Sunday Post 112: Facing My Nemesis

When you go through a major loss, simple things can become significant challenges.  For me, weekends, especially Saturday nights, became my nemesis.  I could face Monday through Friday with work and the kids’ school schedule.  I was busy, on the go.  I’d get home, feed the kids, help with homework, put them to bed and the exercise – maybe hit the sack at midnight or 1.  It was manageable.  But the thought of a full day, or worse the entire weekend, with the possibility of time that wasn’t crammed full of activity was overwhelming.

I feared the pain I’d experience if I stopped.  When my mind wasn’t maxed out, when my hands weren’t busy, the grief set in.

Saturday nights had been our nights.  Lisa and I would plan time with other families or get a sitter and have a nice dinner out, just the two of us.

It was my favorite time with her, sitting in a booth at a nice restaurant.  A couple of glasses of red wine, good food.  Our opportunity to talk about work, the kids and maybe more importantly, our dreams.

If I didnt’ have plans on a Saturday night, plans that included other adults, I went into a tailspin.  Sadness set in.  I became consumed with my lack of social activities.  I watched Jesse head out with his friends while I sat home watching the Disney channel with Michelle.

For the first time in my life, I dreaded the weekend.  What had been my favorite day of the week had become my enemy.  I feared the sixth day.

Last weekend, Michelle had a sleepover, and DJ had plans too.  Earlier in the week I asked Stephanie what she’d like to do on Saturday, that it was just be the two of us.  Her eyes got big, “Dad, can we go see a movie together?”

“Sure baby!  We’ll grab dinner too.”

As we walked through the open sidewalk on our way out of the movie Saturday night, we began playing our favorite outdoor game, Step on the crack and you break your (in our case) grandmother’s back.  Our hands were locked as I worked to force her  onto the lines that connected the concrete slabs.  A security guard at the mall gave me a huge smile and waved his hand as an encouraging gesture.

I smiled back, and realized I wasn’t afraid anymore.  I wasn’t consumed with my weekend plans.  I wasn’t obsessed with over planning my down time.  I could actually just hang around the house, enjoying some down time, doing some things that I wanted to do.  I was content to just be.

At that moment, there was nothing I would have rather been doing than holding hands with my 12-year-old and enjoying that time with her.

It took three years and nearly 150 Saturdays to get here.  But I’ve beat him – that obstacle is behind me.

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12 Comments

  1. Yes. I can understand your feelings and your fears. Been there, done that!
    And people who don’t know what it feels like, casually say : “Time is the best healer.”
    As if anything could fill that void…

    Reply
  2. Love your site. Glad I found it.

    Reply
  3. Aunt Susan

     /  March 17, 2013

    oh how you’ve grown, and you never thought it would happen. It has and it will get easier as time goes on. The pain will flare up, but the good times will be stronger and longer. Besides Lisa would smack you upside the head if you let it get to you for ever!
    love ya, hope to see you next week! On Saturday!!

    Reply
  4. Meghan M.

     /  March 17, 2013

    Contentment = life’s ultimate success! Good for you.

    Reply
  5. Evie Lichti

     /  March 18, 2013

    No one can take the memories away from you – they are there forever. Continue to make lots more with those precious girls!

    Reply
  6. Susan

     /  March 18, 2013

    Having a spouse that enjoys your company on a Saturday night and having a child that enjoys time with their parent on a Saturday night are both beautiful things that you have been able to treasure. If only they could both be at the same time, but you have been able to embrace both in the different seasons of your life! Credit to you for bringing all your girls joy on a Saturday night.

    Reply
  7. Bravo daddy!
    A big hug to all of you!

    Reply
  8. Joyce

     /  March 25, 2013

    Bruce, how I love your blog. You and Lisa were always such a great team. I have many memories of all of the Y counselors following your and Lisa’s lead, dancing silly dances and putting smiles on the kids’ faces. Lisa would be so proud of you.
    I’m so glad that I ran into you with Cathy Church Norman last Sept. at the Hospice Ball. I have been wondering how you were doing. I’m glad to know now that I have a way of keeping up. And, apparently, I need you to teach me how to French braid my daughter’s hair. Lord help that poor child. God bless you.

    Reply

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