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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


There used to be set rules for widows in mourning. During the Victorian era women wore black dresses and veils. There was a period of full mourning for a year, followed by a period of half mourning for year. During half mourning, the widow could wear gray (yippee!). There were lots of rules. Prim and proper ones. Rules like "no dancing". I think we all remember that scene in Gone With The Wind where Scarlet wanted to dance at the cotillion, but couldn't because she was still considered to be in mourning. There she was, all in black, tending to one of the charity booths and pouting. Poor Scarlet. I think it's odd and yet somewhat a relief that those stuffy rules of etiquette have dwindled down to just one day all in black. Though, even that rule is not strictly enforced. Today's society has chosen to make up it's own rules of mourning. This is most likely for the best. I've never been much of a proper etiquette type of gal. I was taught proper table manners and can use them if need be, but I can most likely be found with my feet in the chair and an elbow resting on the table. I have, for the most part, thumbed my nose at proper behavior and have generally adhered to my own rules of etiquette.

I don't say these things because I think I might be doing something wrong or I need some sort of validation for my behavior. I write this stuff down, because these are the thoughts that just so happen to be roaming around in my brain. Odd random thoughts like "what should a widow in mourning look like?" pop into my brain while eating oatmeal. While I was filling out paperwork to get my washer and dryer, the salesclerk asked me all kinds of questions, but nothing about Chris. And I thought to myself, "he doesn't know I'm a widow". I thought this in awe, like "wow! He can't tell!". But why should he know? He doesn't know me or Chris. There's nothing on my outward appearance that says "WIDOW HERE!". I mean, if you're looking closely you may notice Chris's gigantic wedding ring that I now wear on a chain around my neck and be able to deduce something, but for the most part I appear unbranded. Sometimes this worries me. Maybe I should be wailing and pulling out gobs of hair or refusing to move from the couch for days unshowered.

But instead, I get up every day and shower, and be an active participant in my daily life. I'm just keeping on because I don't know what else to do.