Since I have been widowed, I have spent a lot of time observing couples, far more than when I was a happily married woman. I smiled on hearing a conversation between a young man and a young woman in a coffee shop. She; ‘You are wrong, I’ve told you so over and over,  and if I agreed with you, we would both be wrong, you know!’ He ; he grunted.

In a supermarket, I heard a woman with long, blond hair and well-manicured blue nails, complaining about trivialities and it was her boyfriend’s response that impressed me. ‘Stop taking  yourself so seriously. No one else does, you know.’

A middle-aged woman to a friend; “If only I’d known that my husband was going to die in a traffic accident. If only I’d agreed to buy the new television screen that he had his heart set on.” Her friend’s reply, ‘Stop auditing your life. Get on with it. Move on. We all tend to say if only but it doesn’t help, you know. Make the most of it. All that really matters is that you loved and were loved, so consider yourself one of the lucky ones,’ and with that, they disappeared, wandering along the lines of well-packed shelves.

When I hear someone moaning about something insignificant, I am tempted to say, ‘No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. Your life is a gift.’ My late husband taught me not to grieve for the things I did not have, rather, to rejoice in what I had. If the day was a bad one, it was simply that, and not necessarily a bad life. He often said, ‘Let your past make you better and not bitter.’ Not an easy task to accomplish.

When a retired man sighed and complained that his life was hard, I was tempted to ask, ‘compared to what? If you can walk, step outside at last once a day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.’

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