Working in the field I do, I don’t work with the same people forever.
Being deployed means I’ll end up working with and meeting a plethora of people from different backgrounds and different lives.
And none of them know my story.
How do I express to people that I’m not an only parent by choice? How do I tell people I just met… “Yep, I have 4 kids, a grandbaby and a half and a dead husband” without the expressions of sympathy?
Expressions of sympathy are the best way to get me crying. But people like to do them – a lot. “You’re so strong for talking about it.” “I’m so sorry” “You’re too young”
Yep. Yep. and Yep.
But his life had meaning. He loved to fish the waters we’re working to protect here. He loved this area. He was an amazing dad who loved his boys and dammit they deserved to have more than 11 & 12 years with him!!
But I have conversations with people and over and over I get to say “My husband died 3 years ago” “my children have no living father”
And if the conversations get deeper… then we get to bring up how my 4 children have 2 different fathers and… THEY’RE BOTH DEAD.
But his life had meaning. And he was (and still is) important to us. So I NEED to honour him. I NEED to remember him. I need to tell stories and bring up memories and share experiences because he fucking MATTERED.
I just wish it didn’t shatter me so much every time.