Finding Our Way

05_20_09.jpg(Editor's note: Janine will be away for the next two weeks and we are happy to welcome visiting contributor Colleen Phillips as our Wednesday blogger in her absence. Thanks Colleen!)


A warm hello.

Since Rory died almost 5 years ago, it seems as if we have been trying to find our way, figure things out and be a family of “2”. Ryan, my son, had just turned 3 years old and I was 40. We had so much life to look forward to and we shared so much love in our home when it all came crashing down on May 27, 2004. Next Wednesday, it will be 5 years to the day Rory lost his battle with cancer. It literally feels like yesterday, that I saw, spoke with and touched Rory for the last time. In other ways it feels like a lifetime ago. I suppose that may be the way it will always be, but I don’t know…

So, maybe like you, I have found becoming and being a “widow” has been a tough road. It has hurt, it has been lonely and it has been scary. I think about and remember moments driving along this tough road. The day the washing machine broke (which was the day after Rory’s memorial service) and water flooded my home, the nights I cried myself to sleep while missing him, the nights I was challenged with getting Ryan peacefully to sleep. 

These are some of the events that occurred that reminded me I was no longer a couple. Even some of my “couple” friendships ultimately changed. I remember trying so hard to juggle all the balls (you know the balls I am talking about…being a new single mom, having a career, taking care of the house, the finances and being 100% responsible for everything, and I mean everything.) It is no wonder the state of “overwhelming” was a state I lived in for a time. Thankfully, with a concerted effort, I moved from the state of “overwhelming” to the state of “possibilities”. I learned that driving down this road is an active process and one in which I had to take initiative to make positive changes.


Rory used to sweetly call me the “Sponge of Gibraltar”, in sharp comparison to the image that the “Rock of Gibraltar” conjures up. He chuckled at how a heartfelt commercial, book or movie could move me to tears. He laughed and smiled at how much I loved life and loved to laugh and experience all life had to give. I realized that along this “widow journey”, I had only been experiencing the sadness, the grief, the loneliness and the difficulties. All of this was true, I was sad etc., but I began to realize that this “Sponge of Gibraltar” had much more to “soak up” in life. Just like a sponge, I could take in what had happened, be resilient and eventually I could give back as well. When I chose to move to the state of “possibilities”, it became very clear to me what was important now and I went after it!

Although our lives have changed and the road is not as difficult (there is much love and laughter in our home once again) my son and I still continue to “find our way”. It is a journey isn’t it? May you find the state of “Possibilities” along the road you travel.


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