April 5, 2010

~ ~ ~ Happy Belated Easter, everyone ~ ~ ~

All three of my kids 
Easter, 2010

Although Easter Sunday itself was really quite nice, it's been a long, long week here. 

As a writer, I always aim to be articulate; on a good day I might strive for eloquent; on my game, I hope to be profound. Today, however, I'm just going for informative.

A week ago today, my ex-husband, Matthew's dad, died unexpectedly.  Apart from all the anger and turmoil and pain and confusion my son is feeling, he is suddenly without a father and is completely displaced from his home.  So, as would be normal in most other families, he has moved in with us again.  If you remember, this is as far from normal as our family could get.

I'd love to be able to say that I, too, am sad for the loss of this man, but I can't get there yet.  Too many years of garbage between being in love with him and today.  As you can imagine, we're all upside down, in our own ways. But I'm not grieving a loss so much as I'm in a state of weird, subdued panic/anxiety/hope.  Wish I could explain it better...as I said, I wasn't even hoping to be articulate.

A week ago, my son and I were barely speaking to each other.  He lived in another town and we had no contact at all for over 10 months.  Today, he is back in our house, eating at our table, getting up and going to school with Jack -  whether any of us was ready for this or not.  Talk about immersion learning.

So we're getting through this day by day.  It's been ok, I guess. He's grieving, of course, and probably still a little in shock, too, but felt ready to go back to school today.  He has a new, supportive group of friends.  He's been really, really nice to all of us since he got here. We've hugged and said "I love you" more than I can ever remember. It almost seemed normal, when the five of us sat down and played Uno after dinner last night.

It's not permanent, at least not yet.  It's logical, of course, that he moves back in and stays here, but I know from past experience that making that happen will be a bit like making mercury stay in the thermometer when the glass has been broken.  I'm not sure where else he'd go - the girlfriend's, a friend's, there's no telling. He can't go back to the house his dad lived in and he's in a position to keep it for himself, even if he will be 18 in just six months.  I'm sure we'll figure it out, as we navigate through these next few weeks getting our new life in order. I'm just hoping that whatever it is that we decide, it will be the right thing for all of us and not cause a whole new rift.

So I'm trying to balance hope with realism, and blessings with curses. I can't tell you how many times over the years I've wished his father dead, and now I'm the poster child for Careful What You Wish For. The nightmare of managing the estate in Matt's best interest (with the cantankerous ex-father in law) is already causing me angina, and it's hardly even started.  The logistics of moving him back into our home when we never expected - ever - that he would return, are a bit tricky. We no loner have a bedroom for him; we must create one out of Jack's playroom and figure out what to do with a boatload of stuff, old and new.  But then, I think, who cares? He's back! Which is great, right? It's what I wanted, right?

But it wasn't supposed to happen like this. Not out of the blue, not without preparation and healing and a plan, not because of some horrible tragedy, not because he has to.

It will all be ok, right? In the end, everything will work itself out. We will get through this like we've gotten through the past two years: trial and error, ups and downs, living and learning.  Today, I was just happy to get up and make breakfast for both my boys, and watch them walk to the bustop, like in the old days.

I'll take that, for now.

Jack finds an egg - the hiding places are getting a little more challenging these days...

Why is this ok, when usually, we don't eat off the floor?

My Easter present: Matt and Elle hanging out with us at home.


  1. I remember reading when things weren't going well. Take it a day at a time. The hugs, the niceness, the I love yous are all positive signs. Things happen for a reason; this too will be clear one day.

  2. I'm thinking about you. Not sure what else to say. Teenagers are tricky enough without the rest of the mix. Hugs.

  3. More than articulate, Tam...

  4. Ditto to Eva's comment.

    I too am the mom of a son with a dad who died after we divorced. We all hope life goes in a straight line, but it is forever changing paths, changing what we are and what we become. My son was 13 when his dad died. He had a very rough time in the beginning and then he found sports in high school, thanks to a coach who pursued him and persuaded him to try wrestling. My son's life took a huge veer to the positive, knocked him out of his depression and today he is a confident and almost self-reliant young man of 22, college grad with his own apt, a job, a wonderful girlfriend and still calls home to ask mom if he can wash jeans with whites. Hey, we can't all be perfect.

    One day at a time.