Monday, August 31, 2015

I Missed This Too

When Lydia was born, I quit my job to be a stay at home, homeschooling mom. That was my role for eleven years. It was often a struggle financially. Two years ago Tim and I both were offered the opportunity to teach at Cross Lanes Christian School. We decided it would be in the whole family's best interest for us to take that opportunity. (And it was, but not in the ways we had thought it would be. A topic for another post.)

The first year went as planned until the end of the school year when a second spot of melanoma showed up on Tim's shoulder.  That October we found the melanoma had spread through Tim's body, and he left CLC S. This spring, the girls asked if they could homeschool. Tim was responding well to the chemotherapy, and we said they could. In June, the cancer moved in to Tim's brain and his spine. This affected his motor function, and he began using a wheelchair. I resigned my teaching position to be home to care for him. The best laid plans. . .

I find myself again a stay at home, homeschooling mom.  Only this time, I am a widow. I miss him. There are so many times when I want to tell him something, or get his opinion. So many things that remind of him. Where I seem to miss him the most right now is as my parenting partner. Parenting alone is far different than I ever imagined.

But. . . I love being home. I love homeschooling. I missed these things. Our days are much more relaxed. We work in the garden. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen creating healthy meals from things we've grown or gotten from farming friends. We've picked and processed pears, elderberries, and apples. We go on educational field trips, and we visit with friends. There are times, especially in the middle of a project, that life almost feels normal. As if Tim is just merely at work while we go about our day. Like we are happy again.

And as much as I know I shouldn't, I feel guilty for loving our life a little bit right now. After enjoying a few hours, the grief has a tendency to slap you back; the grief or the overwhelming amount of paperwork and decisions that need attention.

Tim and I used to say that our life after his melanoma diagnosis was like a roller coaster. The first few years the ups and downs were well spread out and only a little scary. The last year the ride was much more intense and the climbs and drops closer together. Though he has gotten off the ride, I guess I am still there trying to navigate these ups and downs. Trying to find our new normal where the ups and downs of life are more spread out and not so scary. Trying to be content and happy without feeling guilty about enjoying things without him.


  1. Just wanted to comment so you'd know someone was listening.

  2. Just so you know.... it's ok to have some happy moments in the midst of your grief. All part of the process.

  3. I just found your blog...and was just getting to know Tim. I am so sorry. It was clear from the obituary that your dad had died, too...
    What a wonderful guy. How lucky you were to have his influence on your life.

  4. So glad you're enjoying a few grief-free hours here and there. After Dad died, Mom said she kept expecting him to just walk in from the barn. They loved each other well. Your mom and dad loved each other well. You and Tim loved each other well. A blessed life, regardless of the other circumstances. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our loved ones could give us the assurance we will see them again in eternity the way Tim did? What a comfort.
    Aunt Nancy

  5. It's great to hear you're finding happiness in being home with the kids again, Stephanie. I'm sure it's a comfort to have meaningful time together, and to have a little more freedom to do what you guys want.