Lily was away in camp when I started my blog in July. She came home in the middle of August and read all of them. When she read about Amanda’s story she asked me why I hadn’t written one about her. My response was “I don’t have much to write”.
This is a good thing. From the minute she was born, Lily has always been a happy, easy-going girl. Things seem to come easy for her and she was always accepting and grateful for everything.
I’m not saying she hasn’t had her moments, but they are always few and far between.
She never really gives me too hard a time, except for the normal teenage girl stuff. Of course she was devastated when her father died, and it took her a long time to get through it. But thankfully there was no “major story” with her.
When I wrote about Amanda, I said that Howie had such patience for her. He did for Lily as well, especially when it came to schoolwork. Howie was amazing at helping both of them and getting them interested. This was sometimes difficult with Amanda but much easier with Lily. She actually enjoyed doing schoolwork when she was younger, and Howie enjoyed doing it with her. It was such a nice thing to see.
When Howie was gone, Lily just stepped up and did her schoolwork on her own.
She is lucky in that she is very focused and always seemed to absorb the information in class, so that doing homework and studying were never too much of a challenge for her. I have always taken it for granted that she could handle it on her own and she usually did. It was one thing I never worried about.
Last week this changed. She is just starting her sophomore year of high school. The courses she is taking are tough and she had a lot of “summer work” to do for them.
She had been at camp for seven weeks. When she got home, she had three weeks until school started (minus the 6 days we were on vacation as she keeps reminding me). She did have a lot of work, and she did do some of it before we went away and some right after we got back.
She saved the hardest subjects for the last minute, and when she finally went to do it, she got extremely overwhelmed. It was too much work and not enough time. She just did not know what to do, so she couldn’t do anything except cry.
One part of me really felt so bad for her – I just don’t understand why they give these kids so much work to do over the summer and over breaks. It would be nice if sometimes they could just relax and have fun.
Another part of me was so angry with her. Why on earth would she leave all of this to do at the last minute? What was she thinking??
Then there is the guilty part of me. Why didn’t I look more closely at what she had to do and what she had gotten done? Why didn’t I push her to finish all of her schoolwork weeks ago?
She cried, yelled at me, and just generally freaked out all day. I sat with her and tried to be patient.
All I could think was “if Howie was here, he would know how to help her”, and “he would handle this so much better”, and “it may have never gotten to this point if he was here”. But sadly, he was not here.
I handled it the best I could. We got through the day (barely) but it was a long one. Her first day of school went well.
If nothing else, I think she now knows not to save things for the last minute.
Hopefully, the rest of the year will go a lot more smoothly. I certainly hope so because I cannot handle many more days like that one!
So Lily, you got your story…
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.