That Old Woman Inside Me

Dec 12, 2022 | 4 comments

Fred at Nyel’s Bon Voyage Party

A few years ago when Nyel was having an especially tough time, Fred Carter traveled all the way to his hospital room in Portland to sing Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let The Old Man In.”  Never mind that we all cried.  And never mind that we cried every time Fred played it from then on.  It was hands down the thought that kept Nyel going for those final years.  And, yes, when Fred played it at Nyel’s Bon Voyage Party in July, there wasn’t a dry eye.

As I struggle with this first Christmas without Nyel, it occurs to me that there is an old woman inside me who would like to just take the easy way this year.  No decorating and celebrating “as usual.”  No shopping or wrapping.  No cooking those traditional foods.  No hurrying and scurrying to celebrate in the usual ways.

Sydney – A Christmas Or So Ago

And then I think, “Don’t let that old woman out!”  Just as Nyel faced every day with as much vigor as he could command and wouldn’t let the old man in, I don’t really want to give credence to that old woman within me.

Hey, Fred!  Maybe I need a song!


  1. jodi

    Sending you warm hugs, dear Sydney, and asking Jesus to hold you close as well, as you navigate life without your dear man. <3

  2. Kristina Jones

    Beloved Cuz, You Fill My Heart! Your cheeriness no matter what the circumstances will get you through…why? Because, Dear Girl, you have the unlimited joy of a wonderful satisfying completely beautiful marriage inside you…there is no end to the love that you and Nyel share. I believe in love, you know. And I know you do, too! Now, it’s all changed. The ways of living are different. But YOU! Remarkable Human! You have many times shown me that the smallest things can make you smile. And don’t forget our shared favorite quote: “Love Is The Answer. The Question Is Redundant.” Holding you Dear, especially in the hard times, KK

  3. Pam

    It’s so hard…my beloved husband died so close to Thanksgiving 5 years ago. That first holiday season remains a complete blur. I just know I did what I could, and no one expected much from me! Just take care of yourself and let come what may. Many adjustments have to be made when we are suddenly a party of “one.” I wish you well, Sydney. I agree with your cousin, you are remarkable!

  4. Jenny Valencourt

    Dearest Sydney, your blog post is the veritable tip of the iceberg perhaps?
    During the holiday season, if I’m not with family and friends…it’s a test.
    My departed loved ones are here though, I only have to allow myself the experience and let it HUG my brain. When it works, your heart doesn’t hurt as much.
    And so, my best offering is a brain-hug to you. I recall the sparkle in your smile, your eyes, quick wit, good humor, and so forth!
    Love and joy to you my friend, and the loved ones that come calling! 🙂


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