I’m the second wife for my husband. And he is my second husband; I was alone for more than thirty years.
My husband and I got married at the ripe old ages of 70 and 64, respectively, and because I’m overweight and wrinkled, I know I am not a “trophy wife.”
It’s difficult to move into another woman’s house. I never knew his first wife but I think, from what I’ve learned of her, I would have liked her. She liked antique furniture and oil lamps, if the items in her house are any indication. She was intelligent, caring, and must have been very patient. She also did a lot of volunteer work. All wonderful things.
Yes, I would have liked her, but…
My problem with moving into another woman’s house: I feel like a visitor; I can’t change anything. I shouldn’t change anything. I know that sounds silly…but maybe not.
Even feeling that way, I did encourage a major change when we had a small bathroom added downstairs. It certainly came in handy when my husband had his knee replacements. In a large home with two floors, a second bathroom is always a plus. And I have added bookcases and all my books to the living room.
But the dining room is probably the same. We use “her” dishes and cookware. My dishes and cookware were taken to one of my husband’s cabins to be used there. The kitchen is still the same from when they remodeled the old house in the 1970s but we needed a new stove. Sometimes I look at that stove and wish she had had the chance to use it. She loved to bake and baked birthday cakes for kids who had to live in a shelter. The new stove would have been great for that. My daughter and I will be painting the kitchen walls. I don’t think they’ve been repainted in more than forty years. And we’re hoping we can afford a new floor by the spring.
Some improvements, changes, have to be done as time goes on.
When I met the man who was to become my husband, he told me that his first wife had been “a proper Southern lady.” I am anything but. I worked as an RN for more than forty years. I’ve seen things that most “ladies” haven’t. I’ve had to deal with things that most “ladies” haven’t. I also swear like a sailor.
No, I am not the “trophy wife”—not at all.
On the other hand, I do talk to my predecessor at times. I ask for her guidance when “our” husband is being especially obtuse. And sometimes I call her “Saint Cecile” because she was, in many ways.
Yes, it is odd, living in another woman’s house but there are areas that I’ve made mine. However, there are many things that stay the same.
I like having her here with me, even only in spirit.