A friend of mine recently said, “May is the new December”. She’s referring to the fact that the month of May has become so busy for our families. The month is filled with school activities. We have dances, drama, talent shows and are wrapping up all the work of our middle-schoolers. Homework, projects due and parent nights are scheduled all month until we come to a stop the week before Memorial Day.
I look forward to May each year. I look forward to it because it means I’ve survived another April. April is the month my husband died. It is now my marker for the passage of time. At one point in my life I measured time passing by my birthday, a new school year or New Years Day. Then I had children and time was marked by their birthdays. Then my husband died and now years are marked by surviving another one…each year on the anniversary of his death, I am one year farther away from the life I had hoped to live. Each year I change, reevaluate, and reflect on my growth, my family’s healing and hope for a future with joy again.
Well, back to May…May means I’ve survived another year. But the busyness of May continues to be marked by my own grief process. First comes Mother’s Day, then my firstborn’s birthday, all interspersed with the busyness of everyday life. This year has been a challenging one as my son moved into middle school. His school worked slipped a bit as he began to find his way through managing himself more. It has been a balancing act of letting him learn responsibility and not letting him drown in it. I have missed my husband deeply as I have watched my boy begin the transformation from child into teen. So as Mother’s day and his birthday approached, I felt myself slipping. I felt myself slipping toward self pity and into the “why me” dialogue in my head. I continually try to re-frame these thoughts and be grateful for the many blessings I have, but some days, some very, lonely nights…it is so hard to shake the “why me”. I had so looked forward to my boy becoming a teenager, but now, I’m just concerned that I won’t be able to cut it alone. I miss my parenting partner, my guide to boys, my support, my comic relief…my husband. While I watch families celebrate Mother’s day, I feel broken again.
So, today we are about half way through May. I have survived my “why me” for another year. I have survived another Mother’s day alone. I have survived watching my boy turn 13 alone. I will have survived another May filled with momentous events for my kids. I will continue to survive. I will continue to strive for thriving again. At the end of May, when the busyness ends, the school days are done and it is time to delight in the long summer days, I will try my best to do just that. I will be grateful for the lazy Mays I had with my husband all those years ago. I will look forward to June…so I can mark another month survived.