Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Widow's Endorphins: Paper for the First Year

Widow's Endorphins: Paper for the First Year: Paper for the first, then cotton for the second year, and leather for the third.  Wedding anniversaries have their own traditional gif...

Paper for the First Year


Paper for the first, then cotton for the second year, and leather for the third.  Wedding anniversaries have their own traditional gifts.  A couple's 25th wedding anniversary is known as the Silver Anniversary.  Couples exchange gifts of silver between themselves, or perhaps family and friends present them with an engraved silver tray.  The Golden Wedding anniversary celebrates 50 years of marriage, with a gift of something gold.  The rare Diamond Anniversary, celebrates 60 years together.  If you survive to celebrate a near-impossible 90 years of marriage, an ominous gift of granite is appropriate!

There are no gifts for widows, observing what we call an angelversary.  No lists of what every widow may wish to give herself.  No suggestions for her friends looking for just the right little something.

Why reinvent the wheel?  Traditional anniversary gifts, work just as well to mark each year of widowhood.  Paper for the first year anniversary, is perfect, because you go through a lot of Kleenex that first year.  Cotton pillowcases for the second year, because while you're still crying, you mostly do it into your pillow, and not at the supermarket (as much).  Leather boots for the third year, because you have to, "stand on your own two feet", and "stand up for yourself", on this grief journey.  No one would want to walk a mile in a widow's shoes. 

Truly, the greatest gifts you can give a widow, are the gifts of love, friendship and kindness; listening without judgement; time; and laughter.  There's no need to wait for an anniversary, either.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who include me in their lives.  The love and kindness of family and friends means so much.  Being remembered throughout the week, or on special occasions gives me a sense of belonging, and being appreciated.  What a wonderful gift! 

Widows grieve each in their own way, and all need time.  One of the worst things you can say is, "get over it".  Some of my widowed friends have been told this, less than a week after the death of their husband!  Although the gut-wrenching pain and terror, and the zombie like days ease after the first several months, no one is ever quite the same.  You don't get over such a great loss.  You live with it. 

Widows like to say their husband's name, without watching someone wince, or look away.  So many of my widowed friends want nothing more than to talk about their happy memories with their husbands, and are stifled, or forced to change the subject.  Speaking your husband's name only once a day, when he is ever-present on your mind, shows real restraint.

I don't know a widow who doesn't enjoy a good laugh.  In fact, healing often begins the day you realize that you laughed for the first time in weeks, or months.  Laughter really is the best medicine, and lightens up even the saddest of days.  Every day, my sister, cousin, or dear friends send me a funny video, Facebook meme, or email that makes me laugh out loud.  What a difference that makes!

I'm off to the jeweler.  The leather strap on my husband's watch - the watch I've worn every day since he died - slipped off my wrist a few days ago.  I'd say it was just in time.  Today is our leather angelversary.



Photographs Copyright of:  Ruth Adams, Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Widow's Endorphins: Thanksgiving Gifts

Widow's Endorphins: Thanksgiving Gifts: It's Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.  I took a walk through the park next door, and was awestruck by the abundance of colour, and ...

Thanksgiving Gifts



It's Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.  I took a walk through the park next door, and was awestruck by the abundance of colour, and shapes in the garden.  The Maple tree on the path leading to the garden, is ablaze with colour, even though its leaves are still green.  How could that be?  Fiery orange leaves and deep purple berries of Virginia Creeper vines, have intertwined through the green leafed branches of the tree.

Take a virtual walk with me, and enjoy the gifts of the garden...it will be a feast for the eyes! 


Carefree and breezy Japanese Anenomes - the essence of a late Summer day - continue to thrive in abundance.  These add so much life to an Autumn garden.  Their bright pink and yellow faces, seem to laugh at the coming Winter.  



The Daisies aren't ready to say goodbye to Summer either.  The buds promise that they'll soon burst open by the hundreds.  



These days, the buzzing of the bees is a little quieter, although they can still be seen drifting from flower to flower.  This pale honey-coloured bee was silently working on a blue-centred African Daisy.



We don't think of yellow Irises and deep blue Lavender as part of a Thanksgiving bouquet.  They're usually found in an Easter, or Mothers' Day arrangement.  Yet, here is a shorter variety which grows strong and vibrant in Ocober.


Here's another Thanksgiving surprise... this candy cane striped Dahlia reminds me of Christmas!  What a festive garden! 


The Dahlias have really thrived this year, blooming from May through the Fall season.  The ones in the park next door, have produced bloom after beautiful, healthy bloom of brightly coloured flowers.  There's so much variety too...


The once billowy, angelic looking Paniculata Hydrangea have turned to shades of pink and light maroon - their tender petals, now dry and paper thin.  


A rock star in rock gardens, Sedum Cauticola is only starting to bloom now.  A native of Japan, this plant produces thousands of tiny starbursts of pink flowers every Fall.   


There's such a variety of colour, size and shape of plants in the garden at this time of year.  The muted colours and soft feathery stalks of Japanese Pampas Grass, add contrast and interest in the garden. 


Even the remains of Black Eyed Susan flowers are oddly attractive in this garden...


Thank you for taking this lovely walk with me.  Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Oh, look!  The garden has a bouquet of roses for us!



Photographs Copyright of:  Ruth Adams, Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Widow's Endorphins: Healing the World, One Heart at a Time

Widow's Endorphins: Healing the World, One Heart at a Time: "later that night i held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered where does it hurt ? ...

Healing the World, One Heart at a Time



"later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere."
- Warsan Shire


"World Peace must develop from inner peace.  Peace is not just mere absence of violence.  Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion."
- The Dalai Lama


"Do not wait for leaders;  do it alone, person to person."
 - Mother Teresa 


"Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
- St Francis of Assisi




"Darkness cannot drive out darkness:  only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate:  only love can do that."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.  I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings..."
- The Dalai Lama


"Love is a way of being, not something you give.  When a person is truly loving, he is love."
- Deepak Chopra



Photograph Copyright of:  Ruth Adams, Widow's Endorphins Photographic Images Incorporated.

Friday, 29 September 2017