I don’t know if anyone noticed, but under the “Mars Girl” title on the right-hand side of my blog page, I have made a little change… The description used to read:
Who is Mars Girl? I’m a young widow, avid cyclist, sometimes amateur astronomer, world traveler, and relisher of red wines.
It now reads (changes in bold):
Who is Mars Girl? I’m an avid cyclist, sometimes amateur astronomer, world traveler, and relisher of red wines and craft brews.
Well, it’s true. I’ve recently developed a taste for craft beers.
Oh, yes, and I’ve dropped “young widow” from the list of items describing me.
I decided it was time to stop identifying myself as a young widow. I’m not in a state of denial about my past. My new love and relationship doesn’t erase the pain of the past. Crow does not replace Mike in my heart. (He has his own place in my heart.) However, my world has changed. It’s undeniable. In a little over 7 months, I will be married for the second time in my life. I won’t be widowed, technically, any more. I will be someone who was widowed once. Someday, the one-time widowhood might be “a long, long time ago.” Hell, it already feels that way. This is good.
I thought about changing that paragraph to describe this scenario–something like an allusion to a phoenix rising from the ashes. Well, maybe not that dramatic. But I wanted to find words to describe what I feel I am: someone who prematurely and tragically lost the first love of her life, suffered a lot of pain, went through a lot of self-reflection, healed herself through avid cycling and the passage of time, learned to love life for herself by going out into the world and doing what she wanted, and then just so happened to find a wonderful man and fell in love again. But that’s a mouthful. And, also, it sounded too Hallmark channel for me. And a part of me is still sensitive to a recently widowed audience who would maybe have been a little disturbed by the language. I know it used to make me feel as if I couldn’t relate to the widow if they were finding themselves in a new relationship or getting remarried.
It is what is it is, as they say. I don’t want to be the voice for anyone else’s experience but my own. I’m glad I have a happy new beginning to my life. But it’s really just another of many new beginnings. Everything that happens to you in life is an opportunity for a new beginning. Even the tragic loss of a spouse. Some beginnings are happy, some are sad. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to have many happy new beginnings with Crow.
I’m lucky. Or fortunate. Whatever you want to call it. And I don’t for one second take any of that for granted. I’ve been given a chance to share my life with someone and I’m grateful.
And that’s that. I’m no longer a young widow, but soon-to-be a (not as young) wife.