Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Cost of Moving Forward

Summer Camp Graphic

I've been feeling quite stressed out these past few weeks. Stressed over money.

First a disclaimer, I'm not broke, and I have a regular check that arrives every two weeks.

I've forgotten how expensive summers can be when you are a single working parent. My son is now thirteen years old. Old enough to spend some time on his own, not old enough to always make the best decisions when on his own. I didn't want to be at work all summer, wondering, worrying, about what he was getting into while I was away. I also didn't wanting him sitting at home alone, bored, with the depression that still surrounds our home and lives.

I look at the distant years past, and our household was filled with many people. We had two parents, three kids, and a host of friends that visited on a regular basis. Now granted, we were dealing with Michael's tumor, and impending death, but we had a full and active life. For this reason alone, I wanted my son to have a summer where he was active, involved in many fun outdoor activities, and not focused on the fact that there are only our two faces around the house.

Today it hit me why I as feeling stressed about money, and why I have been feeling somewhat depressed as I pick him up from camp each day. I have not had to rely on such camps for several years. When Michael was around, Remy only went to camp when we felt he would enjoy it. Back then there was always one of us around if it got too expensive, or if Remy just wanted to be home with one of us. Last year, the first summer without Michael, I was not working. I had just quit my job, moved to San Diego, and the boys and I would hit the beach every afternoon. This year is quite different.

So, my realization? This is my life now. This is the aftermath of the tragedy of losing my husband. This is the emotional, and financial, cost that it takes to keep moving forward. The cost means that I have gone through a significant amount of money to provide myself, and my son, some sense of normalcy, some peace of mind, and hopefully, some a little joy.

The cost is emotionally taxing. The cost is financially destabilizing.


  1. Unfortunately, It seems that one of the additional vexing things that goes along with being widowed (as if we needed any more) is that there can be a lot of unexpected expenses. For me, it was having to soend money in order to get the farm ready to go up for sale. Then storage and moving costs. The van broke down and I had to buy another. I remember thinking "Sheesh, is this never going to stop!" But then I reasoned, yes, it will. We all have to do whatever is necessary to cope. Sometimes that means spending money now - an investment, of sorts, to increase the likelihood that things will work out better further down the road. At least, that's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it! (-:

  2. This post makes me think of all the money I spent on my sons for athletic fees and just a few years ago, a volleyball camp that set me back a couple grand. Anyway, whenever it had to do with the kids I pretty much shelled it out. The money factor is a tough reality because life and running a household is easier with two, even if one is not working. But in the end it is just money - not people, relationships or experiences. And to me at least, after a lot of loss, those camps, clubs and time off from working so I'd be with my young sons over summer vacation were worth every penny drained out of the bank account!

  3. Investing in our children is the most sound, best return investment anyone of us will EVER make. I hope you are able to hold on to that throught when stress or fear creeps in. The rewards are bountiful.
    from an Alaska friend