Married But Living the Role of a Single Mother

“Is today Saturday?” I asked myself as I laid in my small twin bed and gazed at the mirror with the Holly Hobbie image hanging upon the wall through tired eyes and blurred vision. “Yes, it is,” I quickly answered. Saturdays were always filled with both joy and boredom for me growing up. Saturday usually meant that I would spend the day all by myself. My two brothers both who are older than me were off doing their thing and our mother worked the entire day. Even to this day, the repetitions of Saturdays during my childhood are forever etched in my mind.

Crawl out of bed, my favorite cereal, watch cartoons, American Bandstand, Casey’s Top Ten, venture outside, phone calls with friends, and 3pm my mom would come home from round one of her Saturday work schedule. We would go to the grocery store, then to McDonalds and back home; then back to work for my mom; I alone again until at least midnight. As I grew older, Saturday got a little less repetitive. My junior year of high school we moved from Illinois to Ohio and things got a little easier.  Or maybe I got use to being the daughter of a single mom.

Years later I became a mother! “Have a good day son, see you when you get home” I said to my son as he walked out to the bus stop. I remember thinking of what a gorgeous day it was as I moved to prepared his 4 year old sister breakfast. As she watched SpongeBob, I proceeded to listen to the radio. Winning Matchbox Twenty flyaway tickets was on my itinerary that morning. In the blink of an eye, everything changed; the rest of my family’s life was forever altered. For the first time since December 7, 1941, the United States of America was attacked on its own soil. September 11, 2001 is forever etched into my family’s history.  Within no time, my husband was called to duty and I was alone with two small children. Starting that day I became a married single mother. I had to keep my fears hidden from my two children yet balance a new set of tasks and that seemed impossible.