Surviving Spouse Corner - April 2018

There are times in our lives when we do things or make comments that unintentionally
offend people, our friends or loved ones.
I remember a few years ago I was into making Pot Lucks at my house.
At that time I was very close to my friends because I was not as busy as I am now.
So, in order not to offend any of them, I would make two or three gatherings so none
would be left out.
What I would do, was since I enjoyed making the small get together, I would invite
six people at a time and that was a perfect number for me to organize the party
making the exact portions of food and the exact number of gifts for the guests.
One day, for one of the Pot Lucks, just as the guests were about to arrive, one of 
the ladies called me and told me that she was bringing a friend of hers because her
friend didn't get to go out much.
I responded by telling her that in another occasion she could bring her friend because
at this point I had everything planned out and did not have enough of what I was going 
to serve plus not enough gifts for another person.
Well, to say the least, it did not go well with the lady and I thought she was not
going to forgive me for what I had said to her.
It took a long time for that friend to come around to talking with me.
But I thanked God that she finally did because it had not been my intention to hurt her feelings.
I, however, learned a lesson from the incident and that was that in the future I would 
make sure that I had plenty of food for one or two extra people and plenty of gifts as well.
The matter could have gone very sour and bitter, but I kept talking to my friend and
made sure that there were no hard feelings.
Forgiveness and thoughtfulness make a world of difference in our lives in order for us to feel
joy and happiness.
After all that is what our Lord taught us

Fort Bliss Spouse employment orientation
Are you a military spouse looking for employment? You don’t have to job search on your own. Attend the Employment Orientation at Army Community Service. The orientation will take approximately 1.5 hours and a lot of good information will be provided about free services available to you. Learn how the Employment Readiness Program and Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande can assist you. We provide resume (civilian and federal) assistance and help you get ready for that dreaded interview. We have certified federal job search trainers to assist you. Orientations are held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday at ACS, 2494 Ricker Road at West Fort Bliss. Advance registration is required. To learn more or register, call 569-5838

Below is a reprint from the February 2018 Edition of the MOAA Surviving Spouse Corner

Building a New Social Life

How do you fill the void in your life after you lose your spouse? Here are some ideas to help you become the outgoing person you once were. 
If you don’t have to relocate, it could be possible to rely on your family and friends for a while. Your family members have suffered a loss as well. Try to brighten their days. You could meet for lunch or bring a salad or dessert to share a meal.

If you have grandchildren who have school programs or sporting events, you can attend and be there for them. Perhaps, their school needs volunteers or mentors.

Maybe your church sponsors a grief support group. Listening to speakers and sharing with others might help you process your loss.

Calling another widow or widower and inviting them to a MOAA meeting will help both of you keep that connection to military life. Offer to help. You could represent surviving spouses if that position is not filled.

Volunteering to help at your church or for a community function will bring you as much reward as you will give to others. Every group needs new faces and willing hands.

Try something you haven’t done before. I became a docent at our Fine Arts Center. I loved touring visitors of all ages. For many children, this was their only exposure to art. Also, other docents became my new friends.

Use your work-related skills. I volunteered to teach a life story writing class at the nonprofit in my community. That brought a group of strangers together who became new friends as they shared their amazing life stories.

Discover a new talent. I moved this summer and joined the drama club at the senior center. I hoped to find people who wanted to attend plays. Instead, I learned the club was producing the Fall Follies. All of a sudden, I had bit parts in three skits and the opening and closing numbers. We closed with a Salute to Veterans, which moved the audience to come to their feet!

Spread cheer by visiting residents in a nursing home. A friend in Florida makes bouquets from her garden and brings them to residents.

Consider getting a dog. It will need to be fed, walked, and loved. I guarantee that you will be visiting with other dog owners on your daily walks. 

By Sharon DeVaney, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member