Reflections on the Last Day of School

Today is E’s last day of 3rd grade and B’s last day of first grade.  In just 3 months, S will be joining them on that bus heading off to Kindergarten.  It’s sort of a bittersweet day.  My last day with just me and my little buddy.  While I know he is ready and can’t wait to start, it is so hard for me to imagine putting him on that bus without Mark here.  I wish he was here to see this little person he is becoming, the little people all three of them are becoming.  I am sad because it will be my first solo Kindergarten send off.  As much as I am getting used to doing things on my own, it doesn’t really get any easier.  All the milestone moments are marked with a little bit of sadness on not having daddy here.

But back to today.  Focusing on NOW.  My “big kids” are getting even bigger.  Heading to fourth and second grade in the fall.  It seems impossible that in just two short years I will be sending E off to middle school.  This year has simply flown by and while I am looking forward to our summer break, I wish I could press pause and make it slow down just a little bit.  In some ways it feels like each day that passes the kids get a little more independent and need me less and less.  With that comes a sense of freedom, but as a stay-at-home mom, it also comes with a feeling of not really knowing what my role is anymore.  I always knew I wouldn’t do this forever, but now that it is in the home stretch, it is sad!  I don’t know what my future brings, but I am getting ready to say goodbye to an era that has brought me much joy the past 9 years!

With summer break here, I will work hard to continue to post here.  I know it is still helpful and especially with all the busyness and crazy schedule, it will be something that can support me during my weeks I won’t be at counseling 😉  Enjoy this beautiful day… I know I will!!

Peace and Quiet

A rare quiet moment in the house.  Kids are gone by my sister’s and it’s just me and Penny.  The sun is shining, the windows are open, letting a cool breeze through the house.  I didn’t get much sleep last night, stayed up too late watching TV then had smiling faces wake me up at 6:30 this morning.  Going through a time of really just missing Mark.  I think about how much fun he would be having with the kids.  Reflecting on how much the kids have changed the past 18 months.  It’s nearly impossible to imagine what my life could have looked like.  I still very much live by the “one day at a time” mantra, but every once in a while, I will find myself looking to the future.  It certainly doesn’t seem as grim as it once did.  Each day I am making a baby step towards progress.  Holding onto my memories of Mark while letting go of the past so I can move forward into a wonderful future with my amazing kids.  Often times I cannot really believe this is my life.  I think part of it is that the kids keep me so busy it’s hard to find time to feel sorry for myself.  But even if I could, I don’t think I would.  So many things happen in this world and I think, yes, I had this horrible thing happen to me.  A level of heartbreak I would never wish on anyone.  Yet I hear of things happening that are so much worse.  And I think of all I DO have.  My amazing family, friends… these people are the ones who have made me strong.  It is hard to feel sorry for myself when I have so much to be thankful for.  I love Mark and wish so much he was here.  I wish my kids never had to know what it’s like to not have a daddy here on Earth.  By far that is what brings me the most heartache.  So if you could, say a little prayer for my kids.  That they will find peace and happiness.  That they will be healed and will be able to find happiness without their daddy.  I recently had a brief conversation with a teacher from Mark’s school… and it continues to mean so much to me that people are still thinking of Mark and missing him like we are.  Thank you for continuing to read this blog and for continuing to support me and the kids.  Honestly, we need it now more than ever.

Thoughts on a Cold Tuesday

Haven’t been here in a while, mainly because my schedule with kids’ activities (okay, baseball!) has been hectic.  A few events have happened these past few weeks.  Another Mother’s Day without Mark.  Was much better this year I think because I was prepared for it.  The kids each collected some of their allowance money, I planned with my mom to take E shopping to pick something out for me.  All in all, it was a million times better than last year.  And Friday marked 18 months, a whole year and a half since Mark died.  In some ways it feels like that is CRAZY, like, how could that much time have passed?  And in other ways it feels like it should be at least 10 years.  It has certainly been a stressful time, but every once in a while I will get a glimpse of happiness and just true joy in me or the kids and it gives me hope that we might just be okay.

I’ve been thinking a lot about someone who is really special to me.  She is really struggling and just has a ton on her plate. I feel I can relate in some ways because I know how it feels to have to constantly rely on people for help. It isn’t easy.  I wish there was some way I could help, but sometimes I just don’t know what to do but just let her know I’m here for her.  We all have our battles and struggles.  Some are more difficult than others.  Nobody knows what it feels like to be her, just like nobody knows what it’s like to be me.  Shoot, sometimes I’M not even sure what it’s like to be me anymore.  I am nowhere near the same person I was before.  And that makes me so sad.  Sometimes I can’t even remember who that person was.  She was so lucky, not a care in the world.  I’d love to have that feeling for just a little while again.

I drive by my old house often.  Not on purpose, but it’s close by my new house and it’s often on my way home.  I have spent a lot of time reflecting on why it upsets me so much to drive by.  It’s more than just all the memories we made there with Mark.  I think it is more that I lost the future I saw there.  I think about what it would be like if Mark were still here.  We’d still be in that house.  The kids would be riding their bikes up and down the block while he was mowing the lawn.  I can picture it because I lived it for so long.

I often wonder, is it as simple as “what if he had slept in that morning?”  If not that morning, would it have been the next, or the one after that?  I don’t let myself “go there” often because I know I will never have an answer.  It’s a constant struggle to find a way to grieve Mark and the future I had while moving forward and living this life and finding happiness with what we have.  Today is a sort of in-between day.  It’s cold and gloomy, so that doesn’t help.  I have a choice, each and every day.  Today I choose happiness, even if I don’t feel it.