Hi, my name is Patti and I have been a friend and colleague of Linda’s for the past ten years. Just a little bit about myself, I have been married for 26 years to my husband Alan and am the mother of three amazing children, Tim who is 24, Michael who almost 23 and Kristen who is 18 and recently graduated from Seekonk High School. At the moment Linda is facing a very difficult challenge which she has done with amazing grace. At various times in our lives, we all have different challenges that we must face and today I will share one of my biggest challenges of the many that I have had to face.
For the past 24 years, my most treasured role in my life has been that of being a mother to my three children. When they were little, I was always running them here and there from one event to another and often to three places at the same time! My time when I was not working was filled with sharing in all of their activities, whether it be baseball, soccer, track, swim or dance. For the past several years, most of my time has been spent with my daughter who has danced for 16 years and been on a competition team for the last 9. During her four years of high school, she also swam for the Seekonk Lady Warriors. Every fall, I have known that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would leave school with camera in tow and head to various swim meets, as I did for several years before with the boys. Come January, Kristen would start with her dance competition season. She dances two solo’s, a trio, duo and is usually in about 7-8 group routines. Her competitions have taken us to many places for weekends that we have spent with our “dance family.” We most recently spent our last dance Nationals competition at Mohegan Sun for a week. This was a very bittersweet time for us both. We had a great week with lots of laughs mixed in with many tears as we said “goodbye” to our “dance family” This was even more difficult than watching my “baby girl” graduate from high school.
All of this background brings me to my greatest challenge yet, “sending my youngest child off to college!” She will be attending Simmons College in Boston as a Doctoral Physical Therapy major. I am officially joining the club known as “empty nesters” UGH! Some people think it’s great when their kids are grown and gone off on their own, NOT ME! I am going to miss her terribly and have no idea what I am going to do with myself, now that I will have no more activities to attend to cheer on my kids (although several others have offered for me to come to cheer on their kids, LOL). I often ask myself, “What am I going to do with myself when I come home after school everyday!” My last 24 years of life has been all about my kids and I don’t regret that nor would I change any of it for the world. People tell me I need to find something for Me now. The problem is that I have absolutely no idea what that is! I have also come to realize that many of the friendships that we make over the years are with our kids friends’ parents. As the kids move in different directions, so do those friendships with the parents and you gradually lose touch with them; not on purpose, everyone else is busy with their kids' activities and it just happens. As I attend many graduation parties and talk to parents in my same situation, there is always that common theme, “What now?” I guess if I had unlimited financial resources, I might find all kinds of things to do, Simmons will be on the receiving end of my money! While right now, I have no idea what I will do, I am trying to spend as much time with Kristen as I can, having to share that with her friends, her boyfriend and her job! Hopefully by September, I will come up with something. The boys make fun of me and are anticipating several more phone calls from me, which they just plan on forwarding to each other! They are amusing and so sympathetic to this dreaded day that we will all face at one time or another; some of us sooner than later. For those of you with young children, enjoy every second of it you will never regret it and will have those memories forever.
Sorry this is so long, Linda will probably never let me write on her blog again, LOL
Maybe she’ll let me post as to what I finally do decide to do with all of my extra time. My husband tells me that he has a room at Butler reserved for me, he’s a little worried too!
"You are unrepeatable.
There is a magic about you that is all your own..."
~D. M. Dellinger