“Oh, this is ridiculous,” I thought as I sat with my mouth ajar, unsure of what to say.  Yes the entire situation was ridiculous, but what won the prize was my obvious hesitation in answering such a simple question.  The question from the scrub-clad doctor had caught me by surprise.  “Mrs.?” he’d asked.

No,” didn’t seem like the right answer.  I was married for more than 18 years and have two kids.  To say “no” would be like making my kids illegitimate.  But the marriage contract had a clause stating when it would end – “till death do us part” – and it reached its end.  I am not married.  But the doctor didn’t want to know all that.

“I was,” seemed like it would give the wrong impression.  That sounds like one of us quit trying.  I have met enough divorced people to realize that stereo-type isn’t always true, but I know society often portrays it as being so.  He did not quit.  I did not quit.  We did not quit.  We put in far too much work for far too many years for me to be satisfied with someone thinking I am divorced.  But the doctor didn’t want to know all that either.

“I am a widow,” is such a downer.  It leaves the other person with their mouth ajar, unsure of what to say to me.  I was certain the doctor didn’t want to know that.

Why does society have to know anyway?  Why is it guys are Mr. regardless of their marital status?  Why can’t we be Miss until we’re 19 or 20 years old and then be Ms. after that?  Our current options of Miss and Mrs. are often inadequate to sum up a relationship status in our complicated world.

“Mrs?” he asked again.  He wasn’t trying to make conversation.  He really didn’t care. He just wanted to know how to address me so he could politely give me my instructions and be on his way saving lives.

“Doctor, actually,” I responded.  “Now that sounded snooty,” I thought to myself.  Next time I’ll be better prepared.  You can just call me Sylvia.

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  1. Gloria

     /  November 4, 2011

    This is deep……one of those things that if I’m not in your shoes I’d never have thought of that. Thanks for sharing. Continue praying, Gloria

  2. Lori Harvey

     /  November 5, 2011

    All I can do is smile and nod, smile and nod!

  3. Holding On

     /  November 5, 2011

    Great Answer, just right one professional to another. Rest in knowing that you are made complete through Christ, no matter what society thinks of your status. Holding you up in Prayer.


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