WBH: Ticket for One


In the three years since I became a widow, I have traveled almost as much as I had in the previous fifteen combined. My odometer has whined about the nearly 250,000 miles.

Confirm ButtonWhen it came time for me to book my flight to Minnesota for the Kay Marie Sisto Memorial Walk, I got a bit wistful amidst the flurry of confirmation numbers and reservations.

Long ago, I learned a lesson from my grandparents. They had worked all of their lives and went on one vacation together: 1983. While they had a wonderful time, I knew from them both it was far too late for a first and would unfortunately be the only.

When my granddaddy died in 1992, I was pregnant with my first son. I did not want to have my marriage take a permanent backseat to raising my children and some j-o-b.

Traveling with the children was a given. My older children are quite the jet setters, having hundreds of thousands of sky miles. My younger children have ground miles on them… lots and lots of miles.

The Point

While we were married, there was little time (or opportunity) for us to be alone without the children. We made due with hotel suites where the little ones could be in another room, but no matter where we were, it was a lot like being at home, regardless of the crispy white sheets and trial-sized everything.

My trip to Minnesota was the first one I have taken alone since Russell died. No, I was not truly alone because I met Val there, but it was the first one with me traveling as a single.

Suitcases: One.

Carry on bags: One.

Tickets: One.

The quiet of the wild blue yonder.

The quiet of the wild blue yonder.

No one in the truck on the way to and from the airport. No one to backseat drive. No one to help with luggage. No one to create overweight bags. No one to drool on my shoulder on the plane. No one on my hip. No one to ask 30 times how long before the plane landed. No one to shriek when the flight attendant said just one more beer was out of the question. No one to ask if they could ride in the overhead compartment. No one who wanted to go to the head every ten minutes. No one to say the air was too cold. No one to complain it was too hot. No one to try to convince me we were getting off on the wrong floor. No one to want the pillow on my side of the bed. No one to wake me up three hours before my body was ready. No one to be asleep 20 minutes after we should have left. No one to tuck into bed. No one to kiss goodnight. No one to tell me to turn off the reading light. No one to object to the music I chose. No one to tell me I shop too slow.


Even my CrackBerry defected for this trip. The shipping PTB saw to it I left with a dead battery which stayed that way until I got home to the batteries which arrived after my plane touched down in Minneapolis. Everyone knew I was going to be gone. Very few texted. Fewer called. I had email turned off.


Ticking ClockTime dilates when you are alone. Your perception of it is hyper acute, which makes it seem to crawl. (See Watched pot never boils.) In the hours I waited in the airport, I observed many travelers.

The harried couples with little ones in tow. An elderly couple with a handicapped, adult child. Grandchildren escorting their grandparents here and there. Newlyweds. Soldiers coming home to balloons, roses and posters. Business people attached at the ear and palm to offices thousands of miles away.

As I walked the concourse, I caught my reflection in a door. I stopped. It was just me. For the first time in nearly three decades, it was just me. I filed the picture away for later. I popped back up on my radar four days later.

Dragon Down the Road

Truck with AttitudeTo be honest, I missed my truck. When I walked up to it late Sunday night, I stopped with the key in the lock. There I was again, looking back from the dark window. One. I gave myself a chin up smirk and put the bags in the cabin.

I climbed behind the wheel and prepared for take off. (Yes, it is similar to flight crew preparation.) As the truck warmed, I thought about it again. One.

For some reason, I really thought I would be much older when I was sans entourage.

Do you travel alone? Is it normal or new for you? Was Three Dog Night right?

Thank you for joining me for June’s Widowed Blog Hop. Take a few minutes to visit some of the other blogs along the way for some uplifting recovery and ways we widows/widowers are not so different from all you non-widowed types.

Hashtags: #widowed #bloghops #travel

Thank you for sharing The M3 Blog with hashtags and visiting the other wonderful bloggers on the WBH.

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  1. *Just You”

    Ohhh, that is SO Enough, Dear.

    Loved seeing you, spending time w/you, enjoying your company in Duluth.

    Xxx Love.
    My Inner Chick recently posted..Flickers Of Light In A Dark UniverseMy Profile

    • Kimmy, I am so very glad I came. I love you and enjoyed your family immensely. xxx <3

  2. Life does sneak up on us, doesn’t it? I am at that “much older” stage of life–doing the alone thing (if I don’t count my dog):-) and adjusting to it. Loved this post, poignant and yet uplifting.
    Virginia recently posted..Be Your Friend: Tell Yourself the TruthMy Profile

    • Welcome to M3, Virginia. I still have little ones in the house, so I still am not “alone”. I think it is what made the realization a bit surreal. Stop by The Green Room (look up top) and leave a link to your blog. It is the biggest jumping off point for M3 Readers.

  3. “Wistful” is definitely the word for the expressions in this post, Red. It feels like a balance between facing oneself alone for the first time, and looking back on times when you might have wished for time alone.

    Thank you for this post.

    Gail Thornton recently posted..The Girl in the Iron Lung Giveaway on GoodreadsMy Profile

    • I have to say I do not regret wishing for the time alone or that we did not get all that much of it. What we did do was create memories for the children. I think it is more important, even in retrospect. xxx

  4. I am not one that travels alone since being widowed. But I do travel a lot more often. With friends, with family, and with my new S.O. I see the value in “getting away” and also in “making time”. There are advantages to learning those hard life lessons while we still have time to turn it around.

    • I am glad I learned it early enough to make good memories with the children. I am glad to welcome you to M3. Please stop by the Green Room and leave a link to your blog. It is one of the biggest jumping off points on M3.

  5. I used to prefer travelling alone. Go somewhere new and see it with no distractions.
    Now, I can’t imagine doing it without my wife.
    El Guapo recently posted..Friday Foolishness – Susie Strong EditionMy Profile

    • A sign of a terrifically healthy relationship. I can hardly remember travelling alone. I think I was 13 the last time I did it.

  6. There are times when I wish I could be just me or travel just without all the baggage and the next moment I realize what that would mean and I take it back….
    I am happy you met Val though 🙂
    Soma Mukherjee recently posted..Please Help Find NicholeMy Profile

    • She and I have done this road trip thing before. I know what it would mean to have them all gone, but it still does not stop me from every once in a while wanting to be alone. This time was just weird. It has been a very long time since I traveled by myself… even to the restroom! xxx So very glad to see you, Soma. <3

  7. Sounds good Red! 🙂

    I’m really glad you enjoyed your break!!! 🙂

    I’m a permanent single, but I haven’t travelled for decades! 🙂

    Hope you have a great future my friend! 🙂

    Love and hugs always!

    Prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Another trip to the Co-Op.My Profile

    • I do not see me stopping traveling until I am in a lab somewhere 😉

  8. What a wonderful post – poignant, funny, moving and just perfectly human! Thanks

    • Glad to see you today, Jim. I actually do have a human side. 😉

  9. It kind of felt invasive of me to be reading that. I am seldom ‘alone’ in my world. And when I am, it feels….odd. Not bad, just …odd.
    C. Brown recently posted..When I Go…My Profile

    • For me, it really was odd. I was on the tele with someone today discussing this post. I took the time to do the math. It has been since 1987 I traveled alone. Truly, it was odd. xxx

  10. I recall a getaway by myself only once for a week. I’m glad you got to as well. I can tell you had a great time!
    Deb recently posted..Captain Big Bad Fraz!My Profile

    • I did have a wonderful time. I am already looking forward to the next adventure. I shan’t wait 26 years to do it. 😉 xxx


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