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The Whiskey Widow, October 3 2022

The Start of Something.

Let me tell you where I’m at.

Just here. Taking stock of life, my uncertain future, and the whiskey collection I inherited after the sudden, very unexpected death of my husband in 2021.

My life is unrecognizable from a year ago. Who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going – all of the major constants we strive for in life – were knocked off solid footing when I became a widow less than two weeks after my 41st birthday. I became an instant single-parent to our three young children and my demanding career was sacrificed in the months that followed, as I began to realize I couldn’t do everything I had done before. When my Adam left on a Tuesday in May 2021, the world as I knew it went along with him.

Enough about me. Let me tell you about Adam.

He loved many things: our children, sports, the American flag, travel, but in the last few years, whiskey crept up on the list. He started buying a bottle or two after an enjoyable distillery tour we took on a vacation in Pittsburg. He soon became quite the collector, as he truly enjoyed the hunt for rare whiskeys in the northern Midwest.

Adam’s love of whiskey became an obsession that I began to notice. Not because he had a drinking problem, but because he soon had a storage problem.

He added a few bottles to our liquor cabinet. Then he took over a top shelf in the pantry. Soon he had shelves divided up by how much he liked you and what whiskey he was willing to share. “Every day sippers” in one cabinet, the “new-to-whiskey” shelf for amateurs, the “good whiskey shelf,” the “really good whiskey” shelf and so on. If you were lucky enough to be getting a tour from Adam himself, you may get to visit each shelf, but your whiskey prowess surely determined which bottle you’d get a pour from.

His collecting led to an intervention of sorts when I looked at our credit card bill one month. People might think it is the cost of certain bottles of whiskey that made me take note. No, no. It was the frequency of purchases and the number of stores he was visiting in a single day that caught my eye. You’d think he was an alcoholic. But oh, the hunt was the joy for him. He would visit three to five different liquor stores on a hunting day to see what bottles could be found. He prided himself on never buying off secondary markets and paying only MSRP or dang close, if it was a great find.

When there was no space left in the pantry, or the secondary pantry, or the liquor cabinet, I exasperatedly told Adam that we could sip on whiskey every night for the rest of our lives and never run out of it. I had no idea how soon he’d depart and leave me alone with an enormous collection of whiskey and so much emptiness. 

We created an Instagram account in the months before he died to share our whiskey tastings and have a little fun with his collection together. We never got to post, but I'm starting to now. 

I’m on the other side of a big milestone. 

Somehow I’ve been waking up every day and doing what needs to be done for my children, on my own, for one full year. I don't know how it’s happened. It has truly been survival mode. Living in the present and doing the next thing that needs to be done that's right in front of me. 

To say I’m on the other side of that first year of grief feels momentous. Not because things are any lighter or easier now, but because looking back, I wonder how on earth I did it. How I put one foot in front of the other each day and made it through. That is really all I can say about the first year. We made it through.

I want to start living life a bit again. To look ahead. To dream. I’m planning adventures. I need things to look forward to. I also want to get some of the projects I’ve talked about on and off over the last year accomplished. I’ve started. I’ve made progress. But I want to get something done. Checked off the list. I want something to show for the past year of misery and now that I am walking in year two, I’m ready to finish something that I’ve started.

I've got no shortage of ideas. Perhaps a little fear about which ones to follow and which ones are loose threads, but I don’t want these dreams to unravel. I want them to come together to make something tangible to show from the pain. 

So with that, I must start. Start to put my thoughts out here for people to read, and see, and consider. I do not have a master plan on where this blog will go, but I do know I need to start. I have to start. There is no perfect time, or perfect post, or way to be more ready. 

Expect more. Here we go.

Follow along on Instagram: thewhiskeywidow and Twitter: @WidowWhiskey and subscribe by email to never miss a post. 

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The Whiskey Widow


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