I’ve been quiet on the blogging front lately. This tired mind needed a rest from thinking and writing to focus on living in the moment. It was a much needed break that allowed me to gather inspiration for future posts. Here are our recent happenings. Spring Break was a fun week for all of us to enjoy a change of pace. My son flew to Texas to be with Simon’s family. His main highlights were spending time with the family, playing with cousins, and watching twin goats be born, which was “cool and disgusting.” We stayed back in California and spent a few days with my older brother’s family on a ranch near San Diego. There were only a few other people on the 140 acre property and it was a great mix of outdoor exploration during the day and relaxing on the porch or in the pool at night. The cousins had a blast roaming all the open space, hiking, visiting the horses, and watching fish in the pond. My sister-in-law and I were able to sneak off one afternoon for lunch, manicures, and hours of gabbing.
School projects, field trips, and activities are in full swing. My son got a perfect score on his Native American project and is now working on his science project. He is taking more initiative and ownership in his workload at school and at home. He has always been easy going and had a tender heart. I could not be a prouder mom watching him grow and mature under the weight of our circumstances. My middle daughter received an excellent third quarter report card with improvements in every subject. She is very intelligent but had trouble settling into a routine this year which was causing emotional outbursts. Her teacher and I were crying together as we reflected on her amazing progress and resilience. She has a project due where she creates a timeline of significant events in her life. I’m going to let her lead because she may want to focus on her dad or she may want to focus on anything but that. She goes back and forth between welcoming discussion about Simon or completely avoiding it. My youngest daughter, at just three years old, even has a project due for her preschool! All the deadlines make this mama a bit grumpy but the children’s strong performance in school and their healthy emotional states make my heart full. I had accepted that this year would be one of low expectations and meeting the bare minimum in achievements. Instead, I am blown away by the human spirit and the innocence of children. And I’ve said it before, but I am eternally grateful to the staff at the school. They truly love all the students and, along with school families, showed an extraordinary amount of compassion to my three babies.
A package arrived in the mail last week for our family. It was three handmade quilts with shirts Simon wore during his Boy Scout days. A woman that worked with Simon’s council and knows many mutual friends spent hours crafting the priceless blankets for each child. The quilts were signed by Simon’s Scout brothers. All three kids were ecstatic for the gift and have been curling up with their respective quilt nightly. They have been sleeping in Simon’s extra Scout shirts for years (I can’t remember the last time I bought them pajamas) and they can now also use them as a blanket. What a generous, creative, and thoughtful way to remember their dad.
My progress in this journey continues to be in a positive, upward trend. Returning to my childhood church has been instrumental in healing. The kids and I are surrounded in an extended family we have known our whole lives that cares for us so deeply and practically. Three other members have lost their spouses in the past month and it’s a great burden and privilege to share their heartache and grief. The widows group that I attend monthly is another one of my favorite places to be. We are sisters bonded by tragedy that truly relate to one another. We all readily admit it’s a club we didn’t ask to join but we’re thankful for the other “members” that know exactly how we feel. It’s a group where no one ever has to apologize for their emotions because, well, we get it. About 15 of us went to dinner recently. We did gather quite a few stares at the restaurant and were met with some disbelief when someone heard we were a widow’s group. I think our joy surprised them. I know finding these ladies assured me I wasn’t alone and that’s one of the best feelings around.
Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. It has been almost nine months since we lost Simon. We have come so far and still have a long way to go.