Saturday, August 01, 2009

Thinking. Thinking. And more thinking…

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Widowhood. Single parenting. Widowhood and single parenting. Everything is so much more complex now. Things take a bit more effort. Life takes a bit more effort.

What once was one trip into the house with crap from the car, now takes me 2 or 3. Getting ready takes longer, as there is no one to divert the little man when he wants my attention. Cooking, cleaning, and basically everything requires a bit more effort. There is no longer that second pair of hands to help out.

I am learning out of necessity to juggle about ten things at once these days. I no longer have that live in person to hand Alec off to if I have a headache, or bills or the flu. But I have not in some time, really. I just muddle through as best I can, learning how to make the best use of my time. Becoming more efficient. David would be proud. He was always about efficiency and now I too am learning how important it is and imperative to survival these days. Becoming more efficient with the day-to-day crap. Leaving more time to play. To live. To do the things that really matter in life.

I am finding my way in this new role. A few of the ladies from my ‘Wonderful and Wacky Widows’ playgroup (And yes sadly there are enough of us that we actually have our own playgroup) were just talking about this the other day. How despite everything we have gone through. Everything our children have experienced. We are doing more than ok and our children are astonishingly well balanced despite everything they have had to go through in their short time on this rock. We are all doing it. Getting through the days. And I find we are no longer just merely surviving the days. We are moving on. Piecing our lives back together. Finding our way. Finding love. Finding hope.

Not to say it is not hard some days. Some days are beyond brutal. And some I feel weary and beaten down. And some I cry. But I get through those moments and at the end of the day think to myself. Damn. I did it. I never would have thought I could have, but I did.

Recently I made it through our first flight together. It was tough. Much tougher than expected, but I got though it. I would watch all the other “Traditional” families wistfully. As one parent would hand the kid off to the other as they juggled luggage, tickets or food. There was no one to hand Alec off to...and yet we got through it. And although numerous times throughout the flight, during the long layover and navigating across the airport I thought about how much it sucks to be a single parent. I did it. And that in itself was empowering!

Since that flight, it has gotten me thinking. Thinking about families. Thinking about my future. And what it means to be a family. Whether you have the “Traditional” family unit of a mom and dad. Or maybe you have two moms…or two dads. Or maybe you are a single mom or dad through divorce or widowhood. Or you have no children, and your family is your wife or husband. Your parents. Your friends. The concept of family encompasses so many different forms. No particular composition is the right one and no family is perfect. And even in our own lives, our families change. People come and go. Families get smaller…and they get bigger too.

I watch families when I am out and about incessantly as of late. At the zoo. At the restaurant. I watch longingly at them. The dad smiles and scoops up one of the little ones. The mom meanwhile juggling another kid on her lap. I look at those families, knowing full damn well that although they are smiling and laughing…there is no saying that their lives are perfect. Who knows what kind of marriage they have. Or what crazy messed up curve balls life has thrown at them as well. You never know what hell others are going through under the surface of pretense.

But I look at them and what they represent and I realize I am open to having a life like that again some day. I know some who have decided that marriage is no longer something they want. That they loved once and the loss broke their heart. And the mere thought of having their heart torn to shreds again is too much to bear. I can understand that, it is terrifying. And yet, I so loved being married. Sharing my life with someone. Having someone who knew you to your core and despite your eccentricities…loved all of you. And I look at those families and I think...that could be me again someday. Will be me again someday. It will be different. But it always is. But I look at those families and I realize that despite the shit sandwich life handed me, and David really, I would do it all over again. Because being in love. Having someone love you and sharing quiet moments together. Crazy moments together. Any moments together…are precious. It makes me think about what it means to be a family. And what family means to me. And for means everything.

I do not know what shape my family will become. But I know life has a miraculous way of working its magic. And despite all the heartbreak and loss that one experiences. Hope and love is always present as well. My life will take many turns. Life is one hell of a crazy fucking roller coaster. I am still on it and do not plan to get off any time soon. So, I’ll enjoy the highs when I have them, knowing that there will be lows as well. But I will take them all in stride. Knowing I can survive anything...