I think one of the things that is hardest for me in being widowed is the realization that I am truly alone. There is no one on this planet who has me as their number one priority. I am very blessed that I have many people around me that have me in their top five and top ten. But at the end of the day, I am on my own in so many things.
There is no one to ask me how my day was and allow me to have an adult conversation about it. No is there to tell me to go easy on myself. To share my parenting worries. To reassure me that I am enough.
Now, I have been creative in my solutions. I have a five year old munchkin that is great at conversation. At dinner we both talk about our days and we talk to each other just as I envision that we would if Robert were still here.
I have friends and family with kids of similar age to discuss parenting with. I have an amazing family. They are there when I need them and listen.
There is one place in particular that there is not really a good solution. I play in a symphonic band. My brother watches munchkin every week so that I can go to rehearsal. It is my two hours of grown up time that is just for me.
My family does not share my musical passion. Especially when it comes to classical music. It simply isn't their cup of tea. That is fine. What that means is that I usually perform with no one in the audience there for me. It is heartbreaking because if Robert were here, he would be there with munchkin in the audience. Now if I ask, my family will come. My dilemma is whether at my age should I be asking people to give up several hours doing something that they would not do otherwise to make me feel better. Keep in mind I have been playing for 25 years so my family has endured decades of classical concerts and performances. I have concluded over the years that it isn't fair of me to ask. Munchkin is too young to sit by himself for a concert, so he generally stays with Nana and Papa when I perform. I do bring him to my dress rehearsal and he loves it. He sits there and closes his eyes and pretends to conduct. It melts my heart to see him enjoying music so much!
Well, this particular concert, my brother planned months ago to bring munchkin. He picked him up, they rode the train went to dinner and got ice cream and came to see me play. It meant so much to be able to have him there. He cheered me on and had a great time. I could see him from my chair snuggling up on his uncle listening to the music.
My best surprise was that they brought me flowers. I cried tears for joy, it had been over five years since anyone gave me flowers after a performance.
I am not sure why it touched me so. It really did. For just a little this new normal that we live everyday didn't seem horrible and empty. Maybe it was the sheer joy and excitement on munchkin's face. He was so happy to be there and he was so happy to give me the flowers. Maybe it was the peace in my heart that there are people that do put us really really high on their lists of priorities. Maybe it was just the simple fact that this time I got to share my gift of music with people I know. People who chose to be there to listen to ME.