Tomorrow is the last full day of my vacation with Son #2 and #3.
I knew this vacation would be "different" .... since it was our first one without Jim. But I really had no clue as to how very different it would be.Read more
..... is in the eye of the beholder, is it not?
This picture was from our last vacation. The last day of our last vacation to be exact. In June of 2007. Six months before Jim died.
It was a "different" vacation for us. A different perspective. Only half of our children were able to go. The three girls were working that summer and could not go. So although it was a "family" vacation ..... it was different.Read more
It is Anneke’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’ today.
On the one hand, I can’t really believe this day has arrived and her father is still gone. Like somehow, at some point he should have walked in the front door and with little fanfare saying “I’m back.” It has been 8 plus years. She has been without him longer than she had him. I should know better by now.
Dear Wonderful Widows.
Grieving is a self-centered act. It must be. It requires paying attention to one’s own broken heart, taking the time needed to adjust to a very different existence, and learning to live in a changed world. Grieving requires self-care.
This is especially true for widows with children. We eventually find that the only way our children will be OK is if we are OK. And the only way we will be OK is if we are willing to tend to ourselves.
On May 29th my little girl graduated from High School. The ceremony took place in a beautiful garden with an audience full of proud family and friends and an air of hope for the future all around. My mind drifted back to a time in my own life when naivety and optimism were companions I knew well.Read more
(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…
Sports practices, music lessons, school meetings, homework, school projects, dinner every night, getting multiple children to different locations at the same start time, crying for daddy, asking where he went, consoling, advising, figuring out what the best solution to the problem is when you only have one opinion to consider....any of this sound familiar? The list of the duties of a single, widowed, mom is so long I haven't even scratched the surface here. Not only is the list very long, but there is not another person with whom you can split the list. Remember those days? You take son here, I will take daughter there. Would you please go into his bedroom...I went in last time he called! What should we do with this problem? What do you mean I am overreacting?! Oh, the things I miss about having a parenting partner.Read more
Dear Wonderful Widow.
For the next 3 weekends, three performances per weekend, Anneke, my 15 year-old, will be playing the part of Wendy Darling in Peter Pan. Anneke is afraid of heights. Flying across the stage requires that she put a great deal of trust in the backstage crew who orchestrate her flying. This is not easy for her. Anneke has chosen to face her fear of heights in order to be able to do what she loves. Anneke is an actress.
We who are widows also make choices, many choices.
Remember when your friends said to you, “I don’t know how you do it?” (show up, be a mother, make dinner, go to work, breathe…)
And you thought to yourself, “What choice do I have?”
I am not comparing being Wendy Darling to widowhood. But like Anneke, we choose to show up. You might think you don’t have a choice, but you do. Every time you make dinner, check homework, every time you get out of bed, you are choosing.Read more
I've been thinking about regrets a lot lately. Not about Jim and me. No way. He knew that he was seriously loved and adored ...... as did I. I have no regrets about us and our marriage, other than it wasn't long enough ..... not by a long shot.
This past weekend was our youngest child's (Son #3) Confirmation. This was our first Confirmation without Jim. I had been dreading it for a while, as had Son #3, I think.
It was a very difficult .... and yet good, day.
Many tears were shed. And not just by me.Read more
Dear Wonderful Widows!
When Anneke was eight, a year after Mike died, I dropped her off at her Tae Kwon Do lesson and I was so relieved to have time alone that I forgot to pick her up. Forty-five minutes later as I unpacked the groceries she walked in the house having gotten a ride home from her instructor. She was incredulous and outraged. “You forgot me! You actually forgot me!” I was speechless. My daughter who forgives almost anything did not forgive this for a long time. A child who has been abandoned by her father does not take well to being forgotten by her mother. I had visions of the instructor reporting me to DSS.