a beautiful supportive relationship. When the time comes, you WILL have the strength you need. God bless you both. 🙂

      • I am all for enjoying every moment! Thanks so much for sharing your story….great big hugs to you and yours! ♥

  23. oceannah says:

    ah yes, two paths diverged in the woods…
    Sometimes a wake up call comes in the middle of a nightmare and then the dreams can begin 🙂
    Prayers of peaceful transactions for you and your hubby in this circumstance.

  24. Hello. i lost my dad early and we all blamed work. It was not necessarily the complete reason for his early death as he was genetically prone to some health issues and never really took the steps in prevention that he could have. My brother slipped into a high pressure job, and then when he was about the age my dad died, he decided to have a year off to just be a father and husband. It was hard for them financially but he never looked back and one of his teenage boys who was going through a terrible time became more settled. He is back at work now – in another high pressure job – but is much more flexible and generous with his time AND he also looked hard at his diet and fitness and has taken measures to keep a track on his health..
    There are many ways of solving such dilemmas. Leaving the current job is not always the best or right decision. What I do know for sure about both my father and my brother is that they loved and cared for their families very much and were doing all the hard work because they cared for them. In my brother’s case, he is now taking the steps to start to take care of himself. Ultimately, that will hopefully mean a longer life for himself as a father / husband to his family.

    You are an amazing woman and I am sure you will find the solution that works right for you and your family. I wish you strength and patience.

    • Thanks so much for sharing. Your brother sounds like a very wise person. We are careful to eat right, relax when we can, and of course…take our vitamins. 😉 AND we do have “hope”….some days it’s just harder to find than others. Thanks for the “ear”….Blessings! ♥ paula

  25. tchistorygal says:

    Paula, I wrote this for you. It’s my long-winded story. http://wp.me/s2jC53-4526

  26. Life is a struggle and work even more so. Good luck to you and your husband (and the rest of us). Live each day to the fullest.

  27. Sharon says:

    I do understand. I can feel your pain and worry for your hubby. They are good men, your hubby and mine. They are devoted, hard working and would give the shirt off their backs to anyone that needed it. I think it’s balance that is very difficult for them to find. I will pray for peace and comfort for the family you mentioned, for the balance that is needed in our families and for those MANY nameless corporate executives who expect so much and offer so little in return. Blessings, Sharon

  28. It can be healing to vent, sometimes. The word courage contains the word rage. So if we face our rage instead of swallowing it – or running reckless with it – it may allow us to get in contact with our courage. And courage is needed for the situation you are dealing with. It also helps to create appropriate space for healthy changes where they might be neccesary.

    Much love to you and your loved ones!

  29. fredphillips says:

    It’s time for us all to get back to what really matters. Living with kindness, compassion and acceptance. Forsake the dollar for more ‘quality’ time. It’s important to express and let go. It helps keep us healthy and strong.

    Thank you for stopping by. I’m thrilled that you liked my blog!

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