Sunday, March 13, 2011


Being at the beach was a chance to be alone with myself. This is probably the hardest part of being widowed.  I still had the boys around me but I had the opportunity to walk by myself and stay at the house and to stay in my bedroom alone.  Suzy, Steve and Grammy allowed me time alone by taking the boys with them. A small act was so huge to me.

At times I couldn’t turn off my brain; I couldn’t stop thinking.  Many people told me that getting through the first year was the hardest.  I could see that.  Each time the boys and I experienced a day, it somehow always brought to mind how it was different from when Rick was there.  There was no road map for being suddenly without Rick. I could not see anything clearly. Taking on a new identity that didn’t include my husband was like pulling off my skin.

There is something so soothing about the beach; the air, the wind, the waves, the roar, the crashing, the sand and shells washing in and out, all served to quiet my mind and my heart.  I felt empty as I walked day in day out without Rick. 

I had one week before school when we returned.  I had a plan for Jack in place and had met with the school in the spring.  I decided to take them on.  I called and made an appointment with the principal.  I brought Steve with me as I was afraid that I would fall apart.  He wore his “power suit” (his priestly collar) and I wore a pink and white gingham dress.  People stared at us as we walked in the building.  We were brought into a conference room; the principal, the dean, his counselor and a central office rep. were there.

I had already been to see a lawyer who specialized in educational law; I had the attorney send a letter to the Loudoun County Superintendent and the principal on my behalf.  I was quite a lunatic at that point; it had only been about two weeks since Rick died and I was determined to make Jack’s seventh grade school year much more positive. 

I was expecting the meeting to be way more hostile than it ended up being.  I was very calm and collected. The Central Office rep. told me that they had some personnel issues to deal with at the school and the principal wanted to ensure that Jack had a better year.  They agreed to put some supportive measures in place.  The principal was very accommodating and hand-selected Jack’s teachers for the fall.  I did see a copy of my letter in a file on the table in cautionary yellow.  I guess they got my message.


  1. Dear Jane,

    I have never been so deeply moved that I was compelled to read any blog from the first post to the most recent. This evening I read every word. I wiped tears, I cheered you on, I smiled, I am in awe! Your words touched emotions long held in check.

    Your's is a blog I will check each day!

    I mentioned your journey and your blog in my post for 3/12/2011 it's the last line!



  2. Sandy,
    Thank you for mentioning me in your blog and taking the time to read mine. Your kind words about my writing were a gift. I love your blog and hope others will stop by and see the power of your words. :)