There’s another aspect of losing someone beyond the loneliness and pain, and it’s not exclusive to us middows© (or widows of any age, for that matter). It’s a more pragmatic facet of loss that affects single and divorced women everywhere, as well, and it’s something that will greatly affect my plans for the weekend.
My husband was very good with his hands (not like that – well, that, too, but that’s not what I’m talking about right now). He was an excellent handyman – a handsome Mr. Fix It who looked sexy in a tool belt. Possessing an extremely mechanical mind, he could fix anything, and I mean anything. If he hadn’t faced a particular issue before and couldn’t figure it out just by tinkering around with it for awhile, he had only to do an internet search and find a self-made video on whatever “it” was, and voila! good as new.
Because of this, I never had to worry about fixing things around the house. Or concern myself with routine maintenance on the car. Or stress over moving furniture or painting walls or taking out the trash. Not that I’m weak, helpless, or incapable (I once changed the tire on my car in a dress and heels while trying to prevent a rather active toddler from running off at a gas station, so I can do whatever it takes). In fact, my husband often referred to me as “feisty”; if I asked him to do something and he didn’t do it quickly enough (i.e., on my time table), I simply went ahead and did it myself. But I usually didn’t have to because he always did it for me… for us. And he enjoyed it. He got great satisfaction of finding a solution and making whatever change necessary to repair whatever was broken. In all aspects of his life.
Now, I am “strong like bull” according to my friends, and my husband once proudly showed me off at party saying “watch her pick me up” at a time when he outweighed me by nearly 100 pounds. So while I am not a diva or a debutante, I have been happily distanced from having to worry about, or even know about, certain things. Until now.
Our kitchen sink started to give us a problem a few weeks before my husband’s heart attack. Fixing it was on his “honey do” list, which he created, by the way. He kept a running mental tab on all the things that needed fixing or would need fixing in the future. It kept me from being a nagging wife, although truth be told, I never really had to be. (And apparently, what I considered nagging he didn’t. And I have it in writing!)
Now the task of fixing our leaky faucet has fallen to me, however. So this weekend, I’ll likely be doing my own online research, then making a trip to one of those big box hardware stores and tackling the kitchen sink. By myself. I’m not a fan of giant aisles with bin after bin after bin of little screws and bolts and washers and whatnots that all look too much the same to me. (I’ve got at least one friend who could live there… very happily, I might add. Not my thing.)
Anyway, I’m fairly sure it won’t be too difficult (although I’m already a bit lost trying to determine where the main water valve is). I’m not looking forward to the project because unlike my husband, I don’t get satisfaction by making repairs, and can think of a dozen other things I’d rather do. It will be nice not to have to wiggle the faucet just so to prevent it from subjecting us all to Chinese water torture all day (and all night) long, though.
Unless I completely botch the whole thing. In which case, I’ll have a sad but humorous tale to tell in another blog. So maybe it’s a win-win after all…
[* – I have been finding great comfort in reading through old texts from my husband. I’ve found myself laughing and smiling more scrolling back over months of communications between us. Most of them are just silly everyday married “chatter”, but there are plenty of humorous, sweet, and loving ones mixed in, as well. More of these exchanges may find their way into future blogs.]
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