Another first  has come and gone— the first month  that I  have been in Florida  without my hubby for the first time,    has passed.  I have survived and in some ways I have thrived.  When I accomplish something I continue to throw my arms up in the air and shout I DID IT- a ritual I learned from my younger grandchildren However I still don’t shout as loud as they  do because I still don’t want my neighbours to think I am completely bonkers.

After the initial horror of the first few days walking into the  Florida condo, without my spouse and then losing internet, television  and telephone service the first day due to a mishap involving Atlantic Broadband, things have gone reasonably well. Sure I still miss him and get lonely and when I see an attractive white haired man I sometimes think it is him– until with a jolt, I remember, However I am not living the horrific nightmare of last season  watching him  struggle for breath every time he took a few steps. The worst has already happened. He is gone.

I did have  one frightening experience and felt very vulnerable and very alone. I describe it below.

I Had a Bad Day, What a Bad Day I had.

The day and evening before my bad day I was experiencing mild shooting pains in my right temple and eye. When I woke up in the morning , I went to my computer . I was seeing double.I panicked and called my son in Toronto who is  an optometrist. he suggested I see an optometrist in the area to check my eyes. I found an old local phonebook and made an apointment at an office in the area. They did me a favour and squeezed me in for 10 A.M.  I wrote the address down and even had the presence  of mind to enter it in my I- phone. I called my son back and gave him the particulars to where I was going in case he wanted to confer with the doctor. I then called a taxi. I could have called a friend or neighbour but I didn’t want to spoil anyones day. I paid the taxi driver $10 for a minute and a half ride. Had I known it was so close I would have walked. I went into the building and searched for the suite number. It was vacant. Once again I panicked. It was already 5 to 10. I thought– “well  I will phone them–maybe I copied down the wrong address.” Then I discovered although I had recorded the address in note form and in my I-phone I had failed to record the phone number.  I walked into the only occupied office in the building and asked if they knew of this doctor. They didn’t. Phone books are practically obsolete. They didn’t have one and their computers were down. What to do ? I called long distance to my son in Toronto. I had given him the phone number. After obtaining it from him, I  called the office. The phone number in the old phone book was the same but they had moved to a new location a few years ago. The receptionist said the new office was only a couple of minutes away and the Doctor would see me when I arrived. Sure the office was only a couple minutes by car but I was walking and it  took me nearly a half hour. It was hot. I couldn’t see,  I was light headed because I hadn’t eaten breakfast.I was nervous and a little queazy There was heavy traffic . I obey traffic lights but many drivers here think it is their mission to run down as many pedestrians as they can. Against all odds I made it safely to the office. The doctor was very nice. Everything checked out okay- no macular degeneration , no detached retina, just the very beginnings of one cataract and the optic nerve appeared to be okay. However she suggested just to make sure I  should see an Ophthalmologist Neurologist.I walked across the road to make an apointment with the specialist.. I would have to wait a week.It would be expensive and it would probably be a hassle to get my out of country health insurance to cover it. I took a taxi home, My eyes are better I only see one image at a time. and at the advice of my son  and the advice of a poolside friend who is the wife of a Boston optometrist, I try to moderate my computor use { hard to do when one likes to blog and write} and I use eye drops every day. I speak to my son frequently and will check further if necessary when I return home in the spring.  To add insult to misery , somewhere along the way I lost my favourite back sweater. I called the various places I was but it is lost and gone forever, oh my darling black sweater. When my friend heard about my misadventure she said she always thought  it was my hubby who attracted Mr. Murphy and lived life according  to his law– “Whatever can go wrong will”.  Now she is convinced it is me. Oh “Why Me?”

I have done nice things with friends . With two groups of friends it is a ritual for us snow birds to get together for reunions. This year was no different except I went without my mate. Both groups went back to the same restaurant as last year. I thought it would really bother me especially when in both cases we were given the same table as last year. I surprised myself . I felt D. was with us as did some of our friends.

I have made new friendships here and have attended, movies,  art shows and  events with both friends and relatives.  Sometimes would prefer to stay home and mope , but my older daughter encouraged me to go out , or people will stop asking me to join them.   D still had a lot of living to do. I will try and live for the two of us ,as I begin this  new chapter of my life.







About epsnider

E.P SNIDER is the pen name that I used to publish "WHY ME- a memoir". I used a pen name so as not to embarrass my spouse, my offspring, their offspring, my grand dogs and my friends. A dream came true when I had my first book published at the age of sixty-nine. "WHY ME? "is a collection of memoirs recounted from various stages of my life and the lives of those that I love or like at least some of the time. Most of the incidences are humorous-some are not. I am a senior but I feel more like a junior except for the aches and pains. When I look in the mirror I often see my mother or some other aging lady with wrinkles and sun spots. The amount and depth of wrinkling depends on which mirror I am looking into, the degree of lighting and how well my skin absorbed the moisturizing cream that day. Although I am mature in years, maturity is definitely not one of my virtues. If something strikes me as funny I get the giggles. Most of my family and many of our friends have a rather warped sense of humour-so I giggle a lot. Laughter plays an important role in our lives. My friends were a significant inspiration for me to begin my writing career. For the past number of years hubby and I have been spending part of the winter season in Florida to escape the sometimes bitter cold climate in Toronto Canada. Every year I send emails to those left behind. To my delight they find my emails to be hysterical and a cure for their winter doldrums. They compare my style of writing to that of the late Erma Bombeck. For those of you not familiar with the author-- she was a beloved American humorist in the 1970's and 1980's. I have loved literature and creative writing from an early age. I spent some of my growing up years in Alberta and won a prize for a best poem commemorating Alberta's bicentennial year. My grade seven teacher was a large and forceful woman, with white hair and course bristly white chin hairs to match. We were all intimidated by her and thus listened intently as she drilled us about parsing sentences and adverbs and adjectives. She provided me with a good basis of the English language. In addition to "Why Me" I have had a short essay published in a book of assorted memoirs by Canadian woman. I currently write for our Toronto Condominium newspaper. I hope to do more writing, although I am not sure if my family can cope with any more of my meltdowns when blocks of written material mysteriously disappear off of my computor. I admit I am computor and electronically challenged, but I will persevere. - - - - - - - - - - - Writing has been a passion of mine through out my life. Ever since I took a step forward and entered into the world of computers, a new world of opened up for me. I found myself engrossed in writing emails with lengthy updates about my life's recent highlights. To my delight, people found me...funny! I then offered to write for my condo newsletter, and I recently had a short memoir published. For the last several years I became glued to my computer, transferring my hand-written life adventure notes to an actual story of my life's defining moments. Finally, at the age of 69, I was done... I wrote a book! AND it's actually published. People are reading it. People are enjoying it. I am thrilled! Plus, it's one of the greatest gifts I could ever give my family. Talk about a dream come true. My advice to you: Think positive, keep your eye on the prize, and you too can enjoy as your dreams and desires come to fruition.
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  1. mycatgrady says:

    Hi Elaine, good to read this latest from you…sounds like you’re gaining ground and coming to grips with all sorts of ‘reality’…pleased and happy for you…Remember, ‘to everything there is a season’…Big steps and Little steps..they both create a path…..
    We’re leaving for JA on February 16th…time has passed and it’s time for part two of yet another winter away from Toronto…..funny how when we first started doing this I thought I would never be able to stay away for a month, we’re up to four months at this point…pretty sure that will be it..we’ll see.
    Hang in there…life is an adventure and we’re at the age to embrace every day, good or bad…



  2. I’m sure he was with you, Elaine. I hope the eye situation gets better and is nothing too serious. I’m glad you’re moving on and enjoying your new life. You’re very courageous. ((HUGS))


  3. Good for you Elaine. You are surviving with a terrific attitude. I don’t know if I could do as well. Sounds like you have great kids and good friends too. It’s not the same as a hubby but a hell of a lot better than no support network.


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