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

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 […]

FOMO or TOMO

Sitting across my girlfriend at Starbucks, I had an overwhelming feeling something was not quite right; a stirring deep within as if a mean girl were taunting, “I know something you don’t!”

As she discussed the latest about her family, I realized I’d become vacant.

“What’s wrong with me?” I wondered, finding myself distracted.

Fidgeting in my seat, the answer suddenly came – my phone hadn’t rung or beeped with the sound of a text the entire time we were together.

“Excuse me,” I said, as we took […]

It’s only a title, but it says it all

As my shaking hand scribbled away, changing my future forever, my attorney asked a question I hadn’t thought about, “Will you be taking back your maiden name?”

Stunned, I stared speechlessly. Up to that point, half my life I was known as Jackie Haugh. Who would I be if I weren’t her?

Soon, the tide rose around my eyes, and I sniffled, “Wouldn’t that be like getting an annulment? I have to think about it.”

Driving away, I stewed over the idea. I stewed so much I […]

Taking a Field Trip

 

With my Barbie lunch box filled with extra treats and my play clothes freshly pressed, I headed to school ready for a day of excitement. It wasn’t often St. Charles Grammar School allowed their student’s free dress. It was even rarer to go on a field trip.

“Now class,” Sister Margaret announced as we sat on the bus. “Remember, today is a day for learning. Not fooling around. I expect good behavior out of all of you.”

Despite the fact the outing would be more hours […]