I do not know how to be a Dad.
I believe that most who know me would refer to me as “capable.” Since Ben died, I think I have adequately learned how to manage things I have never before needed to know how to do. I have learned how to bank online, get my vehicle repaired, hang a picture using a level and hammer instead of the heel of my shoe, use a drill, update the computer and now, as of tonight, I know how to re-hook up the Apple TV.
I did not have to do any of those things in my real life because, after 25 years together, Ben and I had come up with a division of labour that worked for us. Bills, banking, electronics and cars were Ben’s job. Appointments, sports scheduling, registrations, keeping an eye on the kids' social media, yard work … those were my jobs. We were good at our jobs, and that division of labour made us both happy. (Plus, I never had to worry about paying the bills after I spent the money.)
Since Ben died, I feel as though I slid as seamlessly as could reasonably be expected into those foreign roles that I never wanted, and I think I have done a fairly decent job for the most part. I haven’t yet lost all our money, I’ve managed to pay the bills on time, and currently everything in the house is in decent working condition, including this computer. I think Ben would be proud of me.
But here’s the thing ….Read more
As Michele posted last fortnight for me, baby Patrick decided to make a rapid and slightly early appearance! Thanks for the comments – I was stuck in hospital without net access to respond!
Two Monday’s ago I was getting ready to do my post for last fortnight when things suddenly felt different, so I opted to head to the hospital for monitoring instead.
Four hours later I was in an operating theatre having a caesarean as this baby was coming now.
I'm into year four...Sunday marked the third anniversary of Ian's passing.
And like all other anniversaries so far this year, it wasn’t too bad. There was some sadness which I didn't have with the other significant dates, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and was shared with friends of ours from church. I had no anxiety which I’ve had with this and other anniversaries in past years, such as surgery, illness hitting, wedding and so forth.
John and I kept to our usual Sunday routine of a slower morning, I try and run a load of laundry, we head to church, and then laze around on Sunday afternoon reading, watching movies or playing video games together.
At church, the general discussion on the anniversary revolved around that strange thing that happens with time. Three years – feels so long ago, but also like only yesterday.Read more
That means my anniversary run…
The 4th marks 4 years since our wedding day.
The 11th marks 6 years since we met
The 14th marks 3 years since Ian died.
Come the 18th, he’ll have been gone loner than I knew him.Read more
Two days ago, I experienced my first Mother's Day without Megan. Had you asked me back in January how I would have handled it, I would have expressed sheer terror at the prospect. At that time, just two months since losing her, all I could imagine was that I would be an emotional train wreck, and would probably have just called my mother and mother-in-law to wish them a happy day, and stayed holed up in my house.
That isn't what occurred, however. Yesterday was "OK", for lack of a better term.
Our tradition for the past few years had been for Shelby and I to wake up early, go downstairs, make a mess of the kitchen preparing bacon, eggs, pancakes, and coffee, and bring it to Megan in bed, along with a card and a small gift. Shelby would turn some cartoons on and we'd sit and talk, all three of us, until Megan was ready to get out of bed. It was a simple acknowledgment of how special she was, and that we would do anything for her. We would clean up the kitchen and get our day started, where we would be visiting our parents and probably going out to dinner in the evening.
I woke up Sunday at that same early time that I always do, fully aware that it was Mother's Day, and painfully acknowledging the fact that for the first time in eight years, Megan wasn't there to cook breakfast for. The dogs, having woke me up, were fed and let outside, and I went back to bed. The bacon stayed in the freezer, and the coffee pot sat there cold.
Shelby needs to have an example of what a caring, devoted man, father, and husband should be. She is a mere 8 years old, but I believe most readers here will understand when I state that, well, I might not be here by the time she's 18. It's a cold, hard truth that should never be swept under the rug or glossed over, and I can unfortunately speak from experience.Read more
Another number away from the "2012" in which Ian died.
One thing I read late last year was people doing a 'word' for the year, not New Years Resolutions, which seemed a far more sensible way to go than dragging out the perennial resolution that never gets stuck to.
The word that stuck out to me at the beginning of the year was Faith.
Not religious faith, but ...
Sunday marked two and a half years without Ian.
The first year, I decided to mark the date with a visit to a iconic local Christmas light display - do something nice with John on the day that we'd done with Ian.
It's something we've done each Christmas since.
Well, attempted to.
This year's attempt was not as disastrous as last year, but not great either.
A weekend evening is a bit of a mad-house there, and I have to accept that John gets over-stimulated and wound up by crowds and noise. Sunday wouldn't be as bad as a Friday or Saturday, but summer school holidays have started, so there would likely be a bigger crowd than earlier weekends. So I opted to not do it on the day to hopefully manage his response a bit better.Read more
For today's post I'm not really writing wearing my 'widow' hat, but my 'mother of young boy' hat. But I probably wouldn't have the same perspective on this situation if I were not widowed.
This past week a young Australian sportsman, a cricketer, was injured on the field and passed away from a rare brain injury caused by the impact of the ball. Phil Hughes passed away surrounded by family and team-mates from both state level teams and the national team. Team mates who'd kept an almost constant vigil for two days, supporting the family and each other.
It's an incredibly sad loss, and one that's left the country, and cricket players and aficionados around the world, grieving. Not just because of his age, but the cause of death and that it was due to a freak accident in a sport with a relatively low risk of significant injury. Muscle injuries and broken hands are common, but it's not a sport you expect anyone to suffer a catastrophic injury while playing.
Because of this young man's national and international sporting profile, there's been 24 hour news cycle wall-to-wall coverage. As such, I watched the press conference presented by the national administrators and captain that was held a few hours after his death was announced publically.
Saturday morning I woke up with a 103 temperature.
So as soon as a reasonable hour hit, I called my parents, asking if they could look after John for the day.
On short notice.
Yet another thing I hate about widowhood. That sometimes you need to call on assistance to the point where you KNOW it's impacting others. Maybe asking them to go that step beyond their general helpful-human being willingness to help. Especially if your circle of available assistance is limited.