Family Vacation

I recently came back from taking my daughter to Disneyland. It was a bitter and sweet vacation. It was the first time we vacationed without my husband. It was very hard to not have his physical presence with us. I decided to take my daughter to Disneyland because that is something my husband and I had talked about. I am aware now, that you can’t wait years to complete something in life. Some people may have the time, but others don’t. Therefore I try to live in the now.

I shed many tears while I packed, struggled at the airport with a toddler, stroller, and luggage, and dealt with the rental car company. Oh, and yes, I had to carry all the luggage up a flight of stairs just to put the cherry on top. It didn’t feel like a vacation for me. I have the bruises and the soreness to prove it.

It is very challenging to travel without a significant other. I know many do it, but it’s challenging. I hear a lot of comments about how its harder with two kids and that I only have the one. I didn’t get the chance to have another child, and I feel people’s comments are very ignorant sometimes. They don’t know how hurtful that is for me to hear. It’s hurtful because we were trying to conceive a second child when my husband died. Everyone’s situation is different and for some of us, having one child is a lot. And for some, it’s not. I think people need to be more mindful of what they say. Because I don’t go around telling married couples how much harder their life will be, once their spouse dies. Some comments make me angry because people have no clue how difficult it is to be a solo parent, even if you just have the one. 

Despite my struggles throughout this trip, I got to see my little girl be as happy as can be. She loved getting on the rides and demonstrated her fearlessness. I am so proud to be her mom. All my pain, bruises, and challenges were well worth it just to see her smile and enjoy life. I know my husband is proud of me for making this a reality for our little girl, and for fulfilling one of our plans. I’ve learned that it is important to live in the now, because truly tomorrow is not guaranteed. I am still learning to deal with people’s insensitive comments, but I think with time I’ll learn to hopefully ignore them. Because being a solo parent and a widow is not an easy road to travel. 


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  • Sally Van Paemel-Lane
    commented 2019-10-20 05:30:53 -0700 · Flag
    I did this same thing – the year my husband died I took our kids on the trip we’d all been saving for. Our kids were 7 and 5 by time we travelled. After Dave died the kids asked such an honest and innocent question – Are we still going to Disney? Of course I said yes. The trip was emotionally and physically gruelling. Parenting alone is hard because it’s ongoing. It’s not just hard during a trip, it’s hard everyday at some point. It’s the full weight of our children’s lives, health and happiness that weighs on our shoulders every second of every day. No one can truly share the load. And it’s taxing. It’s hard enough on a daily basis, let alone going the extra mile to take a trip. So good job mama. You’re brave, you’re strong and you’re doing great.
  • Mari Posa
    commented 2019-10-10 20:40:05 -0700
    Thank you GrinNj. Even looks can hurt sometimes. The good thing is that my daughter had a wonderful time. Sending you much love!
  • Gr inNJ
    commented 2019-10-10 07:40:18 -0700
    I’m sorry you had to hear those ignorant comments. People often speak before they think. Depending on the situation, you could say exactly what you wrote in response – “Being a solo parent and a widow is not an easy road to travel”. Or something like “I could have lived the rest of my life without hearing that.” Or sometimes just a look is enough.
    Glad you were able to see your daughter enjoying herself!