The second annual Modern Widows Club Empowerment Weekend just ended; I wasn’t there.
Last year I pulled on my big-girl panties, just a few months after Rick’s death, and drove over to Orlando to see if the group might be helpful to me. I already wrote about my experience, but suffice it to say that emotionally where I was then and am now are worlds apart. Last year I was one of the oldest widows at the event, and one of the newest. I couldn’t imagine having the same giving heart, joy and laughter I saw in some of the other widows who had been on the journey longer than I.
Yet here I am. Heart-full and joy-full.
Those widows showed me the way by sharing how they built new lives and even new loves. Many found themselves raising children as single mothers, returning to school or work to find new careers — but even more notable to me – becoming role models! Once they had found their way to other widows for mentoring, they, in turn, sought to be guides as well. The seminars and social gatherings were uplifting and informative; I proudly wore my MWC tiara back home from the weekend.
Carolyn Moor is the founder of the Modern Widows Club, and she’s fabulous. Two other women emerged from last year’s conference for me as well. One is a bit older and co-runs a club chapter in the southeast. The other is quite a bit younger and remarried. We are Facebook friends, so we know a bit about what is going on in each other’s lives; we have had some private conversations as well when the going gets tough. I am grateful for both of them.
I have progressed to the point where I am emotionally stable most of the time, and I have tried to be of counsel to other widows in my life. So why didn’t I attend the Modern Widows Club Empowerment Weekend again this year? I don’t have a good answer. Stasis? Focus on my new beau? A been there/done that attitude? None of those reasons are satisfactory.
If I am realistic with myself, I still hate being put in the box of widowhood, so I immediately shy away from being clumped with other women in the same situation – yet I am more than willing to inject myself into a one-on-one situation if I can be helpful. And I really, really, liked the variety of ladies I met last year. If the widow label was removed from all of us, we’d still just have been a gathering of women enjoying our time together.
Maybe I need to plan to attend the third annual Empowerment Weekend!