Moving three times this past year had one advantage: I did/do not have to walk around a home where Chuck and I spent so many days. I’ve talked to other widows and some say it’s hard, others not so much. Still, there are reminders everywhere. Lots of chairs. 

The chair he curled up in the one time he really cried about what was happening to him, where he wondered who would be his pallbearers. The two blue chairs that were in our kitchen where he’d often sit in the morning to read or drink coffee are now in my living room. The two wicker chairs on my front porch are the ones that were on our back porch in Alabama, where we drank wine and played Scrabble. My little recliner where he sat every day of his illness, developing a pressure ulcer, until the kids bought him a huge electric recliner. The night before he died he sat again in the little recliner for a few minutes, trying to get some relief. My daughter and I shoved it around with him in it, trying to get him comfortable. 

There are the special mugs he drank from, his books that I kept, his hats, and the records. The music is what stirs me the most, whether listening to an album we loved or singing a hymn in church.

He never sat at the table where I now sit. He never sat on the tiny blue loveseat I bought. But, he would have loved the big front porch at this house I now call home.

I won’t remember or forget based on things, but I’m glad I have these reminders around me. They are bittersweet comforters.


“Music I heard with you was more than music,

And bread I broke with you was more than bread.

Now that I am without you, all is desolate,

All that was once so beautiful now is dead.” 

– From Music I Heard by Conrad Aiken


Angie Bell was born in Georgia but raised in Florida to where she recently returned after six years in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a former teacher who loves hiking, photography, and writing, often combining all three.

After planning for several years, working on a way to live on a shoestring budget, Angie’s husband of 41 years put in for early retirement so they could move back home. They put their house on the market and had a contract within four days. Less than two weeks later her husband was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. They decided to transfer his care and move back to Jacksonville, Florida, renting a furnished apartment and hoping for a miracle. One month later he was gone. After her third move in less than a year, Angie is now in Tampa where her grandchildren live, trying to find her way in her new life. God, in His mercy, has put numerous other widows in her life and a new empathy for this sisterhood she never would have chosen.