Valeria is a Messianic Christian Widow. Valeria likes scenic walks & adventurous daytrips, urban gardening, colorful yarnwork, to read, listen to/share music, & gal-pal days. Valeria does Pinterest, and very vociferously documents life and a variety of current topics on Blogger and FB.
I am not a religious
person, BUT I DO observe specific Shabbat things – not everything that is
traditionally observed by Jews globally; because as I already stated, I am not
a religious person. I do make Challah and eat it with Honey Butter … and I
drink 1 goblet of wine at sunset Fridays, and 1 goblet of wine at sunset on
Saturdays. I haven’t been able to do the candle lighting yet; and I haven't been able to put on Shabbat music either – I have the music, and the pretty
brass Shabbat Candle Holder, but it is too painful to do by myself at this
time (the Sabbath was something Bob & I did together for decades after he became a Messianic Christian, with me). Maybe later on I can do those things again with gladness. The Father knows my heart; He understands that healing takes time …
Wine is a very beneficial Biblical drink that can help the healing process when drank in the right way: with self-discipline. The Psalmist sang, "Thou dost cause grass to grow for the cattle and plants for men to cultivate that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man's heart (Psalm 104:14-15).
And “A merry
heart does good, like medicine;but a broken
spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22).
Sampling fruit of the vine as perfectly acceptable for a Christian ;-) Drinking wine is okay - drunkenness is the sin.
But I don’t get all ‘traditional’ on the Sabbath, because I don’t want to get caught up in a religious ritual that Yeshua came to
abolish. The rabbis attached too many things to what was Elohim’s original
So I keep things light and
simple, while still being faithful to do as Elohei commanded.
I am a Messianic Jew …
but, I am also a Christian: the 2 are intertwined as Yeshua exampled, and commanded.
While Shabbat occurs on
Friday evening and through to Saturday evening, it is more than simply another day of the week. It
is a special day and we invest it with specialness. Friday and Saturday come
automatically, but Shabbat takes place only when we make it happen. We prepare
for Shabbat by the clothes we wear, by the meals we eat, by the lighting of
Sabbath candles, and by blessing the wine to set apart at this special time. We are in the presence of a King on Shabbat. And we welcome His heavenly ambassadors too.
I chose 2 specific wines:
1 dark and rich; the other light and mellow. This month I chose 2 wine flavors
Bob liked; because though my mind was on Elohei and the goodness I have been
blessed with, as you can in the picture - I kept a bit of Bob with me this Shabbat:
1 goblet of Blackberry wine at the beginning of the Sabbath – Kiddush: sanctification
And 1 goblet of Strawberry wine at the end of the Sabbath – Havdalah: separation. I like the pretty blue & white 3-braid havdalah candle burning too, but those candles are not available locally - and I don't do city driving.
Rest, worship and study
are essential elements of Shabbat observance. The principle of Shabbat is to
sanctify time. The whole of Shabbat is greater than the sum of its parts. It is
more than lighting candles, drinking wine, or attending a service. We sanctify
Shabbat by setting it apart, making it distinctive, and differentiating it from
the rest of our week: "Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things
of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time."
These things change because the journey, on
which they piggybacked has significantly changed.
Who I was before 1:30 p.m. on August 30th,
2018 has changed: I am Bob’s wife … and yet I am not.
By 8:05 a.m., December 14th, 2018,
my old life was drastically altered, and my new status became “Widow”.
Being labeled as such is so demeaning – the very
term implies that I am a non-person.
And because I am a non-person, my purpose has
been severely altered.
Where I was once vibrantly important to
someone for a specific purpose … I have now been shelved and put out to
I have become the old gray cow no body really
gives a damn about.
Everyone can SEE that I am still in the
picture, but I serve no real purpose anymore.
I can still enjoy the green grass I am allotted
to munch on; but that’s about as far as anyone is concerned for me.
There is no one caring if I come home – or not –at the end of the day.
There is no voice calling to me (they assured
me that they would – but those appointed calling times come and go with NO call);
and no one is sending the dogs to look for me.
Basically, I have been forgotten in the everyday busyness of their lives; I am the puzzle piece no one wants to fuss with.
When I went from wife to widow with my
husband’s last expelled breath, my position in this life was simultaneously
shifted from family matriarch to persona non grata.
It is an adjustment.
I don’t feel like an old gray cow.
And I don’t much care for the green pastures
of my new life either, where I can wander to my heart’s content – but no one on
Earth cares if I live or die.
It is an adjustment.
My passions have changed significantly too.
I am no longer interested in the things that
used to interest me.
Those passions no longer matter since Bob is
no longer here to share one passion in particular, or any other passion in
general … and the kids/grandkids’ noninterest in me have made the extending passions
Who knew I’d become the old woman no one
could find time for – in the blink of an eye?
I have learned to stop making other people
comfortable; if they want to continue being disrespectful to me, and continue dishonoring
their father by the way they disregard me, I have stopped chasing after them.
I have decided to lazily graze – while meeting
each new life challenge that inevitably crosses my path, like a snake in the
And mid-cud-chew, glance up at the blue sky
longingly because I know Bob is up there watching me and smiling with pride and
unconditional love for me, at all that I have accomplished on my own since he
left my side.
HE told me he had faith in me that I would
overcome whatever obstacles I would face when he was physically gone. I draw on
those comforting and empowering words when the blue skies seem heavy with gray
clouds, and the green pasture seems so frighteningly vast and overwhelmingly lonely.
Whether future new passions will spring to
life and snag future interests is not even a concern to me right now.
I can’t think that far ahead – widow’s fog
has made all thoughts of the future a little sketchy in the here-&-present.
With so much time on my hands, and nothing to
do but contemplate so much more time on my hands; aimlessly wandering in the
green grass pasture, I have joined the NFG Club (does that count as a passion?).
I am learning, after 44 years of constant companionship, how to solo ... and pray that I can dodge the thunderbolts when my defenses are down.
It is exhausting to be on guard all the time.
Outlook in general, concerning me and my life
in the present, does in some ways resemble the old gray cow scenario.
I am a senior woman; became a bona fide early-retired
Senior Citizen fifteen days after I became a Widow. ANY THOUGHTS of going back
into the work force arena while dealing with my husband’s absence in my life couldn’t
even be entertained seriously: I could barely think straight. There was no way
I could punch a work schedule time clock without pissing everyone around me off
with my constant brain freezes. Add to that concept that I had not worked outside
the home in decades – WHO, in their right mind – would hire a 62 year old with
limited work experience AND Widow’s Fog disability?
Yes! Widow’s Fog IS a REAL disability. It
randomly attacks you without warning and renders you helpless. It is nearly
impossible to function when it holds you captive in its unrelenting grip. You
can’t think. You can’t move. Your sensory receptors have been disabled. Your
emotions are all over the place – it is worse than menopausal upheaval!
So, this is my new life.
It is an adjustment.
It is confusing – if everyone else is
confused, I wish they would consider how confusing it is to ME; and try a
little tender and compassionate patience with me.
Of course, everyone else is not Bob (who was
always a tender, compassionate, empathetic, and patient person): and THAT is
It is a bit unsetting: for everyone.
It is unavoidable; specifically, for me.
I lost the most.
I lost everything.
There are good days – but mostly, there are
bad days that stretch into the far horizon, without end.
Standing, gray-haired (ALL that gray in my
hair came in after Bob’s graduation) in a green pasture (people tell me it is
green – to me it appears colorless), looking at life through doleful eyes (the
sparkle went out of my eyes when the sparkle went out of Bob’s), chewing my
cud (looking thoughtful; but really just passing time), with barely enough
energy to switch my tail.
A Life Experience I wish could have avoided.
Everything changed with my husband’s last
expelled breath; and my push from life as I knew it when I was "Wife", into the space I now occupy as "Widow".