Here’s what I learned this month:
1. I am at a point in my life where I just get to love and support my kids. Maybe it was C turning 27. Maybe it was M making the decision all on her own to move to Chicago. I’m just one day realized that I don’t need to try to steer my children in a certain direction anymore like I tired to do so often. I am not their judge (I’ve shared before how judgmental I have been over the years). It is such a freeing thought to know that my job now is to just simply love and support my kids.
2. Life is still hard. Not that anything that terrible has happened, but enough has happened that it makes me remember what I read several times in the first couple of years after R passed away- I can’t play the “widow card” for the rest of my life so that nothing else will ever happen to me. I know that bad things do happen. I’ve lived through a terrible thing, and more terrible things can happen still. No one is immune. Bad things are going to happen.
3. Slow and steady wins the race. I realized this when my kids were little. I think young moms tend to feel anxious when they see other kids doing things that their kids aren’t doing whatever that might be. I always told myself “slow and steady wins the race.” Don’t force anything with your kids. They will be fine, and they did turn out to be wonderful adults. But as I see most of their friends getting married or even starting their families, I sometimes feel anxious again thinking that isn’t that paths that either of my kids are taking. I just have to remind myself that what was still is.
4. What I relearn every month. Grief will never leave me. Grief has taken up residence in my life and is not going away. As time goes on, I realize more deeply that if a bit of pain in my life now means that I had something really good, and healthy, and lovely then I will take the pain. The pain is a sign that I had something very special and nothing will ever fill that void that was left when R left this earth.
5. A picture really is worth a thousand words. My kids have communicated with me more on Snapchat this month than any other form of communication.