#13 shared bits and pieces of their life. I must admit I was jealous. This woman was allowed to stay home and raise her children. #13 provided a wonderful life for them. They had a home, cars, trips, boat….they enjoyed life. I never had that. I was so set on being ‘prepared’. We were married for 5 years and owned a home BEFORE I even thought of children. I announced one day that now was the time. I wanted to stay home. He wanted just a few more years of two incomes. I had the second one. He was injured during birth and never left the hospital. I not only worked all through those tumultuous 9 months of his life (ironic…9 months inside me and 9 months alive) but I managed to get promoted 3 times. I found out that I was pregnant with the 3rd the day before he died. I always believe that his spirit traveled into her. Still I worked. Now carting 2 kids off to a sitter. Picking them up, cooking, cleaning. I was alone and exhausted. The death of a child either brings you together strong than ever or destroys you. For us it was the latter. I spent the next many years raising 2 kids alone. I never had my dream of being a stay at home Mom realized. I was jealous. I was envious. All bad things. All honest emotions. She rode her horse daily, she worked on herself while the kids were at school. She lived the life that I always wanted with the man that I had dreamed of for so long. I was green with envy.
I recall one fight that we had and I told #13 how I felt. He shared how he resented working while she pursued her activities. The kids were in school FT and yet she didn’t look for work. He spoke of her self centeredness to the point of even not being the perfect Mom. He said it was eerie how the last year she was alive it was as if she knew that was it. She did all the things she wanted and forgot them all. hmmmmmm resented her? That surely wasn’t the idyllic picture.
Parenting for us was quite different. #13 said she was a great mom who waited on her kids hand and foot. Huh? Our jobs as parents is to raise morally sound people who can stand on their own and bring about great things for the good of all. What a disservice to wait on kids and never teach them how to be self sufficient. Raise a child and never have them volunteer? Never grow their awareness of others? Now things were starting to make sense. I saw very spoiled kids with no concept of anyone but themselves. hmmmmmm…..that surely wasn’t the idyllic picture.
People always spoke of her. More than once I heard someone say she was ‘slow’ or ‘challenged’ or ‘special’. Now I’m confused. #13’s Mom even told me how she had many challenges. I couldn’t picture this….#13 started talking about it eventually. His frustration at her ‘slowness’. How she wasn’t a match for him intellectually. hhmmmm……that surely wasn’t the idyllic picture.
So what does it all mean? We are all human. Nothing is perfect. We create these fantasies in our heads of a Saint who we cant compete with at all because they were miraculous. Well truth be told they were just like we are. Women trying to juggle kids, husbands, families, and life. She was a gifted athlete and I am not. I am intellectually gifted and she was not. Ying to a yang. Neither better just different yet the same. I should not be envious because clearly just by being alive I am luckier. There are many differences between us. Clearly many things we go about differently. We have him in common. We love the same man. I think that trumps all……