Monday, March 31, 2014


It's over.

And probably for the first time ever, I have to confess, I'm really, really relieved.

March has, for many years, been a hard month for me.

It's hard every year because we administer our state's standardized test.

Which I absolutely despise.

And which drains me to the depth of my being.

This year though was especially hard.

In September, my youngest son went to college. I'm a single, never married adoptive mom and the house has been very, very quiet.

Some people might think, how great, now you can do all the things you used to do or love to do and haven't done for the last ten years, as you've been raising the boys.

To some degree, that's true. But as hard as it's been, I have loved being a mom. High school was hard, but I loved their elementary and middle school years- taking them to practices, watching their sporting events, having their friends in my family room on Friday nights. I miss that.

And I worry a lot about my boys. College isn't going all that well for Son #1. He's a tremendous athlete with dreams of playing in the NFL, but he's also a kinesthetic learner, who really struggles in school. I haven't seen him since the first week in January, but his voice on the phone is angry and tight, which is never a good sign. And Son #2 is telling me that the coaches don't like him and he wants to switch schools. 

And I sit in Denver, 900 miles away, praying for mentors and for wisdom to know how to advise and support my boys. It's hard to slice about them right now.

And then on February 17, I got a call that my mom had collapsed.

The doctors thought she had had a stroke, then had a brain tumor, and finally decided she had water on the brain (which I have since learned is a common condition in the elderly) and needed a shunt installed.

And overnight, she went from being a vital, lively, well-read 80-year-old woman living in her own house and driving her friends around in her SUV a to someone who uses a walker/wheelchair in assisted living and is struggling to read People magazine.

She's getting better, but things will never be the same. And I'm missing horribly the mom I used to have. The one who met me for lunch. Who had read every bestseller ever written. Who supported me through thick and thin.

I have written a few slices about my mom, but they are all really sad. And I finally decided that people would get sick of those and I couldn't write anymore slices about my mom because they were all basically the same.

My sisters and I have been cleaning out my mom's patio home. I've written a few slices about that and people have responded that it's so great that we get along so well and have pulled together.

But the truth is that my sisters and I have a very precarious peace, which is best maintained when we don't see each other very often. And we have seen each other every weekend, all weekend, for the past five weeks. And things get tenser every weekend. My sisters don't really know me or my boys at all.  And that makes me really, really sad.

I've started several slices about my relationship with my sisters, but the words don't come together. Those slices sit as unfinished drafts on my blog.

And so I'm glad March is over.

I'm glad I have written the last of these 31 slices.

Because March has been a long, hard month.

And I'm really glad it's over.


Unknown said...

Carol, what a challenging month. Being a mom (and a daughter) is really hard sometimes. :( My heart is going out to you with understanding and love and a big wish that April will be easier and better for your whole family.

Tara said...

I felt honored that you shared slices of your days with us, Carol. And I am in awe of how much you give in your life - across the board and in so many areas. Yes, I am in awe of your spieir - and so very glad that you sliced even when you didn't feel up to it.

Judy said...

Thank you for trusting us with all of this, Carol. You didn't have to, but that's part of what makes us a community.

Thank you too for all of your kind words over the past month. Taking on newbies did nothing to lighten your load, but believe me that your comments made the world of difference to me.

Enjoy the rest of your break. It was so nice "meeting" you.

Linda B said...

And yet you did write, and perhaps that was as good as yelling at the walls. I don't know, except I feel honored that you've shared again and again, and do wish I could help. Get some rest this week!

Michelle said...

Carol, I have to agree, as difficult as it was for you this month, I'm thrilled you were still writing every day. It's good for you and gives me specifics to pray for you. :) And I also appreciate your time to always visit me and leave a sweet thought. You do give and give and give and hopefully the time you wrote was for you. Please take care of you! I look forward to many, many more Tuesdays (and anything in between)!

By the way, is that THE Cynthia Lord?!? Like the real, live author Cynthia Lord? I have her newest book waiting for me to read...perhaps this is my sign.