It has been a really cold winter in Arizona. I am sure all you readers back east are rolling your eyes about now, but it has seriously been cold as far as Arizona standards go. We are not accustomed to several nights of below freezing temperatures. I had one neighbor that unpacked all of his outdoor worthy Christmas lights and put them on his trees for the warmth. I laughed at this every morning while on my way to work. Yeah, I laughed until I realized the freeze killed my ficus tree and miscellaneous other bushes. The freeze also busted one of my corral pipes. This is a corral that I don't use so the thought never crossed my mind to insulate this pipe with a blanket or something similar on those below freezing nights.
A few weeks ago upon arriving home from work I was greeted by my neighbor. He informed me about the busted corral pipe. He had been outside when it busted and was able to shut my water off at the main right away. For him I was grateful. He even said he was going to fix it but did not have the right size PVC. Well now, thank you very much Mr. Neighbor!
I called my plumber who came out right away and had it fixed within 90 minutes of me making the call.
I know that a lot of the help I get is because of my "Widow Card". While there are times that I readily use my Widow Card there are also times when it is somewhat embarrassing and I feel really guilty. Women who are single by choice don't have this advantage nor do divorced women. Us widows get one handed to us immediately and in the beginning it is a tough card to play because it is hard to say "I am a widow". As time passes those words get easier to say and it is learned that the Widow Card is often a free pass. Once I got used to it I played my Widow Card frequently, but lately I have stopped using it so much. It has been 16 months since TJ passed and the feelings of guilt when using it outweigh the benefits, especially if it is someone who knows when TJ died. I feel like they are thinking, "good grief Sandy, at some point you are going to have to deal with things on your own!" While nobody has said this to me, I am afraid of them feeling that way. I am really not a helpless woman, but I do miss having a man to do some things that I just don't want to do.
I am not sure what the expiration date is on my Widow Card or if it even expires. I do know that I intend to use it sparingly and not overload it. I also know that it is a card I never wanted and never thought I would have, hell, I didn't even know such a thing existed. If given the opportunity I would gladly return it. It was given to me too soon. Yes, the Widow Card can help me, but just by having one I lost out on so much.