I woke yesterday morning and put on my turtleneck and corduroy pants. There was finally a chill in the air. I went out to get my paper and finally noticed all the leaves that are falling all over my lawn. I miss the summer weekends at the shore, but I do love to see the beautiful red and golden leaves change on all the trees. It is one of my favorite times of the year.

This weekend marked my 10th month as a widow. Yes, it’s been 10 months since my husband passed away. Actually 17 months since he first took ill and went into the hospital. That’s when I really lost my husband. I have now gone through 10 months without him. My 50th birthday, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, his birthday, two graduations, two summers without his fabulous July 4th and Labor Day barbecues (I did try to have my own July 4th barbecue down at the shore. That was a total disaster. We ended up with lighter fluid burgers instead of barbecue burgers), the Jewish New Year, and now Fall 2008.

Ah yes, how could I forget…what about all the sleepless nights and peri-menopausal symptoms I also have gone through without having my husband by my side to complain to or to console me. (I’m like the girl in Christina Aguilera’s new song…some days I’m a ‘Super Bitch’ and some days I’m a ‘Super Lady’).

Yes, I’ve been managing. I’ve been through the stages of denial, regret, anger. Now, I’m facing reality…the day to day without him…knowing that he will never return. There are less tears to shed.

“My body aches,” I told the doctor a few weeks ago. “Some days it aches so much I don’t want to get out of bed.”

“Your blood tests are all fine,” she said, “I think your body is depressed.”

“What, what…de…de…de…depressed?” I said to myself, How could it be? Nothing’s wrong with me? I’m ‘Super Woman’…okay, okay, sometimes ‘Super Bitch’ and ‘Super Lady’…but I don’t think I’m de…de…depressed. Could my body be depressed? Why would it be depressed? Let’s see what might be causing these aches or pains:

– I lost my husband of almost 25 years.
– I’m a workaholic sometimes…sometimes…sometimes…okay…most of the time.
– I’m not sleeping because of all these hormones in my body that are going crazy from peri-menopause.

I’m on a roll…I’m feeling better already…the tension is releasing from my body as I let all this de…de…pression out of it. What else is causing these aches and pains…let it out Judi…let it out and you’ll feel better:

– The bamboo is growing around all of my beautiful trees in my backyard and I have to get it cut down before it engulfs them and I have several big trees falling on my house.

– The beautiful leaves are falling all over my lawn and my new landscaper won’t answer my calls to tell me if he is going to rake them. I even sent him a note with my payment…but he just doesn’t call. Doesn’t he know that I have aches in my shoulder’s because he doesn’t call. Maybe I should send him a note with the next payment and tell him he is contributing to my depressed body. “You go girl!”

– My house needs a new roof. And I think it needs a new heater too. And since the housing market is as depressed as my body is right now, I think I better fix up my house instead of selling it. My contractor says I have two roofs on my house and he cannot put a third roof on top of the other two…soooo….soooo…that means my new roof will be a bigger job. (DId I also say that during the past 10 months I’ve learned something new almost every day?). As for the new heater, I think I’m going to get a new energy efficient heater…especially since during the second half of my life I want to do whatever I can to use less energy…in fact, maybe I should ask the contractor about a solar roof.)

– I can’t find the key to my snowblower. I have a beautiful snowblower in my garage. I’m afraid to look in the Farmer’s Almanac…hopefully, it doesn’t predict too much snow this winter. Luckily, I’m such a packrat and save all my major appliance receipts. I do hope the company that my husband purchased the snowblower from is still in existence. And I do hope that my snowblowing skills are better than my barbecuing skills. (I am determined to become better at barbecuing. I did get my Girl Scout grilling badge when I was younger…let’s see…how many years ago was that?)

– And finally, finally, one more thing…did I say that my 401K has probably lost a third of it’s value along with my other savings? Plus, I just paid a significant fee to a financial advisor to assess all my assets. All I can say about this is “ha, ha, ha!” As my friend R says, “We make plans and God is up there laughing.”

Sooo, what’s a ‘Super Bitch’, ‘Super Lady’, ‘Super Woman’….going to do with her achy, breaky 50 year old body? Yes, what am I going to do about my depressed body to make it feel better?

“I think you should try some medication,” said the doctor, “many women of your age can benefit from anti-depressants. It will help you manage your peri-menopausal symptoms too.”

“Okay,” I said, “Okay.” At this age, being able to ask for help is making me stronger…and thankfully, I’m getting stronger every day. (And besides, so what if the side effects say ‘could cause sleeplessness’…what’s another fewer hours of sleep?)

Yes, throughout these 10 months I’m learning to live on my own and relying on my own instincts…instincts that I’ve built up over the past 50 years of my life…I’m not doing too bad…nope….not too bad at all.. I just have to ease up on myself a bit more. Take better care of my mind and body too. So glad I decided to have that massage on Friday night and so glad I decided to go see Donna and have a fall facial yesterday. Yes, this depressed body needs some tender loving care.

It’s Fall 2008. Think I’ll play that Hall & Oates song this morning and maybe I’ll bake some corn muffins or whole wheat french toast for Sunday breakfast as I sing the chorus:

Seasons change, people change
But you can’t hold back the clock
Cause time won’t stop for you and me
And the world keeps spinning ’round