Although I never regretted moving back to Louisiana following the death of Eric, my first husband, it came with challenges.
It wasn’t always easy from a personal standpoint. Life was different. I had been a separated woman with four small children and became a widow with four small children. I hated telling people that I was a widow because I always felt it did not capture the big picture.
People tend to make assumptions based on limited information.
If you are reading my stories, I suggest you leave your assumptions at the door. There is always more than what you know.
Eric’s family was happy that we were coming ‘home’. I believe that our being there helped fill a void that was then a gaping hole in many hearts.
Eric’s father and grandfather drove cross country to help me move the children and I back to the south.
There were Sunday dinners and weekend sleep-overs for the children at Granny and Papa’s house. They were the grandparents I had always dreamed of having for our children. There were baseball games and barbecues. There was bike-riding and mud-puddle-splashing. There were spontaneous trips to the movies with Aunts and Uncles. There were a lot of magical moments that our hearts will always treasure.
But there was also a flip side.
I didn’t grieve according to the standards that were set for me. There was an unspoken expectation that I was unaware of until I became aware.
There was a time that I was asked on a date. That didn’t go well, especially when I chose to go.
I honestly don’t think many realized the mix of emotions that whirled within me when he was killed. I had let him run long before his death, many forgot this, or did not understand what that entailed.
After the shock of his death wore off, there were times I wanted to pull him out of the grave to whack him upside his head. There were times I wanted to just ask ‘Why’. And there came a day that I wanted to let him know that I forgave him, but all of this is a story for another day.
I made choices against my heart and stumbled some.
Eric’s family are firm believers in Catholicism, a religion I have tried on. Upon his death there was great concern about our choice of not baptizing our children.
Eric and I were both baptized Catholic and neither of us chose this path as adults. We had made the choice not to baptize our children because part of the Catholic baptism includes a promise that the parents will raise the baptized child in the ways of the Catholic Church. I don’t like making promises I would not keep.
I struggled hard with this one.
I decided to give Catholicism a second look. I signed up for the Catholic classes. They weren’t too fond of me; I asked a lot of questions.
In the end, I appeased and had my children baptized despite knowing that I would not be raising them Catholic and despite the fact that I do not believe in infant baptism. I chose this for their peace of mind. It is a decision that I have reflected upon many times since that day.
To give peace of mind to another and feel as though you made a choice against your heart is not balance.
But for the reasons I chose to go to Louisiana, I will never regret. Louisiana needed them and they needed Louisiana.
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