Moms Columns & Blogs

Alone Time

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August, 2009

It has been said no man is an island...  To this I would add it may not be for lack of effort on his part…

The house is uncomfortably quiet tonight…  Normal background noises are jumping out and spooking me; eventually my straining ears reconcile the sounds with known ones, but only after  I hold my breath and stay perfectly still…  John stayed put at the lake while I had to return home; we have spent a handful of nights apart since it happened, with me always the one on the go.  He is completely alone for the first time in over fourteen months…

It is ridiculous to think he is unable to take care of himself, and still here we are, all three of us worrying about him tonight.  The girls fret over him like he is a fragile flower in need of special protection that only we can provide…  My reassurances feel false on my tongue, for I share in at least one of their unspoken fears; I can guess his reasons, but only he truly knows the why behind his urgent need to flee the scene, to run away for a while.

On the surface, it makes sense: John’s taking advantage of the lull in his appraisal assignments.  The bathroom and kitchen of my grandmother’s lake house are a huge mess, so it’s the perfect opportunity for him to work more than a day and a half at a time over multiple scattered weekends.  He’s determined to make it livable so Grandma can stay for more than a brief visit.  At her age, she doesn’t tolerate chaos well, mentally or physically….

Beyond that, it gets murkier…  I think he needs to escape the changes taking place around him so he can find his bearings.  Besides trying to let go of shattered dreams, we are being forced to reconsider some of our long standing positions as parents.  Grace just started her first job, right as school is getting underway.  We never planned for any of them to work steadily during the school year, and yet we believe this to be the right decision for her.  Beth and John continue to battle over her returning to school and the overall game plan for her future; I gently suggested maybe she wasn’t ready to tackle college full time yet.  The whole back to school routine with them is overwhelming at best, without contemplating what would have been Brian’s year on top…

Do I think there is any danger of John hurting himself?  Absolutely…by physically overworking his body past the point of exhaustion or by losing sight of the inherent dangers in demolition and construction, especially when working with a crew of one.  But NOT for any other reason.

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John has finally arrived at a place where he wants to think, work hard with his hands, and collapse without interference or responsibility.  He can do as much or as little as he wishes without having to worry about anyone else…  While I am nervous about him spending so much time alone, I know the only way through grief is simply to battle your way through.  Each of us has to find our way.  On our own.  As scary as it is, I have to consider the slight possibility he may decide he prefers being by himself.  All the time.  Marriage statistics don’t lie…but then again, I’ve never put much stock in such things as necessarily being applicable to me…

Maybe time alone on an isle is all a man needs to find his way back home again…

Wishing you many blessings and always, hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator      

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