Once again I’m overcome with gratitude.
In last weeks post, “A New Wave of Grief,” I shared with you the struggle I face watching my children grow up and reach milestones without the presence of their dad, Larry.
After the newsletter was released last Wednesday many of you sent a note offering congratulations and support.
It’s your comments and feedback that I receive each week that encourage me to continue to share my journey. I started this blog thinking I would be the one providing support, but, truth be told, I get as much benefit, if not more, than my original intentions of helping others.
Living my life after the death of my husband, Larry, has been one of the most difficult challenges I continue to face. Rivaled only by raising three boys on my own and encountering challenges that continue to arise for Charlie, my son with special needs.
I go to bed some nights thinking, “I don’t think I can be more tired than I am right now.” Only to feel more tired on many subsequent nights.
Over the years I’ve had to be the sole champion for all my children. But when it comes to parenting a child with special needs, advocating for him can be a full-time job unto itself.
Along with the fatigue I face at night I’m also greeted by doubts and fears: “Am I giving my children the guidance they need?” “Are there more therapy programs out there that will help Charlie?” “Am I too hard on my kids… too lenient… too much of ANYTHING?”
There always seems to be more doubts and fears than positives…
So, that’s one reason (among others) that I cherish every response and feedback that I receive.
That’s also why I practice stating affirmations and listing my gratitude’s on a daily basis. If I don’t intentionally focus on positive aspects of my life, the negative thoughts will rule me. And I shudder to think what my life would be like today if I made decisions based on fear instead of love.
I know I’ve listed them before, but, in my opinion, there’s no such thing as too many positive thoughts. Every morning as I walk my dogs I count my blessings:
I am grateful for my children. Many people believe I brought life to my children when in reality, they gave me my life after Larry died.
I am grateful for my dogs. They came to me during a time in my life when I never thought I would be able to feel true love again. I only hope I can give them as much love as they give me.
I am grateful for my parents. They moved to Arizona to be closer to me and the boys after Larry died and to offer their assistance to me as the need arose. When I left my home childhood home after I graduated college, I thought I was leaving behind the need to lean on my parents and accept their help when offered. I’m learning you’re never too old to lean on anyone, especially your parents.
I am grateful to all my extended family and friends who over the years have offered love, support and friendship in so many ways. Too numerous to list.
I am grateful to this community of support that is a true circle of life. We all have a journey; whether it’s grief, raising children or coping with the many challenges life has to offer, regardless of your circumstance, you don’t have to walk alone.
In the spirit of feeling continuous support from this community I know you will all understand that since school has ended for the summer, my children need me.
Not in the way they did when they were babies or toddlers, they can fend for themselves for the most part. No, they need me in a different way now that they are adolescents. They need my time, my undivided attention and my guidance as they maneuver through summer school, sport camps, therapies, etc.
And I need them.
Our school year is so hectic with activities I look forward to summer and a vacation away from daily life. It’s important to me (and the health of our family) that we take some time away, unplug and reconnect.
I’m not sure what that means for the weekly newsletter, just yet, but I’ll keep you in the loop. My posts may be shorter or I may skip a week. Rest assured, I WILL have some more yummy recipes to offer and a giveaway in June!
Aside from that I will need to take a week or two off. But you can always send me a note via the website, Facebook or twitter. I’m not going that far!
I pray you find the time you need for yourself and your family this summer.
P.S. The photo was taken during our vacation last summer to a beach in San Diego. I had a blast watching the my boys and the dogs frolic in the water. Those are memories I know my kids will take with them as they turn into adults.
P.P.S. If you missed last weeks post, “A New Wave of Grief,” you can read it here.