Parenting is hard at the best of times. I know that because I’ve been a parent for 16 years.
Parenting alone is very hard most of the time. I know that because when Jason would travel months at the time for missionary work, I was the only parent present to take care of everything.
Parenting alone because your spouse died suddenly is harder at all times. I know that because these past 10 months I am and will always be the only present parent, and on top of holding the responsibility of two parents on my shoulders, I also carry the weight of the grief, the sadness, the loneliness and the terrible ache of missing my husband.
There are moments when I remember that he is gone and it still doesn’t seem real. Moments when something cool happens, when the girls get an award, when they make it into Dance Academy, when they write an exquisite top mark essay, I want to share the joys with him, and without thinking, in a split of a second I reach for my phone and then I remember... he is not here.
I want to talk to him about what the kids are going through, about them having a hard time because life isn’t fair and school sucks and their friends are mean... but as I make a mental note to tell him when he gets home from work I remember... he is not here.
On the days when attitudes are out of line, when they haven’t done what I asked or done it with the rolling of their and the heavy sighs, when they are just too sassy for their own good, or irritate each other, or talk back or take me for granted or do the normal teenage stuff that drives parents crazy, the words almost come of of my mouth “wait till Daddy comes home” but then I remember... he is not here.
Sometimes I find it amusing when other people tell me “You gotta remember you have two beautiful daughters...” or when they say “That’s what Jason would want...”
Other times I find that insulting. As if I could ever forget I have two beautiful daughters. And since I was married to Jason for 18years I happen to believe that I may know better than anyone else what Jason would and wouldn’t want.
But none of that changes the fact that everyday, in the big moments of celebration and in each mundane act such as washing the dishes or making the bed, I am always remembering that he is not here to help me raise our daughters. And I know without a shadow of doubt that if he was given the choice, he would have chosen to stay here.
So forgive me if I don’t seem to eager to embrace positive platitudes; or to accept the admonishing to be positive; or to choose to move on because I’m still young...; or to agree to celebrate cause he is now with in heaven with Jesus. Because the truth is that in these last 10 months I have had to parent my children alone.
In these last 10 months, I have had to pull myself together and ask God everyday to help me to put one foot in front of the other , many times literally.
In these last 10 months most people have gotten used to the idea that he is not here. But my children and I have to live with the reality that he is not here.
And the reality is harder than anyone can imagine.