Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm Hoping ......


...... that the worst is behind me.

I wouldn't put money on that hope, but I'm hoping nonetheless.

I have parented 6 children.  Jim was here to fully parent 3, almost 4, of those children.
All three girls had made it through high school and were firmly ensconced in college (the oldest was doing an internship while waiting to get into grad school).

Our oldest son was half way through his senior year in high school.

The "easiest" kids were pretty much on their own.
The biggest challenges were yet to come.
And boy, they came with a vengeance.

I'm sure that we would have had our challenges, even if Jim had been alive.
But I have no doubt that the challenges that faced me, were much worse because he was not.
There were many times when I doubted that we would all survive their journey to adulthood.
There were some times when I would've told you that one of us would definitely not survive.

But on Saturday, Son #2 turned 21.
He is an adult.
And though he is not at a place in life where I had hoped/dreamed he'd be ...... he's doing ok.
Trust me ...... after 5 1/2 years on this path as an only parent ...... "doing ok" is pretty damn good in my opinion.
Especially after everything he ...... and I ...... have been through.

In less than one month, Son #3 heads off to college.
In spite of all we've been through.
In spite of all he's put me through.
In spite of ...... so much.
And because of ...... so much.

My children are survivors.
I doubt that they look at themselves that way, but I sure see them that way.
They have survived more than any child should have to survive.
They have survived far less than some children have to survive.
They have survived the loss of their father.
And they have survived me.

They have survived losing the mother they knew.
They have survived living with a mother who didn't want to live.
They have survived watching their mom grieve harder than anyone thought possible.
They have survived watching their mom get knocked down, slowly pick herself up, redefine herself, change her priorities ...... and grow stronger than they ever thought possible.

They have survived watching her stumble, make mistakes, and yet keep moving forward.
They've heard her apologize to them, tell them how much she loves them, and admit that she'll always be fallible but that she will always be there for them.

They've watched me grow stronger ...... and they've seen me make decisions that they might not always agree with, but they always support.

The seven of us have grown closer over the last 5 1/2 years.
In spite of so very much.
Because of so very much.

And though parenting never really ends ......
I really am hoping that the worst part of being an only parent to 6 grieving children ...... is behind me.

I'm excited to watch them as they encounter their futures.
I'm happy that they've all made it to "adulthood" ....... in spite of everything, and because of everything.

I'm excited to see what the future holds for each of them ...... and for me.
It's been a long time coming.
To say the least.


  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Mjay. Thanks for always reading ... and commenting. It's appreciated.

  2. Janine you should be proud of what you accomplished. Many that read your post gives us strength that we can do it also. For me it doesn't get easier, but learning to deal with it and facing reality.
    Peace be with you..

    1. Thank you, Anon. I hope that my words can give you strength and help you know that you can take the next step. Trust me, if I can ... anyone can!

  3. Hi Janine,

    Thank you for posting. While I am not a widow, my father passed away this year, leaving my mother a widow. They would have been married for 29 years.

    I am wondering if your older children were able to find any helpful resources after your husband passed away. There isn't much online or in the community for parental loss for young adults. I know that this blog is so helpful for my mom and others in similar situations, and I would like to find a similar community.

    1. Thank you, Anon. How wonderful that you're reading here for, and with, your mother. I'm sure that it helps you to understand a little of what she's going through. I hope that it can give you hope, too. I'm sure that if anyone here knows of a community for young adults who've lost a parent, they'll post it here for you.
      I wish you well as you travel this path ..... it's certainly not one you would've chosen, but I know that you can make it.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. Just hugs sent your way...although a glass of wine might be nice, thanks for sharing

    1. You're welcome, Linda.
      Thanks for the comment ...... and the hugs.
      Though wine is great, I'll take hugs over it any day.

  5. You have done and continue to do an amazing job with your kids, even though you may not always see it. Its always so hard to see our own progress, when we are the ones stuck inside of the tunnel. Im sure your Jim would be proud of everything you have all accomplished, and how you face each new day ahead. I love you and am so happy I will get to see more of your awesomeness in NYC!!!

  6. Watching ny 3rd movie husbands bday today....on my 3rd drink...wishing I could so be like one has even acknowledged his bday today...just trying to keep going,,,,but not doing so well.