Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Scrambled Egg Life

A glimpse of my scrambled eggs life, NOT the sugar-coated cereal life!

Last Saturday, the van wouldn't start for my son. The timing couldn't have been better. He was at his girlfriend's post-prom party and it was 3:00 a.m. So, I drove over across town but by the time I arrived, his girlfriend's dad had given a jump that enabled my son to get home. The van didn't start the next day but did a few days later. I told my son he couldn't drive it as I didn't want to worry about him being stranded somewhere and then have to pay a towing charge as well. The past week has been a bit of a challenge with me having to take the boys everywhere. They got a ride to school one morning. I didn't realize how helpful it is to have my son drive himself to school, sports meets and to his baseball games for umping. Not to mention his helping me out with picking up his brother. A little bit has gone a long way in easing the load off my back.

It was with great heaviness that I had him drive the van to our local car repair place on Thursday, my day off. Already this month I'd had the extra expenses of having to pay for my youngest's driver education fee ($200.00) and the car insurance for two vehicles (a half payment of $200.00). I was so hoping to be able to take the boys and I out for a Mother's Day meal, which would be such a treat for us.

Bad news - an $800.00 repair (fuel pump and filter) which got reduced to $500.00 because a used pump was found at a salvage yard. I was concerned about even paying the $500.00 out so the owner of the place was kind enough to work out payment arrangements with me. They'd fix the pump portion for $400.00 and I'd pay $200.00 now and $200.00 in two weeks, then have the filter replaced in June.

Making those arrangements took up a good portion of the day. Then, I had to work out payment arrangements with the electric company because now there wasn't enough money to cover that payment. To add to the merrriment, the maintenance staff was in fixing a leaking problem with our two showers, so my day off wasn't much of one.

Okay, so stuff like car breakdowns and broken water pipes happen all the time to everybody. But I think that those of us facing this kind of thing time and time on our own just get so weary of it all. There is the stess of rescuing the stranded kid, getting the van in for an inspection and then working out some kind of payment/repair arrangement. It is that mix again of the emotional and physical stress. Figuring it all out alone is the double whammy!

That's what I mean about my life being like a plate of scrambled eggs. Widowhood is not easy and with raising kids as an only parent, it is even more challenging and messy - like a plate of scramble eggs. Yet all of us are supposed to forge on with our heads up and smiles pasted on our faces. I flatly refuse anymore to pretend that everything is peachy keen. My life is not like a box of sugared Honey Combs or Capt'n Crunch cereal.

The biggest joke of all came on Friday morning. The van wasn't finished yet so the boys had planned to walk to school in the morning since I had to work, starting at 6:00 a.m. When I got up around 4:00, it was storming with heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightening. I figured it was probably too late for the boys to arrange for a ride so I called in to work saying I'd be an hour and a half late. Then I just laughed at it all. What a nutty situation!

I don't have as many options available to me to help out when life throws me a curve. What choice could I make other than take my sons to school? It wasn't safe for them to walk and they would have been soaked by the time they got to school. Whenever, something like this happens, I have had less than sympathetic responses from employers but I just don't care much about that either. I can only work with the resources I have and mine are pretty limited. As a widowed parent, my reality is that there are simply going to be days when I'm late or absent. No hubby to fall back on, or family close by or even a boyfriend around.

I don't feel uplifted and proud of myself when I successfully meet these challenges. I end up feeling drained and morose because I start wishing for that absent husband who used to take care of these things.


  1. The divorce/forced to move, how much that sucks? I hear you. It's tough. Really tough. And, no. No longer do you need to pretend that life is fabulous, the flowers are blooming - not when the van won't start, it's pouring rain - one day, you may look back and laugh. It won't be today. But, it might be tomorrow. Hang in there - being SuperMom is tough work! But from the way your guys sound? You've done a wonderful Job.

  2. Yes, it does sound like a scrambled egg life. I admire you and the other widowed single parent bloggers who are writing about your experiences. Life is difficult in our times to start with, then add widowed, then add children, and things become very complicated. I wish there was some magic wand that could be waved to replace all that so many of us have lost through no fault of our own. However, there is no magic wand. I suppose the best we can do is just try to forge onwards, hoping that things may improve with time, and perhaps trying not to become too discouraged as we watch for new possibilities - new careers, better places to live, slowly building new networks of friends, watching good children grow up to be good adults who will be there to lend a hand when they are in the position to do so. Being a widow without children, I often think of how hard it must be to raise children alone, but that at some point in the future, those with children have and will continue to have someone who cares about them very much.

  3. The thing I noticed as I read was that every curve the week through, you swung at and hit. You rock.

    Hope the wknd let up on you.