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Five years ago tomorrow I wrote this.
She is still gone. I am still here. My world is still lonelier than it was five years ago.
I still love her. I still miss her. I will love and miss her for the rest of my life. She was my best friend and my closest advisor. She was never afraid to call BS on me when I deserved it. Part of me is in the grave with her and always will be.
Life goes on. Things have improved from five years ago. I went from broke to wealthy – at least my standard of wealthy.* A second son has married and my married children have given me three grandchildren to enjoy. (The oldest looks just like my late wife did when my wife was that granddaughter’s age.) I have the best job I have ever had in my life, working on NASA’s Lunar Gateway. I have been invited to write a book for The Anatomy of the Ship series. That puts me at the top of my professional game in the two fields that matter most to me. I am in good health. Life is good. Lonely, but good.
I would trade it all to have Janet back, but that is not happening. So I continue to go forward.
For those wondering, I am dating. Living alone stinks, so I am seeking someone to be the second Mrs. Seawriter. However 2020-2021 was not a great time to seek a mate. Covid slammed the door on that just as I was ready to venture out. The world is only now beginning to return to what it was before then. Plus, it needs to be the right woman.
Yes, I am being choosy. The inflexible thing is that whomever I marry has to understand that I still love my late wife and always will, and not feel jealous or intimidated by that. That I have room to love another as well. One of the women I am seeing is a widow, who lost her husband to cancer the year before I lost Janet. She understands that, especially since she still loves her late husband. I do not discourage that and she does not discourage my love for Janet.
There is more (of course). I do not want to get involved with anyone capable of having children who has not had them. To go through life without having raised children is something I view as a tragedy. As I am in my sixties, I consider myself past my sell-by date when it comes to having more children. Even assuming I found someone of child-bearing age
foolish enough willing to marry me, I could not see myself putting a woman in the position of choosing me over the opportunity for a child.
I want to find someone who is smart, and with a sense of humor. That is more important to me than looks. (It was the first time around. I honestly never noticed how good-looking Janet was when I decided she was the one. Her smarts and humor sealed the deal with me.) Someone in reasonably good health. I would kind of like not to outlive the second Mrs. Seawriter. I would go through losing another spouse again, and stick to her until the bitter end again, but I would rather not. (Selfish, I know, but I am probably good for another twenty years, and don’t want another hole in my heart.) I would hope she shared the same religion as me, or if not, respect my belief. Definitely not crazy. I am too old for crazy. I want a friend, though – and hopefully a good advisor.
It sounds transactional. It is and it is not. Love develops from a solid foundation. I spent three years laying that foundation with Janet before we married. Nearly 50 years later I realize how important that was. (And how lucky I was.) You don’t find what you are looking for unless you know what you want. I’ve been loved by the best, and hope lighting will strike twice.
* Wealthy means you can maintain the lifestyle at which you wish to live and are comfortable in without working. It is not a matter of salary or savings. You could have ten times what I have, but if you are spending it twenty times faster you are not rich – you are high-level working poor.Published in