belated anniversary

It’s been 2 years since my gastric bypass. I went into surgery on October 11, 2012. I didn’t realize the date had passed, probably because of Jerry.

In that time a lot has happened and I’ve changed as well. I’m in better health, I’ve done several 5Ks and one half marathon. I am more relaxed in yoga class, I can keep up and no longer feel like I have to prove I belong there, that I’m capable. Although there are still some poses I can’t do I notice that I’m not the only one and most of these people are younger than me. I look better too.

Even though it’s been 2 years I’m surprised when I look at myself in the mirror. I still pick larger sizes out of habit when I go shopping. I’ve lost 70 pounds, not as much as some gastric bypass patients but still pretty dramatic. I know I’m physically smaller and I am trying to see myself as I look now, not how I used to look. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Eating is perhaps the most obvious change. I occasionally eat fish and chicken, though usually not together. It wasn’t for religious reasons. I lost my taste for beef and pork, they don’t make me sick and I can still digest them but they don’t taste as good as before. A friend of mine decided to give up all meat except for fish for health reasons and I thought it sounded like a good idea but giving up most animal flesh came from my own stomach and taste buds. I did not lose my taste for chocolate. I eat smaller meals, more like snacks and I eat more of these small meals. I take my multivitamin and calcium supplements every day too. I almost live on low-fat protein bars but have avoided protein drinks, lost my fondness for them during the liquid diet phase before my surgery.

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beginning widowhood

Technically I am not a widow; Jerry and I were legally divorced when he died although we were living together at the time. Since we were married for more than 20 years,more than half my life, I consider myself a widow. I refer to him as my husband to most people, it’s easier and I feel I owe it to him.

Getting used to his absence, remembering that he’s not here anymore is pretty routine now. I go into the back room where he died and put away my laundry but can’t bring myself to stay there, why it’s become a storage room. I am adjusting, something I tell people if they ask how I’m doing. It doesn’t happen much any more

Some things have surprised me. Like getting life insurance offers for Jerry in the mail. Having Facebook suggest
“I’m not a widow, I’m a wife whose husband is waiting” t-shirts. Having Facebook and Yahoo suggest dating sites.

I don’t think the insurance companies have updated info, why they send junk mail that I rip up and throw away. The other two are presumptuous and while I roll my eyes at them I also wonder how many women have felt traumatized. Being reminded of your loss and pain by sparkly letters is bad enough but making a profit from it is reprehensible. The dating stuff is just insulting, as if your mourning ended when the funeral ended and it’s time to find someone already. The bills and creditors are nothing compared to this, dealing with them is business. They know Jerry is gone and don’t tell me how I should live. They just want money and I appreciate that honesty.