by Jim Winner.
Hello friends. I haven’t written much lately. I’ve been lurking, watching, learning, and observing you, my brothers, on our collective paths. As of this writing, I am three years and three months into my journey. If there were a grief degree, I, like many of you, would hold a Ph.D. For the past six months or so, I’ve been feeling two things. Insignificant and unsettled. Joyce and I retired early and had a life filled with adventure, travel, and involvement with different organizations. After her passing, however, a lot of that changed. I tried staying involved with the same things. I tried getting involved with new things. Nothing felt the same. Nothing felt quite right. Like the Neil Diamond lyrics, I felt “Lost between two shores.”
For the past several months, I’ve considered returning to my western Pennsylvania hometown. I have blood there. I have friends there. The older I get, the more I want and need to be closer to blood. The two best friends I have in Indiana are also widowers. Each of these men has recently met new women and has relocated to be closer to their new-found loves. I’m happy for them, but I miss their companionship. I find myself grieving their leaving.
In life, we all need a purpose. We need a reason to get up in the morning. I was recently contacted by a dear friend who is having some challenges in his business. This business is in an industry I’m very familiar with and is located close to my hometown. In short, I’ve agreed to help him get his business back on track. That involvement and being productive has added a sense of significance to my being.
So, these days, I find myself in Pennsylvania more than in Indiana. It’s been a blessing because it allows me to spend time here as a part-time resident and not just as an occasional visitor. How does it turn out? Where do I end up? Will I move? I do not know. Only time will tell. I know it feels good to be in the hills of Pennsylvania, close to family and dear long-time friends. It feels like I am returning to my roots. Know this; I will be listening and watching for signs and opportunities that may help me find the right answer.
I encourage you to be open continually. What worked for you as a married couple doesn’t necessarily work for you as a single person. It’s not supposed to. It doesn’t have to. Keep being flexible. Keep listening and looking. Never stop living, loving, learning, and looking for what brings you joy. May you never stop. Blessings to you, my brothers.