old life back

*I wrote this last week and didn’t realize I hadn’t published it*

There is a undercurrent in our family right now. I am not sure what is causing it. I didn’t even realize it until I sat down to write my most recent blog.. The only thing I know for sure is its all different manifestations of a yearning for Jennifer..

Tony has been short with me lately. Impatient and grumpy with me. I wasn’t sure what I had done. We talked in the car ride to the airport. About a lot of things.. his things and then about how he worries that I am not going to the gym anymore, just working out at home. He has noticed I am sheltering in the house again. .. retreating inward emotionally and physically.

He’s right. My only social life now is Unravel related. Up before the kids to work out alone. No playdates or phone calls that aren’t Unravel or childhood cancer based. Its consuming .. its important and now its somehow safe and comfortable.

Maybe I feel comfort in that because its under my control..

And then he just said

“I miss you. I miss our old life. I want our old life back”

This new life of ours .. founders of a non profit.. parents of 4 living children and 1 in heaven. I think right now he is just tired of it. Maybe even a little resentful of it all.. Just yearning for the wife and the life he once had. That he fought so hard for and lost..

Our days used to be filled with projects and games and sunshine. .. But its just different now.
Our days used to be filled with projects and games and sunshine. .. But its just different now.

Jonathan told me this morning.. “Mom I want to tell you something but Im not sure I should” .. “ok well I cried when we dropped you off at the airport. I miss you when you are gone.”… “Its just that I want us all together. And I get scared.”

I knew he struggled. I know he would rather stay home with me than almost anything else .. But I didn’t know how much. And I hate to know he cried in the back of the car and didn’t tell anybody. I still don’t know why he felt like he shouldn’t tell me. . I’m not sure what bothers me more.

We got his yearbook this morning. Took it home while he was at school. Nicholas and Charlotte were so excited to see it. Nicholas was sharing with me about all the pictures he saw. .. Looking for Jonathan on every page..

And then he asked for help. “Mom, where is Jennifer in it?”

I was so taken aback by the question. ” Oh so you have to still be alive. Only students that are alive still? Oh. So she isn’t part of it anymore”

My heart broke .. for both us. Because I understood. I yearned for her picture to be in the yearbook .. But as an adult I was prepared. I knew she wouldn’t be. (she was given a page the year she died)

So he just put it down. Deflated. No longer interested. He just walked away.

And me.. Tony is right. I just want to be home. With my kids and my husband. The only thing I can motivate for more than that is Unravel. . and other cancer families. I cancel plans. I don’t show up for events that I know will be fun. I just have no interest. Or energy for it right now.

Tony just really had it right. I miss our old life. Its incredibly so much more than just missing our daughter.. which can be debilitating in its own right.. It’s missing who we were too..

I’m going to try

just a little bit every day..

to recapture who we were

the family you knew.


..until there is a cure..



6 Responses to “old life back”

  1. I so understand. I understand the constant balance of old and new. Of doing things that are the same but are different. Everything is paradoxical. Everything has a BUT. It gets old. Being different. Cheers to you for recognizing, still living, trying, putting your heart into something that you believe in and know will make Jennifer proud. Cheers to you and prayers for you and your family as you navigate and find some sort of balance between old and new. Thinking of you.

  2. Heartbreaking. I’m sorry your family had to be a part of the cancer journey… Or that any family has to be. Praying everyday for siblings of cancer fighters.. They bare so much pain as well. Thank you for spreading glitter… It matters 💖

  3. This reminds me of a conversation I just had with my sister yesterday. She said I’m so different, that she feels so unconnected from me now, and I told her it’s because I feel like I’m living on an island all alone. Sad, afraid, and so apart from everyone. I wonder if I’ll ever feel like the old me again. Maybe not. Maybe it’s about embracing the new you. But it’s hard when the new you hurts and just feels black.

    And I feel this way without going through half as much as you did, or what a lot of other moms and dads go through. I can’t imagine having to come back from that.

  4. The saddest part to me is that we can never go back. We cannot go back to who we were before cancer stole our lives. Cancer stole your daughter, how can you ever recover completely from that? The new normal is really all any of us have when we are bereaved, particularly with a loss so massive as a child. Everything has changed, even the tiniest, smallest things. I understand missing the way things were, and sadly I know from experience we can never get them back. You cannot undo that horrible day you learned the letters DIPG. You cannot un-know or unlearn, and I desperately wish we all could. Love for the beautiful Jennifer Lynn Kranz!

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