We know the story of the widow's mite in Scripture. This past weekend, I met two recently widowed women, who, while still mourning a great loss, were able to participate in our family's annual celebration of life. I salute their courage.
While engaged in a deep conversation with the one, she related her desire to reach out to other women in similar circumstances. We discussed her starting a blog on the lessons and the journey of widowhood, of the restoration of joy, of the rediscovery of her own person—her unique identity—these many months after her husband's passing.
Her intelligent and clear articulation of lessons she's learned inspired me personally. At seventy-something, she’s bright, full of life, passion, and a richness of wisdom I can only aspire to. Yet, she timidly asked what I thought of her starting a blog that openly deals with the struggles and joys of widowhood from one who has been there.
It was all I could do to keep from shaking her till her freckles fell off! YES! Get the blog up!
Our culture doesn't value age; it doesn't value wisdom unless it can generate capital. We don't value pain. Yet, these things create a complete human being with the ability to focus on someone other than self, to reach out and grow and become. This woman exudes grace under pressure, and in the rediscovery of former loves—art, music, and painting—she has come to a joyful acceptance of this season in her life. In resolve, she pushes onward and the twinkle in her eye tells me she will succeed magnificently. I salute her resolve.
In sharing her story with me, she explained the only way she could have navigated these stormy waters was because of Jesus—her constant Friend, Companion, Comforter—her Champion. Giving Him credit for where she's been and where she’s at set the stage for where she’s going. I salute her humbleness.
I don’t know what she will title her blog, but when it's up, I'll let you know. Until then, value the older women in your life, learn from them, and celebrate with them. Cry when they remember lost loved ones, laugh when the joy returns to their eyes, dance with them when they achieve. When they paint, sing, dance, hike, camp, and go on cattle drives—celebrate!
When they take on life with fists clenched, arms cocked, and feet firmly planted, salute them. When they choose zumba over the RV junket to Phoenix, salute them. When they choose karate over rocking chairs, salute them. Value their wisdom, treasure their contributions. And be sure to let them know it—often.