“Whoooooo are you–who who, who who” — The Who
I’m Jenny. Now, no longer a stay-at-home mom, as I was when I created this blog in 2014 (below). Now, I am a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling (M.A.), Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC), and certified Compassionate Bereavement Care provider (CBC).
And I am no longer squeamish about describing myself in terms of my relationships as I was below. Relational cultural theory struck a chord with me: It honors the importance of relationships in women’s lives and identities.
I’m a recent graduate, new counseling group practice team member, wife to Brian, and mom of one who walks and one who soars.
I’m Jenny. Stay-at-home mom. See? I’ve noticed I find it hard to answer who I am without referring to who I’m related to. Working on that.
I am quiet sometimes… but also like to have fun. I’m between introvert and extrovert. (Some days) I aspire to look… good? decent? presentable? for forty-something. Maybe because my mom is so beautiful–and her mom, too! In the mirror I can see the changes of time, sorrow, and choosing the couch over the gym since June 29, 2012.
I was born in Michigan. I lived there with my mom and brother until my senior year of high school. Then I moved to Colorado Springs with my dad. Like many who migrate here, I fell in love with the Centennial State and stayed. What? The sun shines in winter?
I attended Colorado State University. I married Jon and had Kade, in 1992 and 1993, respectively. I was a 20-year-old psychology student when Kade was born. My marriage to his dad lasted about three years; about as long as our focus on baby-hood. After Kade was a little older and the focus went back to each other, sadly, our marriage ended.
After graduating college, and spending Kade’s kindergarten year in Arvada figuring out where in the Denver area I wanted to settle, I ended up raising Kade in Highlands Ranch. The public schools were great, I found a nice affordable apartment, and we had handy access to the highway for unfortunate divorced parent shuttling. It’s been 15+ years now in Highlands Ranch for me.
I was a single mom for many many years! In 2007 I married Brian. He’s from L.A. but lived in Colorado nearly a decade. It would be nice to be around more family in Michigan or L.A., but we both love Colorado. It would be hard to go back to the lake effect winters, or high cost of living and commutes.
We had our four-year-old, Asher, in 2010. Kade was 17. Though Brothers Forever, they got to be brothers on this earth for 22 months. Asher is a lively, strong-willed preschooler. He’s also sweet and sensitive. We are kept on our toes and that’s a good thing.
I nanny part-time, bringing Asher with me. But mostly, I’m a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t have this chance with Kade, so I Do Not take it for granted! I love being at home with Asher. Whenever I give him a bubble bath in the middle of the day, go to Story Time at the library, meet our play group buddies at the park, or bust out the paints whenever we want, I think of how lucky I am. And hopefully Asher benefits, too.
I’m in a book club (that’s been going for well over ten years!), a writer’s group, and do yoga once a week. I love getting together with friends. But since June 29th, 2012, life changed.
My attitude, my brain, my habits, my perspective, my priorities, my energy. My mind every day, every hour, is on Kade, his death, his life, his legacy, my new normal, my coping, and my healing. I know this may soften over time. A good illustration is holding a hand right in front of your face. It is your child’s death. It is front and center, covers nearly everything else. Over time the hand moves farther from your face. It is unmistakably still there, but you can see more; experience other things, as well. My hand was smack in front of my face. Now we’ll call it 6″ out. There all the time, but so are tackling the dishes! getting to preschool on time! making dinner!
Big parts of my life are connecting with my bereaved mom friends, grief groups, grief exercises and activities, grief books, grief blogs (first following… now following and creating my own!), and perhaps writing a book or books of my journey and Kade’s legacy one day. The pendulum has swung pretty far this way, seeing how every word of the last sentence has the word grief in it. How can it not. My good life has changed dramatically. There is a distinct line separating my Before and my After. Profound grief is the price of profound love. I would not choose differently, to not have or love my children so fiercely, and thus not feel this terrible void and pain.
But I hope Pain won’t be the last stop on the journey of my life. I hope it’s something like Purpose or Hope. Working on that, too. Thanks for coming along with me.