I forgot. I forgot that vacations are hard on me. Vacations used to be hard, because there was more time together, more arguing, more stress, more walking on eggshells, more laying things down. Vacations aren’t that kind of hard anymore, and I am so grateful.
But they are a different kind of hard for me now. This is the third summer that my kids and I have vacationed on our own. The first year, I was numb. I found us a dump and we joked about it the whole time, that it was practically like we were camping. Last year, I was starting to breathe, and we made some good memories. This year, well this year, I’m lonely. As per our tradition, we went to dinner, walked to get ice cream, then headed to the beach our first night here. The kids were walking up ahead of me, and I actually felt my hand reach out to my side, expecting a hand to be there to hold mine. I literally reached for an invisible hand.
Though yes, back home, family dinners are poignant. Yes, in the day to day of running the household, it’s not like I forget that there’s no man there. Trust me, I know there’s no man there. But there’s something about vacations that brings that little fact into laser focus for me. Maybe it’s because this year, the kids have each other in a new way…and they have themselves in a new way. There’s more interdependence and independence, both of which I’m thankful for. But what that means is, they have each other, and I have…no one.
I was sitting on the beach last night and my heart literally hurt. And perhaps what this brought up in me is this: this might be my next fifty years.
I knew this going in. When I was released to separate, I knew in the back of my head that I was trading fifty years of married/lonely for possibly fifty years of single/lonely. Both are rough in their own special ways.
This is where I am supposed to say that I know that Jesus is enough. And he is. On one hand. But on the other hand, well, when walking on the beach, he doesn’t actually hold my hand. There are bigger problems in this world, I know, but tonight, this is mine.
If this post helped you, “Moving On as a Christian Single Mom” is for you, found here.
Just wanted to say: I understand.
I’ve been a single mom and have had these same moments every year during vacation. Being surrounded by families, that’s when it hits hardest. Thank you for your honesty and know you are not alone! Hugs to you!!
I know something of what you are talking about!
I haven’t been on vacation with my kids in a long time, but I do understand. I ache for tangible, too.
I know this well. I have indeed traded married/lonely with single/lonely and I am now an emptynester. I get so tired of others with intact families telling me to enjoy the peace.