I have been pulled under the waves of despondency again. I am grappling with the major decision of remarrying and moving-out-of-state. As the new school term there starts Nov. 30th, this move would be in the upcoming weeks - and I haven't even finished unpacking for this apartment yet! I agonize over transferring my sons out of their high school where they are accepted and popular. One is a Junior, the other a Sophomore. Since my husband's death, all I have focused on is what has been best for my boys. I am trying to save them from more uncertainty, pain and instability. If we move, yes, the financial situation will be better but one will not be able to play boy's volleyball because they do not have that as a high school sport there. He is supposed to be playing varsity volleyball this spring and he has also been asked to try out for the male lead for the spring musical. Not to mention being deprived of completing his Senior year with his class, just a year and a half away. My other son ran varsity track as a Freshman last year - our concerns are that he might not be able to compete athletically coming in as a transfer student. We need to verify that because he is hoping to obtain a college track scholarship.
The community we would be moving into is a larger town surrounded by farmland four hours away. Yesterday, Guyfriend and I battled the relentless rain to look at rental homes. They were rundown and shabby. In fact, the entire town looked that way - tired and sad in the rain. We have been spoiled living in this beautiful community of quaint towns and showcase houses all these years. The need to move is because Guyfriend lost his job and has only been offered this one out-of-state. He does not want to sell his small home because of the terrible market so hopes to rent it out for the time being. That necessitates us living in a rental. When I showed the boys some photos of the homes available, they were less than impressed. "I thought moving was supposed to improve our situation," my oldest remarked as he looked at the homes with disappointment.
There is no question of my feelings or love for Guyfriend. My therapist said that in a way he was a blessing that came out of my divorce. And he and I are well-matched, we get along, we are sexually and physically attracted to one another. No major problems anywhere except for the fact that I have two boys smack dab in the middle of their high school careers and I am worried about all the what ifs that may occur if we move. As if I can even control the future, anyway. We all know how impossible that is but I think that I have been so focused on keeping the boys in this school district because it was about the only thing I could control.
Today is the 18th anniversary of my marriage - married 12 years and now widowed six. On Sunday it will be the anniversary of my husband's death. I wish I could talk to him to ask him what to do. Do I go with the love and financial/marital stability of a new life even though it scares the bejezus out of me? Do I continue to try and protect these boys from what I perceive as pain and suffering? Do I continue to slog along on my own and at least give my boys the stability and predictability of finishing high school here?
My therapist says there is no right or wrong answer here and that is what makes it so difficult. She reminded me how fortunate it is to have met a man who has virtually all of the qualities and values that are important to me - kindness, sense of humor, flexibility, tolerance, optimism, honesty, loyalty, communincation skills, courage, responsible, intelligence. His father died days before his 16th birthday so he has dealt with grief and loss.
I do suspect that if my husband hadn't died, I wouldn't be struggling with all of this. But having faced so much loss, I've gone into some kind of mode where all my devotion and energy has been so centered on my sons. Yes, I do know they'll be gone in a couple of years so I have to consider that. I guess deep down I feel like I'm failing them or selling out for my own gain if we move. When my husband died, all the care and responsibility fell on me. Coming from a neglectful/abusive childhood,I embraced protecting and mothering my sons with even more duty and responsibility - it became a mission of love and devotion.
It helps to write this all out and get what is really inside me. I don't want to hide from this. Life hasn't been easy or fair but so what? That reality doesn't make this decision any easier - maybe it even makes it harder. I so want just a little bit of life to go my way for once. To let the boys at least finish out their high school years in one piece instead of having to face more change and turmoil.
One of the widowhood obstacles I've encountered has been the lack of compassion for my sons. It is like everyone has expected them to bounce back and be resilient. It is like everyone sees past them but not into them. Enough years have passed by now where the loss of their Dad is somewhat overlooked or forgotten and some people don't even know (if we've just met them). But they are still struggling, maybe even more so because they are older, more mature and understand how much they have really lost.
I guess life is just a bunch of trade-offs. A new dad (stable, kind, dependable) but losing one's friends. Guyfriend says he will be able to help me drive the boys around to all their events - but they won't have any (at first anyway) to participate in! What if they don't make any friends or worse off do so with the wrong crowd? Am I being silly for thinking of these things? Wouldn't I be a worse parent if I didn't? It is easy for Guyfriend to reassure me and tell me everything will work out. But these are not his kids - nor have they lived with a dad the past seven years. It has just been us facing some pretty stormy seas together, tossing and turning together on our life raft, hanging on to each other for dear life. We've made it this far...
When I started seeing Guyfriend he had a job and his wife still lived in the same town with their son. She remarried and moved out-of-state, he lost his job. Life's twists and turns played out full force. I am so tired of always having to think and plan and figure out what to do. I want to lie in bed and go to sleep and somehow turn off the turmoil in my head for at least a little bit.
Today I am grateful:
1. Well, I suppose I should say that I even have another option to consider (moving), right?
2. For Guyfriend.
3. For the anniversary of this day and what it means - a marriage that resulted in the creation of two fine young men.
4. For all the love and hope I embraced when I married 18 years ago on this date - I so wish some of that could be more fully restored so I could believe it again.
5. For Husband #1 - everything I have done has been in tribute to him and for the benefit of our sons.