Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Unintended Consequences

I have been spending a lot of time grieving lately. This is expected. However, I'm surprised by the amount of confusion I have been having over who I am. It's not just that I'm no longer Ron's wife. I'm also no longer his caregiver, a role I had for some time. I am a single mom. I am a single woman. I am the head of my household. What else am I?

I don't exactly need a detailed user guide for who I am right now. It's not that important. However, I have wanted to start my new life out by making good decisions. I am doing my best to do that, but I've had a couple of bad decisions really smack me upside the head lately.

Ben and I are in Montreal. I took Ben swimming in the outdoor, heated swimming pool. He was hesitant, but I convinced him to go. I made a quick decision to put Ben on my back and started to swim. Well, Ben has really grown since I last swam with him on my back. I nearly drowned in 6 feet of water. The lifeguard came in a grabbed me. Someone grabbed Ben. Ben never went under, in fact his hair never got wet, but if I wouldn't have been helped, we both would have been in a lot of trouble. I still don't know exactly what happened, except I went under and couldn't get a full stroke to swim. I got stuck and started taking in water. By time I got back inside, a few people from hotel management were there to care for me. I was extremely embarrassed. Everyone was so kind and gracious. I felt like the worst mom ever. I was hoping to help Ben be less afraid of swimming. I failed...miserably.

My other bad decision is that I did something recently in an effort to protect my heart. I told the truth. (I'm being intentionally vague here.) I took my time making this decision. I thought out what I was going to do. What I did was certainly unusual, but it was well thought out. Well, I thought it was. The truth did not set me free. Instead of protecting my heart, my efforts only ended up smashing my self-esteem to bits. Instead of feeling confident, I ended up feeling undesirable, repulsive, and even freakish. Repulsive is probably the word that's been in my head most. Obviously, I've left a few details out here, but even if I put the whole story into words, it wouldn't be clear. I was there, and I still don't know what happened. I was hoping to protect my heart. I failed...miserably.

This week, I have come to understand just how much I need grace. I've learned how stupid I can be in a quick moment. I've learned how stupid I can be even after having taken time to think things through. I will continue to strive to follow God by praying, studying His Word, and seeking His will. When I screw up, and I will screw up, I will find His grace.

Maybe I can also learn from my mistakes and make a few less of them. That certainly would be a lot less painful than this past week has been.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Now that all the services for Ron are over, real grieving has started for me. It's amazing how physical the pain can be. It feels as if my heart is quite literally breaking. Last night, I picked up Ron's jacket and just held it as if it were him. You would have thought it was a scene from a Hallmark movie.

I was prepared for how much I would hurt. I was not prepared for this identity crisis I seem to be going through. I'm now Ron's widow, a single mom, and someone who feels as if chunks of her are missing. My pastor described it this way... It's not as if marriage is like two fists joined together. Instead, it's more like to hands joined together. When one is taken away, the remaining one has all these gaps. That's the way I feel. There are big, scattered holes all over me. Most of those holes will heal with time, but probably not all of them. It's going to take time to figure out who I am without Ron.

Grieving during the Christmas season has it's challenges, but there are also many, many benefits. It's really a good time to experience the miracle of the Savior. Christmas has a way of making me feel closer to God. This is especially true this Christmas. The other thing is that Ben is now officially done with school for the year. We get to spend time together. Being with my son is healing. Ben brings out the best in me, just like his dad did. Plus, Ben and I just have a lot of fun together. We're going to spend a few days in Montreal. We'll have a lot of time together, and I'll get a much desired change of scenery.

I'm looking forward to the day when I start feeling normal again. I hope it's soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

In Memory of Ronald James Broach

Ron passed away peacefully last around 7:45pm. I had just gotten back from karate. I was sitting with him and "A Better Way" by downhere was playing in the background. I started telling him a story, and he took his last breath.

Ron and I were not perfect, but we were perfect for each other. He was very romantic. Stories of his proposal to me, of gifts he has bought me, and places he has taken me make woman sigh and men squirm. The man just knew how to make me feel special.

Ron and Ben were perfect for each other too. An uptight Ron would just melt after he spent just a few minutes with his boy. Ben has Ron's particular side, Ron's sense of humor, Ron's ability to have deep, complex, philosophical conversations. Unfortunately, Ben also has Ron's sense of rhythm. :-D

Ron's friends and family know him as an intelligent, caring, generous, dependable and incredibly witty man. Actually, witty doesn't cut it. Ron had a bizarre sense of humor, and this sense of humor helped us through the worst of times.

In Ron's own words, his legacy is his faith. He wanted to be known and remembered as a man of God. In this, I believe he has succeeded. I have no doubts that God greeted him with the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

I will miss you sweetie. I'm not sure I know how to be me without you here, but I will keep you with me. I promise to be the mother to Ben and the woman of God that you would want me to be. I love you.