By Robin Craig
I became a widow 5 years ago following a great 21-year marriage to my soul mate. My husband had undiagnosed cardiovascular and hypertensive disease and died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 43. My life went into a tailspin and things were magnified because the majority of my family predeceased my husband. At the time of his death, I had lost my parents, grandparents, all of my aunts and uncles (including their spouses) and one of my five cousins was shot and killed at age six.
I had a premonition during the 2nd week of my widowhood where my body jolted forward and I heard my voice say with urgency, "I have to help the widows!" I didn't understand it, but every time something odd occurred, I'd think, "That's another story to help a widow later on." To give you an idea…I've had water in my house twice, opossums and raccoons in my attic, a home burglary, an obscene caller, I weathered a Category 2 hurricane home alone and I killed the world's largest rat single-handedly — and that's just for starters.
I have gone on to win 3 consecutive national daytime Emmys (2008, 2009 and 2010), the highest award in television, as a TV Producer since becoming widowed. Although I could work anywhere in the country, I have altered my work and no longer feel compelled to chase TV shows around America. I'm working for the widows!
I am more appreciative than ever which is a positive outcome derived from the adversity. I appreciate having had a great husband, a long happy marriage and the many things my husband did for me. I appreciate how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned, as well. I appreciate those who have been supportive and the ability to not feel angry at those who have not. I appreciate good health, tenacity, endurance and drive to tackle the numerous tasks with which I am faced daily. I appreciate how I’ve learned to be less critical and more accepting of others, and I appreciate the lessons in humility and forgiveness.
We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone, so I urge everyone to look for the beauty and the good as life can change in an instant and there is no turning back. Live life fully and appreciate all that you have every single day. Wisely choose your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff, because in the end, many of the things over which we become upset truly don’t matter.