I hosted a Christmas Bridal Shower today in my, new to me, home. And, as I was cleaning up the kitchen,  wiping down silver trays, and soaking dishes, I realized just how fortunate I had been. For almost 28 years you had been the doer in every single function we hosted; from supper club, Christmas parties, bridal showers, baby showers, all of it. You were the one who polished the silver, set the serving dishes out, the glassware, arranged the flowers. You did this to help me and because you truly loved it.


You taught our daughter’s the true Southern art of cleaning silver and the pride in completing a task. You were a gem. I hope I thanked you. It wasn’t that I took you for granted, it was that we were a team. The deal was always I planned the events,  planned the menu, made our house a home, did the food prep and cooked. It just worked for us. Today? I realized what a true honest to goodness rarity of a man you were. I hope you knew that. I hope I told you enough.


As the last of the guests left my home, I smiled wondering if you would approve.  Silly, I know. But my life now, I see, is a gift you have given me.  I know most widows don’t look at their new lives that way. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there have been months of sorrow and anguish. And  days I force myself to put one step in front of the other. But this beautiful new home that I was able to purchase? It was a gift from you. I am grateful.


My home makes me smile and it is warm and happy. There are no traces what so ever of wheelchairs, hoyer lifts, roll in showers, respirators, cough assists, hospital beds, family strife or death. No, this new house breathes life. It has pictures of the artwork we had collected over the decades. It has walls lined with our daughters grade school pictures. There are a few treasured pictures of you. In my bedroom hangs our wedding portrait. I thought that was a sacred place~ where it should be.


Today I smiled. I smiled because I hosted a Christmas brunch. Today I smiled because I know you would have probably gone behind me straightening this or that or redone the silver. Today I smiled because for the first time in two Christmases? I smiled.




Elizabeth was married to her college sweet heart for over 27 years. She is the mother of two beautiful grown daughters, writer by degree, Eastern North Carolinian, learning to walk by faith as a widow post ALS with a Golden Retriever named Henry. You can find Elizabeth on Instragam @elizabethwwooten or on her blog www.thisgracefilledspace.com