Sunday Post 179: The Freight Train of Life

It makes me sad that I don’t love summer anymore. It used to be my favorite time of the year.

In 2009, in the three months that preceded Lisa’s diagnosis of cancer, we took a trip to Yellowstone National Park, our weeklong annual getaway to Topsail Island, a couples only weekend trip to Lake Gaston with our best friends and our August jaunt to West Virginia. The day after Christmas, 2008, I began looking forward to summer. Each day brought me closer to the excitement of time with family, a clear calendar and 4 pm Happy Hour.

It hasn’t been the same since.

Although I still enjoy the beach, DJ’s absence is noticeable. She’s employed – how inconvenient. I figure Stephanie will be in the same boat two years from now.

Clearly, DJ’s not the only one missing from our June capers.

Since Lisa’s death, I’ve fared well when busy. Without dance carpool, homework and laundry for four, I find myself re-edging a border that has already been edged. No wonder Mr. Royster’s yard in Glendale Acres, my childhood neighborhood, looked so good.  He was childless and had nothing better to do.

I realize that much of what I’m experiencing has nothing to do with the loss of my wife. My kids would still grow up and get jobs with or without their mom in the picture. The pressure of carpools would lighten with additional drivers in the house. When you’re 16, you tend to get annoyed at waiting for dad to get around to doing your laundry – when you need an article of clothing, you wash it yourself.

Maybe this is why folks end up having a midlife crisis. They can’t seem to figure out how to handle the changes so they remake themselves in an unsavory way.

It’s clear I’m not going to cheat on my wife, I don’t have one. And a sports car is out of the question – I don’t have the money, and it won’t seat three children and their pack of pals.

If you look at a life’s calendar, these changes occur over a long period of time. But at times, they seem more like a freight train.


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  1. Mom

     /  August 3, 2014

    There’s a sadness about most family changes, and there are many of them through the years. We have to work more at staying connected and also at being able to give needed space to grown children. Neither is easy but when you walk through the door of the next season in our lifes and get on the other side we realize that it’s doable. There are changes but we find other things to keep us busy, hopefully useful things because we all need to feel like we are contributing to someone else’s life. The hard thing is the transition. We have to rebuild life each time to a certain extent. We like the comfort of the old, don’t we? We have to depend on each other too, and reach out to the new…always holding the hand of the old while we move on to the new. Our strength comes from having to constantly conquer what life brings to us.

  2. Aunt Susan

     /  August 3, 2014

    Yeah, re-read what your Mom said, that’s the best.

  3. Freight Train! Yes! Just like that!

  4. I have not even thought of this. think of the traveling to the colleges. think of …. i don’t know but life changes so fast it’s hard to worry about 5 years when we have to get through just this year’s carpool drama. You probably will have to work on designing the right lofts and stuff. 🙂


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