As many know, one of my children needed a group of peers whose members had also lost a parent.  And to get her the type of support she needed we found our way to Safe Harbor.  Honestly, not even I, the great wordsmith could do it justice in a sentence – so I won’t try – that is blog for another time which I promise will include the reasons I attend the parent component.  But let’s move on…

I should stop here for a second and warn you that I am not in the best of moods.  So, if you get insulted easily or don’t like complaining, this just isn’t your post.

And at that support group I have met Debbie – she is the Ellen Buschbaum of Safe Harbor – red hair, Jewish, a bit outspoken and absolutely awesome.  If you know how much I love Ellen, you can imagine how glad I am to have Debbie in the group.

A few weeks ago Debbie shared the concept of the 15 minutes of fame.

That time period that surrounds the wake and the funeral – where everyone is around you, supporting you…they make promises that they will be in touch, help and check-in.  My children were promised trips to Jamaica, “we will be there for you,” “we will see you.”  Some in attendance bawled as if they talked with John every day… and as such they attended each and every minute of the activities right through the luncheon.  And then they vanished – the 15 minutes was up.

When Debbie talked about the 15 minutes of fame concept so much was made so clear – the 15 minutes of fame his family and friends needed – to get through – to pretend like they were close – to give speeches and toasts and cry on each other’s shoulders.  Of course now, not one of them can take 15 minutes out of their busy day and call just to see how one of my girls is doing – forget caring about me.

But wait, this is my blog…let’s talk about me for a minute – I’m actually sick and tired of being forgotten.  You see…I’m the one who has to carry said child out of Safe Harbor when she is hysterical after a session…I’m the one who now has raging guilt when I can not attend a swim meet because of a cheer leading event – I have to choose – my children don’t have a parent in attendance.    I’m the one who has to ask my oldest daughter to please come home and work the cheer competition because for me to give up an entire day is completely impossible.  I’m the one who was told I had no rights during the estate process but was saddled with insurmountable debt I now have to pay – and was lied to by his lawyers and family as they kept money for themselves while I paid for three sets of teeth extractions (it was a long weird summer).  Dinner on the night when we have to go down to Safe Harbor?   You would like to cook my contribution for the swim team pasta party?  Oh my gosh I would fall over dead if someone volunteered all that.

I get it, I’m the ex – but you would think that would make his side want to be even more involved – to make sure he was represented. But don’t worry – I got that too – scrapbooks of his entire life for Christmas – yeah, I did those – even though his family did not contribute one stinkin’ picture.  And, let’s not forget the squares – that the family fought me on as well   For the record – attending graduation is not supporting a child – nice gesture – but it is in the day to day – it is down in the trenches where the kids really need the help – where it gets hard – where so much has to be done and schedules are stretched thin.  Where you know they crave the other parent and I’m the only one available.  It would be REALLY NICE to have his side represented once in a while.  My side is freakin’ exhausted.

I’m glad they all got their 15 minutes of fame…I’ll be here getting the real work done…all by myself.


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