The Death of an Old Friend

How should one react to the death of an old friend? Someone that you spent a lot of time around, laughing, joking and truly enjoying 20 years ago? Someone that may have asked you out once or twice, but timing and circumstances led you to decline? Someone whose face you are used to seeing around now and then but didn’t seek out anymore. Someone who you were still comfortable sitting down next to if you happened to be in the same establishment, sharing stories and laughing at jokes?

It hurt when I heard of his passing, and then I almost felt a little guilty because our friendship had passed into more of an acquaintance status and it seemed like I didn’t have the right to mourn his passing like those that were currently active in his life. Is there a correct way to grieve? Was it wrong of me to sit on my sofa and think of my friend, crying tears over the loss that I felt? Is it wrong that when I think of him now that I feel a little chunk of something missing from my heart. I probably only saw him once a month, yet I will still miss his face in the crowd.

I am not sure how I am supposed to feel. I think that each person grieves differently. I drew him a poster, when I was 18, a super-sized AC/DC Monsters of Rock poster off of a tiny little picture on the back of a movie cover. It wasn’t a perfect drawing. Still, on the day of his death, 23 years later, he had it hanging on his wall. The picture would mean nothing to anyone else, held no monetary value to anyone, but it meant something to him and it meant something to me. Maybe it was a connection? I don’t know. A friend that was helping settle the estate saved the poster for me and I now have it in my home. I am uncertain what I should do with it. Do I hang it up? I think I will, somewhere private, somewhere that visitors won’t see it but where every now and then I will be reminded of him.

I miss him.

On Lost Trust

Can you judge someone for crimes not committed against you? Can you look at someone that you once trusted, after hearing something devastating about their past, and see them as exactly the same person that they were a moment ago? How do you move on from that?

One of my daughters, now an adult of 19, broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years about a year ago. He had trouble with the truth. Overall he was a nice guy, he cared about her, but the relationship reached its end, as they tend to do with young love and they both moved on. However, she carried the hurt with her. It took her a year to decide to date someone new.

She seemed to become almost obsessed with her new beau, constantly telling me all of the good things about him and spending as much time with him as she possibly could, even going so far as to break ‘curfew’ (very unlike her) a few times before she came to her senses and realized that the time she tells me she will be home is a courtesy, not a rule. She lives under my roof. The rule is that she gives me a time and she adheres to it. I recognize that she is now considered an adult. But I am still a parent that will wake up and search for her child with fear in her heart if she isn’t where she said she would be. I don’t know how else to be.

Back to the boyfriend. I had heard whispers of him from others, that he was a “player” and that he was “controlling.” My daughter is strong and independent when it comes to getting bossed around so I am sure the controlling part of it didn’t last long. In fact, she pointed out that she could quite possibly be the first woman in his life to tell him where to go when he tried to dictate her choices. He seems to be a perfectionist, getting excellent grades, carrying one certificate from college and going on to a long term goal in the legal world. He is involved in school programs, president of the council. On paper he seems perfect.

Her tears this morning tore at me. He confessed to having cheated on not one, but two of his last two girlfriends. The player theory confirmed. But it isn’t even that. Of course, he told her that this is different, that he would never to that to her, that she is special. She told him that the beginning of each new relationship is always different and special and filled with romance and good intentions, and that eventually the newness wears off and then relationships require work and maintenance. She is scared. She is worried. What will happen if they are together in two years and she goes off to the bigger university to finish her last four years of college and she is away from him? What happens if he grows bored with her? She doesn’t want to be that clingy girl that practically stalks her boyfriend, yet she doesn’t want to be the clueless girl at home thinking her boyfriend is fast asleep only to find out later that he had wandered to another’s bed.

She made him promise that if he ever even thought of cheating on her that he would break up with her first. Like her mother, she would rather get dumped than find out that she wasn’t enough, wasn’t actually that special or that loved. Of course, if he is going to cheat and that is his character, then it is doubtful that he will take her feelings into consideration before he does it. She is torn. She does not want to break up with him for things that he didn’t do to her. Had she known, she never would have gotten involved in the first place. She is not one to trust blindly. Trust is earned. Trust is built. How can she get that back? The doubt remains. How does she get past it? How does she forget that he has done this, more than once, and not worry that she will be the next clueless woman on the list?

I feel for her. No, she can’t punish him for something he hasn’t done to her. However, you wouldn’t hire a jewel thief to work in your jewelry store either, not without serious trepidation. Her heart is a precious jewel, carefully guarded and filled with hopes and dreams. Maybe this is different for him. Maybe this time he won’t go down that road. I told her to slow down, to get to know him better, to let him earn her trust.

Maybe this relationship is irreparable, maybe not. Nobody is perfect, people make mistakes. How many times are we allowed to make the same mistake and still think we have a valid excuse? Maybe she can get past it. What I do know for sure is that she shouldn’t have to struggle. She is young, just starting her life, and the fidelity of her partner isn’t something that should be piled on top of her list of invisible medical issues. I hope he treats her heart carefully, because if one more man lets her down it will surely deepen a scar that she shouldn’t have in the first place.

Dating a Single Mom – My Version

It’s been a long time since I have visited my blog. Many ideas have come to me and vanished before I have had time to put them to paper. Perhaps I should start recording my ideas when I have them and hope I can decipher them out of the background noise of barking dogs and yelling teenagers. Wouldn’t that be a trick?

One idea keeps coming back to me, mostly because I have been seeing a lot of articles written on dating single mothers. I have my own ideas about this and would like to share them.

1. Court her (AND HER CHILDREN, once she lets you meet them).

Give her time. Make a date, take her out, bring her flowers. Remind her that not all men are going to build her up and then rip her and her children to shreds. A single mother has been there, done that. A lot of women have. However, most single moms will be very protective of their children and might not let you meet them right away, no matter how much you claim to want to be a part of their lives. Single moms come as a package and the warning label will tell you that she will want to move slow so that she can protect those children. Yes, she may want to be in a relationship, but she won’t sacrifice her children for her own wants or needs. Show her that you are in it for the long haul. Take the time to make her feel like she matters.

2. Don’t push her.

Again, give her time. If you are really interested in this woman then you will respect her boundaries. Today’s dating world has turned from a slow and safe build that consists of courting and getting to know each other to a relationship that starts with meeting and jumps right to moving in. Single moms have a lot going on. They don’t have a lot of time to spare. If they are sharing some of their downtime with you then it is a privilege and you should treat it as such. Don’t push her. Don’t nag her, chances are she gets a lot of that from her children. Don’t rush right into the next step of the relationship. Savor the moment and really get to know her.

3. Understand her need for independence.

Okay, so she isn’t exactly a handyman but she most likely has learned to fend for herself. If something is broken she has probably taken it apart and tried to fix it herself. She probably can’t afford a repairman and will get by with whatever solution she has come up with. Don’t step into her life and tell her how to do things. ASK her if she wants help. If she says no then respect that or ask her if she would like you to show her how to fix it and then give her the instruction, letting HER do the hands on work and respect that she might not have been raised by someone that taught her how to do things. Be patient and calm about the whole process. She will want to learn because she might have to do it again. Understand her desire to keep finances separate. She works hard to maintain home and family. She won’t want to take handouts and it isn’t her job to support you. Asking her to quit her job so you can take care of her and her children is like asking her to give up everything she has worked for and trust that you will take care of them forever. It sounds like a dream come true, but the bottom has fallen out for these women, probably more than once, and they are going to be reluctant to trust that it won’t fall out from under you. Not everyone wants to be taken care of. Yes, that day may come eventually, but let it happen. Don’t take away all that she has struggled for. Don’t be a leech. She has enough on her plate. Handle your own finances and don’t look to her to support you.

4. She doesn’t need you to take care of her or her children.

Most single mothers have been around the block. They have learned to successfully juggle work, practice, doctor’s appointments, dentists, school, after-school events and so much more without missing a beat. She knows where her kids are, what they need, when they will be back, who is going to pick them up and usually how she is going to be in three places at once. She doesn’t need you to step in and be the hero. She will have a hard time relinquishing control over these things because if she lets go of one aspect of her schedule she is afraid that the rest will come crashing down. She is used to the constant running. She is used to staying up all night with a sick child, or worrying when her teenager will arrive home safely and then getting up early, running on empty so that she can do it all again. Some single moms are back in school and working. Respect that. She will have very little time and sometimes it’s okay to tell her that it’s okay to do what she needs to do while you hang out and not to worry about entertaining you. She is looking for is someone that will be there for her when the day is over, someone that she can count on to be there to hold her close, someone to remind her that she is a beautiful woman even when she has a glue stick stuck to her face and her hair looks like something off of Wild Kingdom. That is what she NEEDS. She doesn’t need you to take care of them, she needs you on an emotional and physical level that means so much more than needing someone to pick up the kids from school.  Understand that those things are the things that she will love you for.

5. She isn’t looking for a “daddy” for her children. Be their friend.

Her kids have a dad. Sometimes they are in the picture, sometimes they are not. Respect those boundaries. Be careful of saying anything negative about him in front of the children. Remember that this is their father and hopefully they have not been exposed to too much negativity about their dad or about the prior relationship their mother had with their father. There will be visitation schedules. There will be split holidays and shared parenting times for important events. There will be frustration and stress. She deals with this all of the time. Be there for her, be there for the children. Don’t fight it. This doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you in their lives. You are an adult that they will learn to love if you treat their mother and them well. They may even look up to you as a father figure one day but even if they don’t mutual respect is still a must. If you disrespect her children she will never forgive you.

6. Don’t expect instant acceptance from her children.

Some kids are very accepting of new partners coming into their mother’s life. Some are not. Some have been hurt.. Some of them have been abused. Some of them are angry. Some will lash out. Remember to respect that they have a reason for acting the way that they do. Kids are kids, they need parents because they are not good at making decisions and have a lot of growing up to do. Don’t revert back to a child yourself. Be kind to her children. Don’t EVER yell at them or lay a hand on them. Respect that she will discipline them if they are out of line. If she doesn’t then you need to talk to her. Remember to choose your words carefully. Use “I” statements instead of “they” or “she/he.” Don’t accuse her children or she will get defensive and might clam up. Say things like, “I am not sure what to do, or how to handle this, I adore your children. Can you help me make the right choices regarding them?” Yes, it sounds like surrender but what she will hear and feel is that you DO care and that you are going to be patient. She will be able to assess the situation without getting defensive and will be able to deal with her children by seeing how they are really acting, not how someone told her they were acting. I am not saying you need to stand idly by while they scream, shout and throw rocks at you. I am just telling you to walk away from the moment so that it doesn’t escalate. Don’t storm out and leave her hurt. Reassure her that you care about her and her children, and let her handle it. This will be far more effective than yelling at her kids or telling her how awful they are. She loves them, even if they are awful. Don’t badmouth her children when you are not together. Words travel. Don’t let it get back to her, even if it is really how you feel. Once the relationship becomes more permanent then you need to talk about what is going on and how discipline will be handled.

7. Don’t jump right to sex.

Moms are tired. They are busy. They are also women and have the same needs and wants as any other women when it comes to the bedroom. They are often just as passionate, if not more, than a woman without children – mostly because they crave and appreciate the tenderness and closeness that comes with sex as well as being able to let go completely with someone. They love feeling beautiful and special just as much as the next person. Remember that once you DO get to that point she will want to be very careful about privacy as far as her children are concerned. They will interrupt special moments, they will make it hard to find the time sometimes, but believe me, if you love her right it will be more than worth the wait. When you talk to her, actually have a conversation. She will most likely crave an adult conversation. Let her know that you want her but not just in bed. Foreplay, with any woman, should last all day – a touch in the hallway, a kiss on the back of her neck, a smile that says “you are beautiful,” a text that says “I miss you” or “I love you”…. those things will pave the way to a happy life in the bedroom. They should also go both ways.

8. Be sure of yourself.

Nobody knows exactly what will happen in a relationship. It is impossible to predict whether or not you will live happily ever after together or if you will go down in flames. Just make sure that YOU are in the right place to pursue and maintain a relationship before you pursue. Don’t get a little ways in and then decide YOU are not ready. She has been rejected enough, don’t add to the pile. Don’t play games because she won’t tolerate it. If she is playing games with you or using her children as pawns to control others in her life then you might want to think twice about stepping into that relationship.

9. If you want out, be honest.

Sometimes you want out. It isn’t working. It isn’t going to work, ever. Be honest with her. Tell her how you feel. Don’t disappear. Don’t stand her up or abandon her. Chances are that this has already happened to her and has left a huge scar across her heart. Remember that you have cared for this woman and you should want her happiness, even if it isn’t with you. Don’t give her the, “It’s not you, it’s me” line. Nobody believes that one anymore. Don’t tell her how awful her children are. Make sure she knows that you care about her and her children but that you just don’t see a future. Don’t leave her feeling like she is worthless, that her children are horrible, and that nobody will ever want them. It is already a fear that she holds in her heart – that nobody will ever want her, and building on that will not do anyone any good. You will both walk away feeling a lot better about the end of the relationship if you are honest but choose your words carefully. Don’t just abandon her. It will make her feel like she is nothing but trash that is used and thrown away, unwanted, unneeded and not worth an explanation. More importantly, make sure you leave her children with the knowledge that it isn’t their fault. My six year old recently asked me if my last boyfriend left because he had to take care of him sometimes. That was two years ago. Believe me, kids remember.

10. Online Dating

You hear a lot about online dating and the increasing success rates. She is most likely on there because she has no place to go to meet eligible men, she doesn’t have time (or really want) to hang out at the bars, and she is tired of getting hit on by insensitive jerks. There are a lot of nice men out there and she is looking for one. Don’t ask her for a one night stand, don’t jump right to the topic of sex, and don’t demand an instant meeting. So often the pressure of meeting someone instantly, before fully exploring who they are can push people away. Give her time to open up. Sure, suggest meeting but don’t abandon her if you don’t instantly get your way. She deals with children every day. Don’t be one.

11. She doesn’t mind being single.

The statement “nobody wants to be alone” rings true for some and not for others. Don’t assume that she wants to be in a relationship just to be in one. If she is looking, she is serious. However, if you make it too much work for her she will walk away –  remember that she is already playing the role of mom, dad, nurse, coach, handyman, employee, teacher, and the list goes on and on. A lot of single moms are comfortable being alone. They don’t have anyone that they can count on besides themselves and have reached a place in their life where it is easier to know that they have to deal with whatever comes their way on their own rather than being let down by someone else. They might not be as lonely as everyone assumes. Yes, there may be times when they are alone and long for the noise of their children playing, or even fighting. Yes, there will be nights when they are laying in bed alone wishing they had someone to cuddle up to that makes them feel safe and secure. Yes, there are events where it is embarrassing to not have that +1 at your side, especially when snide remarks and pitying looks make them feel like they are a freak of nature for not being in a relationship. Sometimes it is just easier to be single. They will value their children’s needs over their own and will make their choices accordingly. Those feelings of loneliness come to any single person but the chances are that if she is pursuing a relationship with you it isn’t because she doesn’t like being single. She’s interested.

12. She will love you completely.

If you end up in a long term relationship she will most likely appreciate you beyond your expectations. She will love you completely, accept you for who you are and most likely try to take care of you as well. She is used to being the caretaker, the nurturer. She will fully bring you into her life and family. It takes a long time to get there, but she is worth the wait.

These are just a few of my opinions and thoughts on the matter. For someone that has been married, divorced, in a relationship or two, cheated on, dumped without a word and whatever else you want to toss in there — I feel that I have a valid say on the subject through experience. Of course, not every single mom has the same feelings or ideas as I do. Not all of them have the same wants or needs. I am not saying every single mom is honest, or that she wants a relationship, or isn’t looking for a “daddy” for her children. What I DO know is that a lot of them feel exactly the way I do. If she is a truly a good mother, she will put her children’s needs first and getting fully inside that family unit takes patience and understanding. I have yet to find someone that is patient enough to bother. Someday it will happen, but I am okay being single for now. My focus is on raising children that are kind, compassionate and productive members of society. Some days I do better than others. Some nights I AM lonely. Most of the time I am too tired to remember to be lonely.

Really? Strep? Again?

Almost two weeks ago my five year old little man came down with scarlet fever… basically strep with a rash. He was given medication and was soon feeling better. His rash finally went away a few days ago. Yesterday he spiked a 101 fever and it continued throughout today. I didn’t mess around and took my sad little boy to work with me and then to the doctor only to find out he has strep again. Poor buddy! I was concerned that he never got rid of it and she said it was possible but that it is more likely that he got it again, since he was feeling better. She decided to put him on penicillin. It took forever at the doctor’s office. During all of this my son got the wiggles and because we were at the clinic it took a bit to get him to the bathroom and, of course, he didn’t get his little jeans undone in time and ended up with a mess. He was embarrassed. He didn’t feel good. I was flustered, but remained calm for his sake.

When we finished up at the doctor we went and got him a pair of sweats and some new underwear so that he could go to the pharmacy without smelling like urine or having wet pants for the next hour. He never has accidents. My poor little man. Of course, there was some problem at the registers and we ended up waiting in line for nearly 20 minutes to make our purchase and then were pushed out of the way by some big scary looking man who obviously didn’t give a crap who was in his way when they opened up a new lane. My son was sick, wet, and had a fever. I couldn’t and wouldn’t leave him in the car, and there was no place else to take him while I got his medication. Single parenting at its finest. I just did my best not to let him touch ANYTHING. I got him changed in the car, and then headed off to the pharmacy where we learned that the doctor had accidentally submitted the wrong dose and had submitted the prescription again and that the pharmacy doesn’t carry liquid penicillin on hand for children. At this point we were both getting quite frustrated. I just sat down and snuggled with him while we waited for them to sort it all out and he ended up on Amoxicillin. As I was paying the pharmacist noticed that I had burst a blood vessel in my eye. Super cute. Now I look like something from a vampire movie and not the pretty ones.

We are finally home. I got some Motrin and his antibiotics in him and he is starting to feel better as his fever drops again. I am trying to relax and take a deep breath before I finish the first half of my final for one of my Advanced Coding classes. I got up at 3 this morning and finished it because I couldn’t sleep, so I really just need to review it and make sure I was somewhat coherent this morning.

Tomorrow…. well, tomorrow we are staying home. I am calling in sick and so is he. Perhaps things will be brighter after we both feel better. Here is to a better day!

Insomnia

I am tired. I need sleep. I want to close my eyes and detach the wiring that makes my brain start to spin on nights like this. I lay here and think….. Then I think some more. I think about my girls and how wonderful they are doing.

I think of my Taylor and how she has changed, how she got almost all A’s on her report card for the first time in years and how I didn’t have to bother her at all about homework or studying all trimester. Not once. I think about her future, how her Computer Science teacher told her she was the at top of the class and he really wants her to take the Advanced class…. She laughed and told him “Maybe next year, but I really don’t think a cosmetologist needs the advanced class.” I can hear him thinking that she is wasting a talent…but he doesn’t know that Taylor has many talents and intelligence is only one of them.

I think of Madison and her return to high school two years after her injury. I look at her attendance and see that she has missed at least 15 days in the last month due to bad headaches. The school has accepted this and is being very accomodating. Yet, she also has almost all A’s. She works so hard. Once again I don’t have to pester her. Sometimes when she is hurting I have to remind her, but she is self sufficient. I worry that she is depressed. She says she isn’t. I had her in a “group” class at school but the childish para chased her away by being less mature than her students. I worry that the injections she is getting now will not work, I worry that there are fewer and fewer roads to take to help with her pain.

I look at Jacob, sleeping so quietly. He was recently very ill with scarlet fever (which I learned was basically strep with a rash) and is finally feeling better. He has been crabby lately, emotional. He had a couple of seizures (something more complex than an absence seizure but not much more) where he spaces out for 20-30 seconds. The EEG showed normal and if he continues to do this he will need to have a 3-4 day EEG to see if they can catch an actual seizure. He is emotional. He is tired too. I drive him to school and pick him up in order to allow him some extra time to sleep each day. I put him to bed early. I guess being five is hard. He needs a nap but refuses anything of the sort, even if I make him lay quietly. I guess the age of “resting” is gone. I would like a nap, haha.

I worry about money. I worry about Christmas gifts. I worry about the mortgage and how I only have a couple days left in this month to get it paid. I wonder how I am going to get caught up. I worry about student loans, property taxes and getting new tires for my vehicle and the for the girls. I worry about how I am going to send them to college. I worry about things that it does me no good to worry about all night long. I know it will work out. Somehow. I will make it work because I always have.

I start final exams tomorrow and am not looking forward to them. I have one semester left and I will have both of my degrees (three if you count the one I got when I actually went to college the first time) and will be job hunting nonstop until I can make use of what I have learned. My grades are holding well and my professors are pleased with my work. Let us hope future employers will find my resume impressive as well.

Back to the pillow for me. The house will be awake soon. Puppies will want to go outside, little boys will want bacon and eggs, teenage girls will need to go to work and computers will stare back at me while I trip though several over-coded diagnoses.

Sleep well world, those of you that can.

No Dates Mom!

I needed to get out one evening last week, just for a little while. I was gone for a grand total of two hours and picked up groceries and critter food. Jacob (my five year old) and I had the following conversation regarding my absence:

Jacob: “So, Mom. Where did you go?”
Me: “To the store.”
Jacob: “I think you went on a date.”
Me: “I didn’t go on a date.”
Jacob: “If you live with a police man I am not going to live with you anymore.”
Me: “I am not dating a police man. I am not dating anyone.”
Jacob: “I know you went on a date.”
Me: “Jacob! I didn’t go on a date. A date is where you go out and have dinner or go to a movie and maybe have a few drinks with someone else. I definitely didn’t go on a date.”
Jacob: (with an exasperated eye roll) “Ughhhh! I am not even going to do this with you right now.”

Day by Day

Things are getting better at home. My troubled daughter has come around and seems to be finding herself, pulling herself out of the mess that she created and standing on her own. She straightened out her grades, cut contact with some very poor influences in her life, and has made a solid effort at home to be part of our family activities and chores. I am very proud of her. I have been trying so hard to be supportive of her, to stand behind her and let her make her choices but to be there when she needs guidance. She is learning to talk to me. I am learning to listen. Even though some of her fears don’t make sense to me I am learning to respect that they are very real to her and they need to be addressed. Our relationship has improved. The relationship between her and her twin has improved, although two sixteen year old girls in the same household are never going to see eye to eye, I think it is better.  I still hear lots of yelling about clothes, shoes, and there are a lot of “MOM!!!!’s” trailing up the stairs, but things are better. I am thankful that she has found her way, and thankful that I have been there for her throughout, letting her know that no matter what happens, no matter what mistakes are made, that I will always love her and be there for her, even when I am angry.

Her twin is fighting her own battles right now. She is torn between being an adolescent and a woman. Her body has developed. She is a beautiful girl and people are starting to notice. She has a boyfriend, but he is insecure with her and tells her little lies to impress her, sometimes big lies. I have explained to her that a person that lies about things that don’t matter will never be truthful when it comes to something important. She knows this. She has lost her trust in him but still cares for him deeply. I feel her pain. There is nothing I can do but let it run it’s course and let her find her own way. She is a smart girl. She will figure it out. I will be here for her when he lets her down, and I will be here when she stands up for herself and tells him goodbye. I will also be here for her when she spends her time crying tears over the loss of a teenage love. I remember those days, I feel her pain and indecision. He wants to step forward in their relationship, she is not ready. She is standing her ground and I am proud of her.

Me…. I am okay. I am feeling blessed. My son has been fairly healthy. We have been working and playing outside, painting, landscaping, playing in the mud and running through the sprinklers..things that the girls and I rarely did together growing up. I now realize that you truly need to “dance in the rain” before the rain stops – before your little one thinks dancing in the rain is silly and would rather hang out with friends. I am determined to let my last child play in the mud, help paint the house, dig holes in the yard, jump in the lake and do all of those messy things that perfect parents just don’t let their kids do. There are rules, of course, but why not? Why not let him get all muddy? Why not let him paint the birdhouse whatever color he wants? Why not?

My girls need guidance, they need their mom right now. My little man needs his Mommy to read him stories and give him love, cuddles and to watch him grow into a fine young man, a young man that doesn’t follow in his father’s addictive footsteps. He needs careful guidance so he can learn to make the right choices.

Love? I think love has passed through my life and gone. I don’t think that I will find it again. I wish I could. I wish it was out there for me. I am not pursuing anything and the odds of meeting someone in my life focused on my children and school are slim. I don’t really mind. I am independent. I rarely ask for help and when I do I don’t ask twice. Usually that means that I end up doing it myself. In the last month I have done a lot of things for the first time, such as change the battery in the lawn mower, learn how to use a voltage meter to find the short in the wiring of my lawn mower, patch holes in the wall, sand down my cupboards to make them look new again before refinishing, rewire the wiring for the air conditioner so that we didn’t melt in our own home, and etc etc. These things may not be a huge accomplishment for some people, but I am not that mechanical and I don’t have money to spend on a repairman… so I learn by myself. I teach my daughters as I learn. These are things that people should know how to do. There is no sense in being completely reliant on someone else to fix things.

Yet, I honestly do sometimes wish there was someone there with us to actually do these things for me. Sometimes I get very tired of being the strong independent single parent, especially when I get frustrated when I am trying to make something work and feel so helpless. Sometimes I wish there was someone else to run get the kids, or maybe make dinner, or even mow the yard. But, there isn’t, and no matter how much I long for those little things that a person takes for granted in a relationship, I am not seeking love. Maybe someday I will get lucky and it will find me. Who knows. Maybe tomorrow I will feel differently.

Peace. I can feel it ahead. I am happy for that. I am blessed with a beautiful family, and for that I am very thankful.