Seven years ago, I was 34 years old and life was a lot simpler. Johnny and I had a small family, just us and our 3 year old son. I had always had things planned out, and had done things the “right way”, my way.
I worked hard as a full time elementary school teacher in Boston Massachusetts, and was a good mom and partner.
I was happy.
Then one day, EVERYTHING changed.
I woke up to the sound of banging at my door.
A Brockton police officer was at my door. I thought…..they have the wrong house, I didn’t do anything.
Well no….I didn’t do anything…..but they did have the right house.
My partner, Jon had been killed in an automobile accident on his way home. The hospital had been trying to reach me, as his next of kin.
That great, beautiful life I had all planned out……came to a screeching halt.
What the hell was I going to do?????? It was me and my three year old son, Jayce.
No Daddy. I had to take care of our little boy and the baby just developing inside of me. You see, I was 3 months pregnant when Johnny died. I had a whole lot to figure out.
Fast forward, to today. This is not the ride I intended to be on. Not the game I expected to be a player in. However, I decided a long time ago….my life would not be defined by Johnny’s death. But, how wrong I was, kind of.
I am defined by being Johnny’s young widow….in so many ways. But it is not the only way I am defined.
I never wanted to be a victim. I never wanted my young children to be given a “free pass” to act up, because their Daddy died. I held myself to high standards, and still do. After all my children were robbed of their amazing Daddy, I will be certain that the rest of their years are amazing.
With the help of Maureen Walsh of Grief Weavers, I learned how to cope with Jon’s death. I learned how to handle the loss my sons would endure. I learned and I questioned. I asked a shit ton of questions.
I began to realize, being a young widow in South Shore Massachusetts was a lonely affair. Where were the support groups to join? Where was I to go?
Where was the “Young Widows for Dummies” manual?
I never found it. SO I worked on creating what I knew should have already been created.
Welcome, to We Do Care. A movement created, to care about others…..just because.
When someone is in need, you should care, just because. You should step up and be the 5% that DOES something…..not the 95% that waits for everyone else to care.
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Lovely Julie. You’ve done such an amazing job of turning the biggest grief into the biggest love. xoxoxo