For the past 5 1/2 months, I have acted as a single mother from Monday - Friday. My husband works for a heavy construction company, and they go where the work is. So starting in July, the work was 2 hours away. It doesn't sound incredibly far, but when you work until 8:00pm it hardly makes sense to drive the 2 hours home only to go directly to bed and get up at 5:00 the next morning to do it all over again.
Almost 2 years ago, he had his first out-of-town stint right smack dab in the middle of winter -- but it was only for about 5 weeks. This time it's been for over 5 months. Big difference. Huge, actually.
But we are nearing the end of this particular job -- at least until spring when they have to go back to finish things up after the thaw. In fact, we are so very close that tonight is my last night sleeping solo.
I am happy to say that I handled this past almost half-year (yikes -- it sounds even longer using that terminology!) with strength, courage and a good attitude. Of course I had my moments, but I managed to keep most of those between me and God. Not that I didn't feel I could share them with anybody...but I thought that perhaps the more I talked, vented, or complained about my situation, the worse off I would feel. I didn't want to bring more attention to it than what was necessary.
In summertime I dealt with mowing the lawn, watering the flowers & garden (all things that Les would normally be doing) and holding down the fort through a few bad thunderstorms that I would rather not ever have to go through -- alone or not!
In fall I dealt with everything back-to-school, including Malia's very rough adjustment to Kindergarten. I had to also adjust to a new work schedule on my own. I went to bed alone every night and woke up alone every morning (well, Monday - Friday, that is). I had to miss out on many an opportunity for a weekday evening outing, my running schedule was very poorly affected...and I was pretty much just exhausted day after day after day.
I had to figure out how to cook decent meals for one adult and two children. It's amazing how much more you slack off in the kitchen when your hubby isn't home to cook for. I had to deal with a few sicknesses, many bad dreams (the girls'...not mine), whining & fighting children and the constant feeling of loneliness. I had to confront my return of depression -- that I didn't tell anybody about until just now -- and I had to tell it that dealing with it at this particular time was just not an option.
I had to take on the beginning of winter -- the snow shoveling, the decisions about whether or not to go out in stormy weather. The dark and dreary evenings. Alone, alone, alone.
I had to battle some tough friendship issues without anything but phone conversations with my hubby to get me through. I had to go through day after day after day without getting a hug when I needed it.
I know there are lots of people who have gone through the same thing -- and even much, much worse for a lot longer. But while I seemed to be very strong throughout the entire process...now that the light is at the end of the tunnel, I feel like I'm falling apart. I feel like finally I can allow myself to feel the way I wanted to feel for the last 5 1/2 months. I couldn't before, because I had to be the one to hold it all together here at home. But now that we are nearing the end, the stress that was inevitably building up on my shoulders and in my heart is coming to the surface.
And I am crying. Yes, some of my tears are tears of joy. But most of them are tears for the past several months when I didn't allow myself to release them. When all I could do was push them away and concentrate on just making it through one more day.
And now that's all I need to do...just make it through one more day. One more quiet evening, one more lonely night. And tomorrow the tunnel that we have been journeying through will be behind us. And for that I am very, very thankful.
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