The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
Nov. 4, 2014
Day...finally. Tomorrow we get to go back to empty mailboxes and watching
commercials about bladder control and cleaning products. Yay!Ben insisted on accompanying me to the polls
tonight.I had thought, time-wise, it
might be best for me to do my voting during the day but he would have none of
that.He had to go with me.He wanted to see how the process works.So I showed him, step by step.He stood there, peering over my shoulder at
my ballot and then offering suggestions on who I should vote for.He even wanted to know what LIB stood
think that Ben will probably have to do his voting in the future by absentee
ballot.He's going to need some
assistance with filling in ovals and such.But we can still do it together that way.Right now Ben's guardianship papers are being
drawn up and it was suggested to me today to make sure a line is put in there
that retains his voting rights.I talked
to the county auditor a few years ago about Ben and he said that it is only in
very rare cases that voting rights are suspended for the mentally
handicapped.But I want to make sure of
that so I dropped a note to my attorney today.
teacher conferences this evening...I thought about not going since I feel like
I keep in regular contact with Ben's teachers and we have an IEP meeting in two
weeks anyway.But I went.It was nice.I stopped in and saw his PE teacher who oversees his weight training.This guy was one of Will's football
coaches.He told me that Will drops by
regularly to see him.He said one day he
was out of his office and when he came back in, there was Will, sitting in his
chair, just waiting for him!Will is
very seriously looking at going into coaching and teaching for a career so I
think he looks to this man as a mentor.It helps that he is a Christian, too.
had a nice chat with Ben's resource teachers.I didn't realize that they had moved Ben up to a ninth grade reading
level workbook.I'm shocked!They were telling me that Ben has some
really, really deep thoughts that he expresses in his writing.I have noticed that when they remember to
send me emails with his probes.They
told me that Ben has really latched onto the history of black people in
particular.So they've run with that,
really doing a lot with Dr. Martin Luther King in their teaching.His teacher even seemed a bit hesitant at
first but she finally admitted that they've used the fact that Ben has black
sisters to make it relatable.I think
that's great.To a certain extent, the
girls' racial history has now become our own.Ben doesn't really talk much at home so I don't hear these things from
then one of his teachers shocked me by telling me that Ben was very nearly
voted onto this year's homecoming court.What?!She said she would not be
surprised if he makes it next year.Wow,
ok.Then, she asked me how I felt about
prom.I didn't know I needed to feel
anything about prom. I've been ignoring
all the emails sent to me as a junior parent about prom because it didn't even
occur to me that Ben would ever go.But
apparently, this teacher has heard talk amongst some girls about the
possibility that Ben might be a desirable date.Really?My Ben?I guess they have a big entrance thingy where
parents and townspeople gather in the gym and each couple is announced.The dance isn't really a big deal, but
apparently the after-prom party is a big draw.So...I don't know what to think, really.I guess we'll wait to see what happens.Prom must be a really big deal there if people are already talking about
it six months before the event. Ben's teachers were repeatedly stressing to me
how popular Ben is at school, which is something that kind of floors me to
remember when Ben was born the NICU sent home a little booklet with him that
had tips for raising a child with special needs.One was to "always dress your child
nicely" because that would help his acceptability levels in the
world.Later, I would also hear to
stress teaching politeness above all else to the child.There's definitely merit to both of
those.The world can be a rough, tough
place and it's going to be hard if you go through it being different from
everyone else.That's just the way it
is.But if your child has a pleasing
appearance and is a nice, polite person, that's really going to help pave his
always thought maybe I was too hard on Ben during his younger years.Often I felt like I was "picking"
on him about every single thing.But you
know - maybe that was exactly the right thing to do.Maybe those training years helped form him
into the pleasant young man he is today.I don't know.It may just be
know who needs some maturity?Ellie.Last week she was not
quite as evil as she had been in previous weeks.She's making up for it this week.So far, she has drawn all over the top of the
washing machine with a ball point pen (that will NOT scrub off - I've tried a
magic eraser, hairspray, everything I can think of), stuffed the toilet with a
torn off page from a magazine, spit on several people, snuck the ipad into her
bedroom and hid it, and had multiple tantrums.I spent most of yesterday up at City Hall catching up on things and at
one point had to drive home and discipline Ellie after a phone call from a
fed-up David. It's been a rule for several weeks now that she cannot be anywhere in the house unattended. She was down in the laundry room tonight with Lizzie while Lizzie hunted for some pjs. She had her back turned on her sister and in that time, Ellie grabbed the prewash spray and liberally doused loads of clean laundry on the floor.
worst part?It's only Tuesday.
did crack me up the other day.I was
putting some jello in the fridge and she very seriously asked me, "Mommy,
is that alcohol?"What?I don't drink!Where did she even learn that very grown-up
came into the kitchen a few days ago, sighing.She said, "I want to be a cheerleader SO bad, Mom..."That's no secret.Ever since she came to me, I have noticed the
absolute fascination Lizzie has with cheerleaders.We go to football games to watch a game and
enjoy the atmosphere.Lizzie creeps down
to the ground and stands gazing, awe-struck at the pretty teenagers jumping
around and shaking their pom poms.And
then she added pitifully, "But I can't, because I'm black and don't have
What?So I immediately took her to my bedroom
computer and googled "black cheerleader images."There was no shortage of those, although most
were bursting out of their too-tight outfits and a lot of them seemed to have
straightened their hair.But we finally
did find some bushy-haired cheerleaders and that fact seemed to greatly
encourage Lizzie.I should get her some
pom poms for Christmas.
I imagine that Ellie would have great fun
destroying them, though...
other day I asked David to throw a load of clothes from the washer into the
I was in the laundry room and went to get the clothes out of the dryer.I opened the door and found the clothes still
very soggy.I asked David about that and
he looked surprised.
- you wanted me to start the dryer?You only said to put the clothes in the dryer."
I keep banging my head on the washing machine lid will I dent it one of these
turned 20 on Sunday.Now I can no longer
say I have three teenage sons or refer to my Littles and my Teenagers.It's going to be more awkward to refer to
them as a group.Anyway, he came home
Sat. evening after he got done working and spent the night.The next day he went to church with us, both
services.In the evening there was a
SNAG for the teens and college-agers so he got to go to that, too.
aren't quite as exciting when you get to be 20.He already knew what he was getting from me.Although David did surprise him by buying him
a sonic screwdriver (Dr. Who).But he
must have had a good day because he put the most incredibly touching post on FB
later.Maybe it was just touching
because he is not one to drop compliments freely - ever, really.
Thanks for the birthday wishes all.
It was a good day. Some of my favorite cooking from my mom(who just happens to
be probably the best cook ever) and fun time spent with my church family. Now,
less than one year until I can have my carry permit.
"Best cook ever"?Wow...
We had frozen pizza tonight, by the
way.Even the Best Cook Ever needs a
quick meal from time to time.
Like about every third night.
They've started Christmas program
practices at church already - 4 pm every Sunday until Christmas with a couple
of Saturdays in there, too.That's going
to be a bit of a pain.Sure wish David
already knew and could drive.But I'll
do it.David was asked to be a wise
man.He's got a number of lines.Ben is Joseph.I'm looking forward to the pictures I'll be
able to snap of the two of them during the program.
Sunday, an 11 year old boy at church
called out to me as I was passing through the fellowship hall, "You sure
look nice today, Mrs. Heywood!"That tickled me.There aren't too
many 11 year olds with that much gumption.And I guess I'm vain enough to appreciate the compliment, no matter
where it comes from.That's one thing I
really miss about being married - the constant affirmation of my looks from
Paul.Granted, he would have thought I
was hot even with a bag over my head, but it was still nice to hear it.
I'm feeling good these days.It occurred to me last week maybe thatI am doing really, really well right
now.I have not felt this good since
before Paul died.I am wondering if
perhaps I have turned a corner in this grieving?I don't know.
Here's what's almost reassuring to
me: the sadness is still there.It's not
that I don't think of Paul anymore.And
it's not that I do not have any moments of sadness.They're there, but they lack the power they
used to have.I don't feel overwhelmed
by them anymore.
Is this permanent?I have no idea.The holidays are coming.I will spend them without Paul.His birthday is coming.We will celebrate without him.Then, it will be time for Valentine's Day and
I won't receive one from him.A week
later will be our wedding anniversary and there will be no one to tell me he'd
marry me all over again if he could.And
then a month later I will have a birthday and receive all kinds of greetings
but there won't be one from the person I'd most like to wish me a happy
On top of that, it's going to be
So these good feelings may very well
be very, very temporary.
It's ok.I have already lived through the worst.I can survive more.I'm fairly confident that one does not wrap
up a season of grieving in less than 17 months.