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Our Story Begins: What Do I Say?


Our Story Begins:
What Do I Say?


I sat down this evening to write my weekly column for Good Enough Mother and found . . . I had no idea what to write about.

It wasn’t writer’s block, I wrote all day for work. It’s what I do for a living. Creativity is there, I played guitar and practiced for an upcoming gig.

I realized, though, what’s made it difficult this week. It’s made it difficult, to be brutally honest with you, for the last few months. I’ve even moved from writing daily on my blog to writing when the mood strikes me instead.

I’m not out of time. I have no less time to write than I did four and a half years ago when my wife passed away. I might actually have more now. My kids are getting older.

I’m not an empty-nester. My oldest daughter went off to college, sure, but the other three are still at home.

My middle child and I have our small battles, like every teenager and their parents, but we’re actually closer than we’ve been in a long while.

So what’s the issue?

I’m pretty happy. That’s the issue.

Related: Our Story Begins: The Real Me

This is a big change from where things were four years ago. I started writing here then and I can say, without pause, I was a mess. I had no idea what the future held because I didn’t know what tomorrow held. I didn’t even know what the next hour held. I had lost my wife, lost my home, changed jobs, all while cooking every meal, making lunches, learning the kids’ teachers names and trying to figure out just which laundry detergent worked best for our clothes.

I ruined meals. I shrank blouses that ended up becoming the size of my infant niece’s clothes. I was in such a mess of emotions, turmoil, grief and personal panic that I dropped the ball talking to my daughters about sex, about when they might have to go visit an obstetrician and about what all those hormones and boys’ attention and all that meant. Those were things I was going to do with my wife, not alone. At the time when they needed that I was still trying to figure out how I was going to get up tomorrow and do this all…over…again.

I certainly messed up with my kids. I messed up a lot.

But they all told me how much they knew we were all a mess. We didn’t fall. In fact, we stood, tall, and weathered all the storms. Even the ones I didn’t know had hit them.

Today I’m prouder than ever of those four kids. One is assistant director of her university’s play. Another writes music I’m actually jealous of because it’s so heartfelt. My sons amaze me and are more stable and confident than I was at their age.

Yet we’re happy and thriving. We’re not rich but we’re not broke . . . that’s a big deal for us. We’re laughing, not on a daily basis but an hourly basis.

I’m dating. I have adult company. I have music in my life. I think ahead and talk about days I can meet people and do things.

So as things start to go well . . . I realize . . . I guess I do have things to write about after all.

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