When August announced that she was planning this blog fest again, I was thrilled! Here’s my post from last year’s BOAW Festival.
But then, I had no idea what to write about this time. I wrote and deleted at least three different posts. Then, this one emerged from the middle of another idea.
Life is good, isn’t it? I see so much beauty in the women around me. That is the beauty of women—weaving their lives with fullness and love and joy and excitement and strength and purpose. These are the qualities that inspire me.
Sometimes those qualities are frowned upon, depending on a woman’s stage in her life. I’ve seen many ways society makes widowed women feel odd about moving on with their lives, as if doing that in some way lessens or dishonors the memories of their late husbands. Steve wanted me to live my life and move on (see my BOAW2016 post) at my own pace. But not doing that would dishonor him and our 23 years of marriage.
We are all who we are because of our experiences and who have been in our lives. It’s beautiful to see that and to hold onto those good times and memories. I am who I am today because of my experiences with him. It’s unavoidable. I can’t be someone else.
If one thread ends, we tie it off as best we can. We add new strands. The patterns will change a little or a lot. We decide on the designs and colors of our lives. We take the beautifulness of who we are with us everywhere.
A friend told me a story about a woman who’d been widowed after a couple of decades of marriage. She remarried. Her new husband wanted her to erase everything from her life that had had anything to do with her late husband. *arches an eyebrow*
That’s like asking a woven tapestry to get rid of all the threads of a certain color. Is the weaving going to hold together after someone pulls out all the green strands? Not likely.
Well, she divorced him and went on to do her own life’s work, which was related to work that had been important to her late husband and her. She’s living a purposeful and meaningful life. In a way, she has her ex-husband to thank for his being such a selfish brat. She found better threads to weave into her tapestry.
In the last year or so, I’ve seen one of my too-young-to-be-widowed friends remarry. Another explored the idea of dating. And I’ve found a best friend in the man I started dating. New threads taking new directions, weaving new patterns.
I’ve seen my divorced friends go through a similar grieving period—mourning the loss of their former marriages. They’ve found their strength to move on and discover themselves, too.
To be clear, a single woman (single, widowed, divorced) doesn’t have to be defined by the threads that a man might bring to the loom.
The beauty of a woman is like a woven tapestry. I think this applies to men, as well. Just as we can admire the beauty of a wall hanging or a woven rug or delicately-embroidered lace, we can love and appreciate the weaving of someone else’s journey in life.
We all (women and men) deserve to have people in our lives who appreciate and love the life’s work we’ve already accomplished. And whether we continue weaving our lives with threads that represent other people or we choose to keep weaving independently, it’s a beautiful design.
In what ways have you redesigned your life’s tapestry?
This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 11th.