We’ve moved. Our stuff is in the new house…..but the house isn’t finished. The shower doesn’t work and two of the rooms remain incomplete. Although the garbage and previous tenant’s belongings have finally been removed, we haven’t been able to unpack our stuff and claim the house as ours. We have been staying with friends until it is safe and comfortable to stay here with the kids.
I’ve felt angry, frustrated and without ‘roots‘. Unsure what to do and how to express my disappointment, I remained quiet initially. This was Jeff’s department. He was the vocal advocate for our family.
One of the lessons that I’m trying to teach myself in the wake of Jeff’s death is the ability to voice my concerns and to act as the proponent for our family. It’s hard. I feel like a ‘bitch’ if I express my displeasure. I also agonize over the thought that they may not take me seriously. (Jeff used to say I was about as terrifying as a ‘hissing kitten’ when I got angry.) I worry that others are hurt or angered by the voicing of our family’s needs or expectations….but there is no one else to do it. No one else to turn to. If I expect to have my concerns heard, I need to say them out loud to someone who can make a difference.
So although I felt like vomiting at the thought of possibly causing discord, I spoke to the landlord. I expressed my worries and the concerns for my children’s safety amidst the broken glass that littered the property. I spoke about the need to have a working bath for the cleanliness of my kiddos. I told them that I hoped I would not be charged the full amount of our rent for this month…..and I didn’t cry. They didn’t cry. No one got angry or yelled. It was amazing! I stood up for us and I did it without Jeff. I know he’s looking down at me and smiling. “That’s my girl!!”