How do I have courage to move forward
in the face of change in my family?
Gettting Cooper's Mission Call to Ecuador!
Change has always been difficult for me and required me to muster all of the courage I can to move forward. Lots of changes happen after a husband dies, but my life has been compounded by my oldest two sons graduating and leaving to serve 2 year foreign missions for our church.
My family is really changing.
The dynamics in our family without Scott and Alex are really different. They were the comic relief. They were the ones who were always creating family activities. They loved to play. Cooper, Rachel and I tend to be more of the workers of our family, so it takes a concerted effort to keep up the fun relationship building activities. We are waiting for Cooper's mission call this week, and it is hitting me that in three months we will be missing him as well.
I am watching my family leave me, and that is really hard.
As the second year of widowhood begins, I find myself thinking more of the future. Healing has happened in our family this past year, and I feel that we are all really in a good place. There is acceptance, understanding, and the desire to look for happiness in the future. I know were not all there yet, and I wonder if you really ever get all there, but now I feel it's time to start preparing for the future. I know someday that I will remarry, and that we will have a blended family. We have been talking a lot as a family about what that means. We understand now that it will be hard to join with another family that has different traditions, habits, and already established relationships.
I started stressing with my kids the importance of our family relationships being strong.
If we are strong, then that strength will hold all of us together. Some of my children will live every day with their new blended family. Alex and Cooper will definitely be gone out of the house. I really don't want them to feel left out or not a part of the new family dynamics. My hope is that their bonds with me and their younger siblings will draw them back to our family. That with time and effort, new family bonds can be formed and we can be a strong united family together.
God wants strong united families.
We would love to have dad back, but since that is not possible, we have to make the best of things. Helping another family who has also lost a parent, I think, is better than making the best of things. It is a chance for us to practice charity in our home.
It is a chance to take two things that are broken and make them whole again.
As I discuss these things with my children, we talked about how important it will be for them to be helpers. I've always felt that I would marry a widower. When Scott and I talked about what we would do if something happened to him, that was the option that we settled on. It is the option that I felt was right for me and my family as I prayed for guidance a few months after his death.
At first when I begins talking to my children about remarriage I encountered a lot of resistance. There were tears, there were threatenings involving a the shotgun, and there was a lot of hurt and a lot of misunderstanding.
I let the subject lie, and I made it a matter of prayer.
From that prayer a new idea in my mind. I started to talk about 'adopting a family' instead of meeting remarrying. I talked about my personal impressions and I told my children that I felt they could get confirmation through prayer that this is what our family was supposed to do.
Following an example I heard at a widow's conference,