There are 8765 hours in a year, 52,590 of them have ticked off since Risa passed away. Probably because of the timing, it becomes a strange time of year for me (and I think for my girls as well). While the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of year,” there are probably more than just me who would stop and question that. 8765 times 6 – there’s a lot to think about.
Who’d have thunk there would come a time I have two teen-aged girls in high school – much less thriving in that environment. 16.5 is in honor roll and 15.0 is pulling a low 90 GPA. Far better than I ever did, clearly taking after their mom.
Along with a second transition to high school, we’ve (and I say we because it’s been the three of us) conquered an introduction to driving, a change of sport from softball to tennis, a job change for me and just getting through another 8765 hours with the rest of life’s challenges.
Reflecting this time of year is probably normal – give or take this is when people (who make them) will begin to think about New Year’s resolutions.
I was chatting with a friend who is also widowed – and we were talking about how tough this time of year can be as an only parent where you’re dealing with the family and everyone is happy. And it’s not to say we’re not happy – but there is a part missing.
What would Risa think about her girls excelling in school? I know how proud I am of it and I know she would be proud too – but what would she think?
And would 16.5 be a different (maybe better, maybe worse) driver if there was another voice offering guidance? I don’t know. We don’t have that second voice, and I don’t pretend there is a second voice.
In the last 8765 hours 15.0 made a change from softball to varsity tennis. She walked onto the tennis court just before Labor Day this year and became a tennis player and has taken to the sport with determination. I know Risa was a very determined person as well, happy to see she’s taken on the best of the traits.
16.5 entered the working world over the summer and excelled as a lifeguard at a water park near our house. She embraced the challenge of working and becoming responsible – maturing into a woman. Now we begin thinking about test prep and college search. I know those are the parts of life Risa would have cherished, and despite the challenges I know it’s a time I will cherish with her and her sister.
15.0 has also become expressive in art – a skill I only wish I had, but again its a skill her mother possessed. I can’t help but smile when I walk into her room and see her work on display on the walls.
And because managing life with me and two teen-aged girls isn’t quite challenging enough I decided to change jobs this year too. It was one of those situations where it was time to make a change and the right opportunity came along – but its in those moments where I try to think through important changes, don’t really have that life partner to talk to and know I’m about to make a life changing decision – the clock slows down, and a few of those 8765 hours feel like days at a time.
I wonder, what would Risa think about all of this? Am I doing the right thing? Would my father be proud of life I’ve created for my family?
I’d like to think the answer is yes – because that will help get me through the next 8765 hours and changes our lives will face again.