Saturday, March 26, 2011


We have a new member of the family.  His name is "Bow-doo" (or something like that) and L says he lives with us because his mom died.  His house has also died and he lives in L's closet.  He is now part of our family "just like E and M" says L.    This morning at breakfast he suddenly asked why KT and MG don't live with us like E and M and, moreover, why don't they live in their old house.  When I simply pointed out that they live with Aunt CA now, he looked at me like I was crazy and said they should live with us.  I often wonder what is going on in his little head.  This is still so confusing for him.  It's still confusing for me.


E went to a grief group at school today.  She loved it.  I was really happy to hear it.  What cracked me up though, was that she had to point out that everyone was blown away by her story.  She said it with a bit of competitive pride, like it was some sort of contest or something.  For someone who measures her life by achievement, it was another victory...she had the best grief story.  Her constant need to achieve is a legacy from her parents that I really wish wasn't there.  To her, love is earned by getting good grades, being a great swimmer, always being the best (this is straight from her therapist, but 5 minutes with her and you 'd see it).  I am constantly barraged by her latest good grades, amazing swims and things accomplished each day.  It is seriously exhausting.  K and I just aren't like that with the boys.  We want them to do well and certainly want them to always do their best, but we just as proud of A's latest escapade at the creek as a goal in his soccer game.  It's another way in which I realize that the girls are just different from our kids.  Sometimes that's a hard thing to deal with.  There are just things that their parents did in raising them that we just don't agree with.   There's a difference between commenting on these things from the outside and actually having to live with them.  Annoying to say the least.


I'm reconsidering using first letters to refer to members of the family.  To be honest, it's hard to write that way, but at the same time I want to protect our privacy.  I want this space to be a place where I can talk honestly and openly about my life and I'm afraid the kids or other members of our family might find it and be upset. What do you think?  How did you make the decision about privacy in your blog?  What would you do in my circumstance?  Being new to blogging, I'm interested in the opinions of others.


M had a really bad week.  She did not take Ripley's death very well at all.  After therapy on Wednesday she was an absolute mess.  Stomach aches, whining, moaning.  It was like dealing with a three year old.  Seeing her sister like this really upsets E and her way of dealing with it doesn't help.  Rather than try to comfort her little sister, she taunts and minimizes her sister's woes.  She also starts to compete with her and let us all know that her life is harder, etc.  Both of their demands for attention is constant and exhausting.

I have to say, though, that I was proud of how I handled things this week.  I tackled M with patience but also a bit of tough love.  I was able to get her up and outside yesterday and got her to "snap out of it" and she seems much better today.  I also think the way I discussed things with E was good and was a positive step forward for our relationship.


My relationships with members of my family continue to be stressful and annoying.  Especially my parents.  They just can't stop obsessing about E.  I flat out told Dad last night that maybe he should consider going to see A play this weekend instead of M.  God forbid he pay attention to the boys.  I know the girls lost their parents, but the girls now live in a house with three other kids.  It's hard to see how everyone focuses on the girls and ignores the boys.  They are going through a lot and the mommy in me gets angry when I see them slighted.  They are such good boys and being such good cousins.

With my younger sisters, our relationships are still tied with guilt and resentment.  I haven't really told the whole story yet, but we're the third solution for the girls.  My younger sister C was supposed to take all four (with her 3 year old twins and 1 year old), and move into the girls' house with an addition.  This was decided despite vocal misgivings by K and I that it wasn't going to work.  The girls moved in and that lasted 2 months.  Then they were going to my sister CA, who moved into the girls' house with her partner (my oldest sister is gay which made things more complicated).  That lasted less than 48 hours before CA had a complete breakdown.  My dad moved in with CA, her partner moved back home and the girls were stabilized for 6 weeks while we worked with Dr. L to figure out what we were going to do.  From the beginning K and I offered to take E and M, feeling like that was what we were able to do (we actually offered to take all 4 at some point but looking back now that would have been crazy).

My youngest sister S and her husband don't have children.  They want kids, but they made it clear they want their "own" kids.  On several occasions, they agreed to take KT but that was it.  Of course, after the fact, they've pulled a little bit of revisionist history and claim they would have taken either the two older or the two younger girls, but we all know they are full of it.  They just aren't mature enough to handle it.  At the same time, though, they don't really make our lives easier....allowing E to manipulate them to get her way, questioning our decisions, ignoring the boys, etc.  I love S very much, but I have to admit I'm really disappointed in her and often resent her inability to step up. 

Then again, the girls deserve someone who wants to take them.  All three of my sisters would take the girls "if they had to" but K and I were the only ones who stood up and said, " we want to take them."  I know I complain a lot about taking them, but I really think they are in the right place and that we were the only ones able to handle it as a family.  I honestly think that if we didn't do it nobody else would. Many of the girls emotional problems are tied to the upheaval in the last year.  I wish sometimes my sisters would admit their role in this.  I wish they would acknowlege the sacrifice we're making.  I think at this point that's pretty unrealistic.  I wish the resentment hidden away in the dark recesses of my heart would go away.  I need my sisters right now, but they still aren't ready to be there for me yet.  It sucks.


K and I continue to flounder.  I know he's doing the best he can, but I wish he could be more.  When push comes to shove the girls are my responsbility.  The boys' daily lives are my responsbility.  I know his life has changed too, but he still coaches his teams, watches sports, goes to work everyday.  I need a partner in this, and I still feel so alone.  He doesn't understand my grief at all.  It's been over a year, and he wonders why aren't I "over it."  He questions my need and the expense of therapy.  Like everyone else in my life, they expect me to be normal Peg and just take care of it.  I've always just handled everything...been the rock.  I'm tired of being the rock.  I just don't know how to fix it.


Ending on a positive note.  I've been working on my relationship with D and trying to be more patient with him.  I do see some small progress.  We've been doing a lot more laughing and his listening has improved.  I'm trying not to yell as much.  Trying not to take everything so seriously.  Trying to live in the moment with him and the other kids and not get bogged down in overall stress.  One step in a positive direction.  One step towards being more like myelf.


  1. I'm going to address the names thing first. When I began my blog, it was for family and close friends only. I mean, let's face it, who would want to keep up with me and my kids other than those folks?

    When we lost Hannah, my blog went viral, and at that point, I absolutely NEEDED the support and love and prayers that were being showered upon me, and it never occurred to me to make my blog private.

    At that point, trying to "protect" my family would have been an effort in futility since it was WAY too late.

    That said, would I change anything? Nah. I'm such a stinkin' Pollyanna that I assume the world is full of kind, nice people, not nasty, stalker folks. :shrug:

    You are on SO much overload. Are you seeing a therapist? I think it would do you some good to find someone to talk to too, as there is just SO much going on in your life. I sincerely wish there were something I could do to make your life easier, take on a small bit of the burden for you.

    I'll continue to keep you all in my prayers.

    Many hugs to you.

  2. Thanks Rach. I've been reading you for awhile and am always inspired by how you have handled the loss of Hannah. My husband and I also went to W&M so Williamsburg has a special place in our hearts. (we can't go to the outer banks without a stop at the Cheese Shop!) D is also a HUGE Hokie fan having uncles and aunts on both sides having attended VT. Thanks for your kind words and thoughts. It really does help. Yes, I am seeing a therapist every Monday. She's costing an arm and a leg but worth it. Sometimes it feels like she's the only person in my corner but at the same time helps my not wallow all the time. Thanks again and BTW I think your yard looks AWESOME!!