A Widower’s Journey In Faith, Love & Good Humor
by Harold Collins
A Widower’s Journey In Faith, Love & Good Humor by Harold Collins is a personal narrative of death, grief, an undying love, incredible spiritual interventions and a new and evolving septuagenarian romantic relationship. It is all held together by the humor and frustrations of the author’s tepid efforts to relearn the dating game in the senior citizen genre.
This is a “mostly true” widower’s love story about a successful Chicago lawyer’s grief and search for a new loving relationship. After 52 years of perfect marriage to the elegantly beautiful, sophisticated and extraordinarily talented love of his life, she guides him in this search as his guardian angel, continuing their loving relationship. In the process he recovers and redefines his own Christian spirituality in a more meaningful personal relationship with the Holy Trinity. It all commenced with two young small town college students pursuing and finding their dreams come true in the big city of Chicago.
Their three equally successful adult children and nine overachieving grandchildren are his safety net. Sons Mike and John (his law partners) and daughter Jodie (a celebrity dietician, writer and educator) must be nurtured as he comes to comprehend and respect the nuances of familial love vs. spousal love, the latter being as essential to his survival and recovery as the former. As their mentor, he must remain a rock even though he is alone, his heart aches and his ailing 95 year old mother’s mortality weighs on his mind as a reminder he might have to endure this life for another 20 years.
The search for a suitable new companion traverses the minefields of uncompromised grief into the foibles of a newly minted and grossly unprepared 75 year old very eligible bachelor. Competing tender loves – old and new, must be reconciled without guilt. These events are interspersed with recurring spiritual episodes as the author gradually confirms and embraces his faith that there is a form of life after death. An unanticipated aptitude for romance intrudes on this process while he is looking for a more mature love than the romance on steroids some widows have in mind. The joys, disappointments and tasteful humor of these new experiences are tempered by his anxieties about moral and legal complications, his virility, his own mortality – and those of any new companion. Compromises are required. Has he opened Pandora’s Box? Or won the widower’s lottery?
Knowing he is dealing with emotionally and financially fragile women, he doesn’t want to harm anyone. Nor does he want to be alone. There are so many lonely people! Many by choice. Others like him by circumstance. He can’t help them all, but he can help some with his new personal ministry for home alone souls. In the process he helps himself. Writing this book was a progression of that ministry.
The story is informative and inspirational, yet lighthearted and sometimes hilarious entertainment targeted to a huge audience, his peers and those coming of age to their own concerns about aging. Writing this love story has been cathartic. Hopefully, publishing it may bring a new life perspective to many readers as it has for the author; and at the same time forewarn them of the pitfalls and pratfalls that lie ahead for widowers like himself.
You may contact Harold on any questions or comments on the book or personal inquiries.
Loving wife, mother of 3 and 9 grandchildren, Marilyn Ann Collins was the love of my life for 53 years. Hollywood beautiful, independently wealthy, fashion icon, gardening aficionado and interior decorating genius, she was a college graduate, school teacher, accomplished pianist, gourmet cook, seamstress, champion tennis player, golf, tennis and bridge partner who did all of this and worked in my law office 2 days a week for 37 years while taking care of our 3 homes. She died June 7, 2011 at age 73 but is still with me as my guardian angel.
Friederike Thibault is another beautiful and extraordinary woman. She grew up in Nazi Germany and emigrated to the U.S. at age 19. After raising 2 daughters, she created a 35 year career as head makeup artist for the Estee Lauder Company at Marshall Fields’ State Street Store in Chicago (now Macy’s). “Friedel” brought joy back into my life even though her husband died just 3 weeks before Marilyn. She too was a tennis champion and plays passable games of golf, tennis and bridge. Known and admired by her thousands of customers, friends and family, she is always “up” and ready to embark on any new adventure – especially this book. Romance, glamour and good humor have been her calling card these many years.