In the last couple of weeks, my children have brought two notably upsetting truths to my attention.
On completion of my rant about the one truth, I realized the second truth will have to wait until next time.
After my husband passed away, there was only one thing of which I was absolutely certain. I was going to make it my mission, that no matter what, my children’s lives were going to change as little as possible as a result of the loss we suffered. THERE WOULD BE CONTINUITY!!
I was surrounded by concerned people (bless them, they meant well), that decided that I needed to find a partner. Some felt I needed to do so….…like forthwith……..post-haste!! Some broached this (what I imagined should have been perceived to be a very sensitive topic), VERY SOON….too soon, after I had lost this soul mate of mine! There are those that still, 15 years later, feel this is too sensitive a topic to discuss with me.
Interestingly enough, the closer the people are to me, the less likely they are to broach the subject. Probably because they know me well enough to know my answer! But I have evolved to a stage where if this question is posed, I really have no problem, on an emotional level in answering their question . My answer, however, is a bit wishy washy, as are my thoughts on it. The answer has always been crystal clear, it is the reasoning that has been the wishy and the washy!
For the first 5 years, I was in a semi vegetative state, so it was not even a thought. Eventually, it became less about the fact that I had been with my husband for 23 years, he was my one and only…my soul mate, my confidante, my companion and my friend. When the anger (as discussed in a previous post) set in, it was more about, when would I possibly even have the time (never mind the inclination) to meet someone else? It was simply never a thought or an option for me. But underlying everything was me not wanting my kids to have to be subjected to some random third party now entering their lives. We were a unit, and we will stay that unit. Only we knew what a traumatic experience we had, and only we knew how we would deal with it. THERE WOULD BE CONTINUITY!!
There have been those that have been so absolutely eager for me to “move on”, that they have even imagined fictitious relationships forming.
On one occasion I heard that my one brother had apparently decided that I was crushing on the 150 year old married vascular surgeon treating my mom at the time.
On another occasion, my one friend decided that I was crushing on an out and proud gay Entertainment Coordinator on one of the holidays we went on.
A friend’s mother-in-law, who was neither particularly partial to said friend, nor keen to engage in too much chit-chat with her, would ask every time said friend saw her, if I had found another man yet. She even passed along some advice for me through said friend, saying that perhaps if I wore some make up, fixed my hair and dressed a little smarter, I would find someone. Thank goodness she did not request that I change anything else………was there anything else?? Oh, my warm and engaging personality………yes……..phew……..thank the oceans she didn’t suggest I change that!!
And so it went……the Estate agent selling my house, the husband of another friend…..I could go on, but believe me when I tell you, there were a lot of requests for me to find a man!
There was even a request for me to ”move on” from my husband himself (via a medium I visited a year after his passing), but I will leave that there….for now.
So, essentially, my life has been consumed by my children. I did everything for them, went everywhere for them, ate for them, drank for them…. you know…like any regular mother…..well…helicopter mother…..except I was NOT A REGULAR MOTHER. No, I had lost my soul mate, my confidante, my companion and my friend.
So, when my kids were not yet ”human”, I had amazingly awesome friends who became my soul mates, my confidantes, my companions and my friends. However, as much as friends can fill your cup (and at times, more than a spouse), it’s just not the same when you need advice about your kids. If I was faced with an important decision, or choice, sure it was awesome to have them there to bounce things off. However, these poor friends had no idea, that after they spent quality time deliberating and giving their opinion on whatever quandary I faced at any given point, I would think what the bloody hell does she know about my children or our lives??” So I felt very alone in my decision making efforts during those years. I am sure some decisions were unbelievably impressive, and others were downright crap. But to be fair to myself, that is any parent’s lot in life. Big difference with two parents though….when things go South as a result of a decision made, each parent can blame the other, and they will both feel vindicated. I had no one to blame (other than my late husband, who you might remember, I turn my wrath upon, when feeling oh so sorry for myself.).
But guys, I had done it solo…on my own….no outside interference……what an impressive accomplishment!! My children remained intact….would grow up TOTALLY well rounded, lives undisturbed ……..I……SINGLE HANDEDLY…….HAD INSURED THAT CONTINUITY I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULD…..Bravo Grumpy Mummy, you did it …you astounding you, I told myself.
Anyhoooo, as my children started getting older (and wiser), they started slowly becoming my soul mates, my confidantes, my companions and my friends. It happened organically….behind my back! If they saw I was upset or concerned about something, they would ask why. When they were younger, I kept everything from them…to protect them…keep them young…keep them innocent. But as they grew older (and wiser…dammit), it became more difficult, and I would chat to them, confide in them even ask their opinions. I realized that they had become way smarter than me (also behind my back). They relaxed me, made me feel like everything was always going to be alright. Wait a minute……this is THEIR fault!!!! Well not really, but can you blame for falling into that trap? The thing I have so agonizingly missed……having the emotional support ……was being handed to me on a platter.
So please just imagine for a moment, how absolutely gutted I was, when during a lockdown discussion……debate……. dispute (all three actually), which then became an emotional plea (which in retrospect, was probably a planned intervention by these two traitors I call my sons), I was notified, in the nicest possible way of course, that they both felt a huge responsibility towards me, and anticipated this holding them back in the future. They explained very nicely…….like I was a two year old…….that they might one day feel the need to move in on their own, travel, take a work opportunity in another country etc, but they will always love me, and always be there for me.
WELL BLOW ME OVER WITH A BLOODY FEATHER!!! There I was patting myself on the back, for staying single, staying focused, keeping the circle round, and these little reprobates, in a five minute quarantine family chat, advised me that I actually caused more harm than good. And they are right!! By staying single and making them my life, the tables have now turned, and they feel they have to do the same for me.
I was gutted and honestly felt (and still feel) like I did my two beautiful boys an injustice. To these beautiful sons of mine, I say 1000 times over, I am sorry, and I promise to make changes to my life that will enable you to live yours to the fullest.
First……just sneaking off to the bathroom to have a ”chat” with my husband.
Second…….off to find a man…….hmmmmm, wonder how old that 150 year old vascular surgeon is now….no matter….have to start somewhere!!