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The River

12 days in to being a widowed mom of 3 and I got my first little glimmer of confidence in thinking I can do this.

One of the things that initially brought Brian and I together was our joint love for the ocean and all things water related. Our very first date back in 2003 was to Fort Stevens at the Oregon Coast where we watched the sunset out on the jetty and he nervously reached for my hand on the drive home while listening to ‘Tonight Tonight’ by the Smashing Pumpkins. This was the very first memory we made together that had to do with water and a memory we both looked back on so fondly over the years. In 2013 when our individual lives worked out so perfectly that we were able to be together again, we made a point to spend our days/nights and every moment of free time on or near the water. We went sailing after work, we drove to the Oregon Coast on weekends, we vacationed on tropical islands and eventually we did all of these things with our kids too.

One of the hardest decisions I had to make so quickly after Brian’s death was where to give birth to Adeline and if it wasn’t going to be in Hawaii, where would it be? Even though we were SO excited to have Adeline in Hawaii and have that be a part of her story growing up, I knew it would be too emotionally traumatic for me to stay on the island, in our home, and go forward with having her there. I’m so thankful I have the most generous, kind and supportive sister & brother in law who without hesitation welcomed me and my kids (and dog) to stay with them in Idaho until I could have Adeline and figure some of the next steps out. I am so thankful to them for opening their arms to my family, but living in a land locked state when being near the ocean is such an intrinsic part of my being is proving to be more emotional than I was expecting. I’m still debating our next move; where to go, what’s best for the kids - short term & long term, what’s best for me, what will give me the confidence and support I need to raise these 3 kids without their dad, where can we call home.

All of this to say, while it wasn’t the ocean, today the kids and I found water. I saw some photos of this tiny “beach” up in the mountains and decided today was the day to get dressed, put one foot in front of the other and remind the kids what their mom is made of. We drove into the Boise National Forest and found this tiny little patch of sand along the river banks and splashed, played, laughed and waved at the rafters as they went on by. It took me 3 trips up and down a very steep hill to get all three kids down to it safely, but I did it and we enjoyed an afternoon together as a family at the “beach.” It was exactly what I needed as an initial adventure with 3 kids in tow and right now as I’m about to head to sleep, tomorrow doesn’t seem so daunting.



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Lessons of turning tragedy into triumph 

from a military widow

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