This blog is for Jim Marventano's family and friends to review his status and updates while he goes through treatment for Stage IV Colon Cancer. We can beat it together!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Where do we go from here?

I've had a jumble of feelings about Jim lately. I took the kids to Disney World at the beginning of January because Judi ran the Disney Marathon in memory of Jim. I trained to run it, but the week before I got so sick that I couldn't run. I cried about that. Felt guilty on the day of the race. Wrestled with my psyche wondering if I somehow got sick on purpose so I couldn't run. Guilt and tears consumed many a night earlier this month.

Everyone else's life gets to move on ahead. They are making plans, doing new things, hanging out with the people they love. I somehow feel stagnant despite the fact that I am moving ahead too. I have a wonderful fiance who I love very much. I haven't been happy like this in YEARS. For those people that find sheer joy in doing nothing but doting on their kids...good for you. More power to you. But a little adult interaction is the life preserver I've been needing. As I've said before, a hug from your kids or your parents or your friends is not the same kind of feeling as a hug from someone who loves you.

No action or emotion happens in my world without serious self doubt and a healthy dose of judgement from other people. Some express it out loud. Others don't. Either way, I suppose it happens because I open myself to it. After all, I document my emotion on my blog or on Facebook. I still find it stunning how many people choose to judge my choices. Because...really? You get to go out with your husband on a date any night you want. My friends all got to make goals for 2011 with their spouses. What's the appropriate amount of time I'm supposed to be home, alone and be a widow? Is 5 years enough? 10 years? How long are my kids supposed to go without a father figure in their lives? How long should my daughter take her grandfather to the Father-Daughter dance? How long should Jake be expected to make a separate "special" Father's Day project at school because his Dad died?

Heaven knows John is a tolerant man. And that he's taking on a lot. After all, I appear not to have the same kind of baggage that someone who is divorced carries. But the reality is that it would be easier for John to compete with a sh*tty ex-husband that muddles picking up the kids. It would be easier to find a girlfriend that doesn't have kids. It would be easier to not have to learn to parent. It would be easier to buy his own house and not have to commute a long way to work. It would be easier to have a fiancee that doesn't cry over her late husband.

John is trying to build a life with me on the shaky foundation I have left from my previous life. He's putting up with tears, meltdowns, frustrations. He's trying to blend into my family - not an easy feat - after Jim. We all know how my family felt about Jim. John's trying to make me happy and make the kids happy and be happy himself, despite what he's taking on.

As John pointed out, I am in the trenches here. I am the one who is dealing with the every day crap that is the remnant of our life. I am a single parent. I am an ONLY parent. I am the ONLY one dealing with throw-up, homework, reading charts, shoveling snow, temper tantrums (mine and theirs), laundry, playdates, cooking, and the myriad other tasks that come with being a parent. I have had to cut a monstrously large amount of stuff out of our lives because I realized that I can't do it all. A few weeks ago the miracle of team parenting started happening for me. John took the kids outside and shoveled the walk while I cleaned up inside. Then he made lunch for all of us while I did laundry. Please understand: as an only parent, I would have been able to choose two of those activities and then work on two of them LATER. It's sad when one of the more exciting points of my weekend is dual tasking. But hey, that's how a NORMAL family works, and it's exciting to me to have that kind of...flexibility. It's exciting to me to thank someone for helping me. It's exciting to me to have someone who listens to me, who talks with me, who makes plans with me, and who loves me.

Think I need to hear your judgment? Nope. Believe me, I'm already overworking it in my mind. If you've got thoughts, keep them to yourself. Jim and John will both be canonized for loving me. But John will be canonized for helping me put my life back together and loving me. You're the finest of men, John. I am so very blessed. Some people can't find love once. I've found it twice and I'm grateful for all that entails.


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