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

EP Snider’s dream came to fruition when she published a book at age 69. She continues to share her thoughts and stories with a humorous twist on Wordpress and Facebook.
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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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