Jonathon's Closet

Thursday, October 11, 2007

3158 days ... and then, thankfully, a break!

Jonathon got me thinking. Yep, again! He usually does! He mentioned how many days he had gone without Dad ... and I began to realized EXACTLY why I needed a break SO BADLY!

Imagine doing EVERYTHING that you usually do, combined with EVERYTHING that your husband does, every single day for 3158 days.


Now add to that the complications that the death of a husband and a father brings: add a grieving child, the unending assistance that the grieving child needs, the nightmares and night terrors, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the insecurity, the fear that lives deep inside a child who’s watched one parent die and fully realizes that the remaining parent could die as well … and don’t forget to add your own pain, and dealing with the endless red tape, endless bureaucracies …


Toss in a major loss in income, which equals a tremendous change in lifestyle – no, not those small changes that we’re all capable of making: the difference between 6 figures and not being able to keep the electric bill paid, the difference between having to wait til payday to buy school supplies and having to move the child to a new school district, the difference between “guess I can’t afford steak this week” and “guess I can’t afford groceries this week”.


Think about it :

doing every job that needs to be done, inside and out.

making every decision, large and small.

making every purchase, large and small.

earning every dollar, providing for all needs.

being the sole disciplinarian, for each and every issue that arises.

doing every bit of the driving.

taking care of every cold, flu, scraped knee, and medical emergency.

attending each and every school function, sporting event, scout event, etc.


Do it all alone.

All of it.

No one to share any of it.

No one to talk to.

No one to bounce ideas off of.

No one offering support.


As the 14 year old child pointed out earlier, not even a phone call or an e-mail or a postcard.


Nothing.


You earn all the money, you pay all the bills, you do all the shopping, you wash the car, you mow the lawn, you make the lunches, you run to the store if something is needed even when you are ill because after all, there’s no one there but you. You cook every meal, you wash every dish, you drive to every single place, you take out the trash, you pull the weeds, you get the oil changed, you fix the door when it breaks because after all, everyone is depending on you.


And even when you can delegate some of these responsibilities to a child who already carries more responsibility than a child should, YOU are still the one who is responsible for making sure all of these tasks are done.


You’re an ONLY parent… there’s no one else to depend on. Ever.


And right about now, MAYBE 1/10th of you are seeing a mere 1/100th of the total picture.


And if you comprehend 1/100th of that picture, you will understand how totally amazingly wonderful the gift I’m going to tell you about truly was …


Her calm steady voice had been my life preserver for a few months already. It took all of my strength not to simply collapse into her arms sobbing at the end of the 9 hour drive.



As we sat in the living room, the phone rang … and I didn’t have to answer it.

When dinner time approached, she suggested a dinner plan … and I didn’t have to do it.

When we left for dinner, she drove … and I was allowed to just be the passenger.


For the first time in nearly nine years, I was not responsible for every damn thing.

A meal could be had, and it wasn’t solely my responsibility.

A phone could be answered, and it wasn’t solely my responsibility.

An outing could be planned, and it wasn’t solely my responsibility.


Within 3 days, I was able to keep food down … for the first time in many many months.

Within 5 days, my constantly throbbing headache had subsided.


Sure, all of my responsibilities still existed. Sure, my health issues were still with me.

Sure, it was only a temporary reprieve. (Do each of you realize that you actually get a reprieve, each time he takes out the trash? Or puts gas in the car? Or brings home a paycheck? Or sends child support? Or takes the kids for an hour? Or for a weekend?)


But for the first time in nearly nine years, I began to feel like I could breathe.


Unequivocally the best gift ever.


Big Hugs, Penny … you’re the best!

2 Comments:

  • Now you know why I am on vacation. The part I get, too, is that it is just not as much fun to vacate alone. That makes it hard to do.

    I heart you two, be kind to each other.

    By Blogger Valerie - Still Riding, at 7:42 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:02 PM  

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