I am feeling utterly drained. I don't think I've restored myself from helping Guyfriend (GF) move last weekend. Going to school four days a week is more tiring than I expected. There is homework and tests to study for, as well as reading. I am finding that my mind works more slowly than it did some years ago - or maybe the fatigue has a contibuting factor.
The drive to school is about an hour each way - lots of time to think and reflect. Especially on the situation of moving and marriage. I am wondering if all that reflection is also adding to my feelings of exhaustion. Everything is coming down at once! GF has been at his new job training in Detroit this week. I asked him what are some of the things he has been learning and he mentioned open and closed communication which is pretty funny because we also talked about that in my classes this week too! GF told me that he listed me as his emergency contact with the title of fiance. I laughed about that because he has never formally asked me to marry him. Rather, he has said that we will get married in December if I move. I don't doubt his feelings for me or his honorable intentions in the least. He is the real deal - genuine, honest and true to his word. Probably a good guy to have around when the going gets tough.
One thought has kept coming back to me over and over this week. My mind reviews the movie in my head titled, "The Widowhood Years" and what makes me most sad out of everything is that in these years, my sons and I have rarely eaten together as a family around a table. The last year of my husband's life, we got into this habit of eating dinner in the van on the way to see him in the hospital (to save time, convenience, etc.). After his death, we started eating in front of the t.v., or I'd make and serve dinner at odd hours because of sports, or we'd eat at the location of the sporting event we were at. Later, when my parents became so ill, we sometimes ate with my mom or I ate on my own and the boys ate beforehand. Just a mishmosh of throwing together meals, a lot of times on the fly.
I guess I equate the dinners the four of us used to share around a table, like a normal family with what is normal and should be for children to experience growing up. After my husband's death there was no normal. I know there are lots of ways to parent, lots of ways to live, lots of way to do things. There are probably a fair number of intact families out there eating around the t.v. most nights. But that was not what I ever expected would happen to us. Certainly not from a dedicated mom with her master's in psych. - of all moms, I knew better.
But as we all know, life doesn't go according to plan and we end up doing the best we can with the situation we face. And that leaves me today, a tired, depleted, middle-aged mom with a chance again at love struggling with balancing my own needs against what is best for my boys. In any case, for me the toughest grief I have had to face has not been the death of my husband but everything that came afterward as a result of his death. Like the lost routine of eating around the kitchen table.