Stories of a single mother raising four kids after her divorce while trying to reinvent herself, including dating again

My Final Responsibility

 

Going through massive amounts of paperwork, my brother Dave and I cringed. How could our father, a brilliant and organized man, leave such a mess with his estate? What Dad thought were simple instructions would take a year, several attorneys, extra money, and a judge’s ruling to clear up his intent. Wasn’t losing him suffering enough? The paperwork became pure torture.

In the Madden family, my parent’s finances were never discussed with their kids. Watching them age became frightening because we didn’t know where anything […]

All I Needed

 

 

In an effort to leave our family’s digital history organized and in one place, I spent hours learning how to turn the old VHS videos into DVDs. Being technologically challenged, this was no easy feat. But, in the Universe’s Divine planning, I was granted an intercession by the techie gods above, and soon the transfer from the archaic mode of entertainment to the current would begin.

First, I organized the volume of dusty tapes into chronological order. Then, by activity, dance recitals, and athletic events. […]

If not when?

Pulling the four, freshly minted cards out of my wallet in Walgreens, I found myself flummoxed. Being new to this game, I looked at the pharmacist and sheepishly asked, “Which one do you want?”

As she stared at my Medicare identifications, she giggled. “I’ll take these two. Isn’t it fun to turn sixty-five?”

My first instinct was to grumble “no,” but instead smiled and went on my way.

On December 31st, I officially became a senior citizen. Long ago, in my uninformed teens, I thought turning sixty-five […]

Time to Speak Up!

Feeling the heat from beady eyes over my shoulder, I wanted to turn around and punch the kid behind me for stealing the answers to the test off my paper. But, knowing he was the 8th-grade star athlete, as well as charmer all the nuns loved, I felt it best to keep my mouth shut. She’d never believe me anyway.

 

Going to St Charles Catholic Grammar School in the 1960s, it was well ingrained into all the students not to tattle. The nuns had more […]

On Being Modern

As I opened the box with a picture of a half-eaten apple, excitement surged: soon my life would have speed and efficiency. My current laptop was old, tired, and moving at a snail’s pace. Like that cliché known as a mid-life crisis, I needed a younger, newer model to make me feel alive again. But as I turned it on, my joy quickly dissipated. The internet connection in my new apartment was not recognizing the password and wouldn’t allow me to change it on […]

Setting Me Free

 

As I stood ready to say goodbye, I shuddered. We’d been through a lot: four children, celebrations, the death of loved ones, and my divorce. For thirty-five years, my girlfriend held my hand through it all, but it was time to let her go.

In 1982, my former husband and I went on the hunt for the perfect house. It was a buyer’s market and properties sat allowing shoppers time to make their choices. After a month of seeing everything there was to see, we […]