Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Council of Dads

So, taking a mental break from Peak Oil ramblings :)

I really enjoy Time magazine. I especially enjoy the last page, kinda the "Essay" section. This weeks essay part was about a father who knew he was going to die from cancer. He knew this ahead of time, so he formed a "Council of Dads" for his little girls. The council consisted of men that were his friends that he trusted to help raise his daughters after he passed. In forming this council, he realized that he had to clear up with each person exactly how he felt about them and why he chose them. You can read the article HERE.

This article obviously hit home with me a bit. Being as Ryan died suddenly though, there was no time for us to form this council for our boys. Ryan did have some good friends though and I remember after he died, each one of his best friends came forward to tell me that they would help with the boys. They would be there when I needed them if the boys had questions, or just wanted to spend time with them in a "father and son" manner.

This article is a wonderful article and yes, I personally believe that it takes a village to raise a child, but the more I think about this article, the more it actually makes me bitter in a way. I'm not disputing the fact that having this council is an awesome plan, and that it gives much comfort to the dying person, but I think this concept is a unicorn (unicorn = fantasy). I am actually curious to find out if this Council is still helping to raise these girls...

Fast forward 4 years and the reason for this post.

In 4 years, not one of his best friends has come to visit the boys. Not one of them has offered to take them fishing, to take them to a ball game, to take them to talk about "growing up", etc. etc. I understand that people grow and change and our lives go in separate directions but yes, I am still a bit bitter. I have learned that if you want something done, its best to plan on it being you, and you alone. Even families will fade away after some time....

Basically, instead of writing to Time magazine, I'm just venting and sharing what has happened in our specific situation. Learning through experience is the best way to learn, and I have experienced this first hand.... I can literally count on ONE HAND the people that have offered to and have helped with raising the boys. Thank you to those very few, your help through an extremely challenging time has not been forgotten. However I feel that I was basically raising the boys myself and the kicker of this whole situation? A PERFECT STRANGER came into our lives and is now helping to raise them into fine young men. Never in my life did I ever imagine a man coming into this house and take on the challenge of raising 3 young boys with out batting an eye. Never. Yet as fate has it, I found that man and I have my "council" for now :)

I don't even know how to end this little vent except for words of advice... If you make a promise to a dying person, or to the family after a person dies, follow through. Don't make empty promises. Also, talk to your spouse about what would happen if the other dies, this is a topic most people don't talk about at young ages. We think we will all live to see 100, and in truth, we all won't. Make sure your lives are structured so that when your support system FAILS, you can carry on with confidence. Acquire life insurance. Learn to do things your spouse "normally does". Haven't ever mowed the grass? Do it so you know how. Never changed a flat tire? Do it so you know how. Keep your independence along side your love and dependency, you may need it someday....


  1. I'll happily show you how to mow the yard this weekend :)

  2. *ahem* I already know how to do that :) just because I don't, doesn't mean I can't. But nice try babe :)

  3. did i raise him right or what??? <>.

  4. I'm not at ALL trying to defend those friends, but maybe being around your kids was too painful for them, as it made them think of Ryan. And later, when John came into the picture, maybe they figured you didn't need them, and that the boys had a wonderful father figure now, and that perhaps they would be intrusive. I don't know, I'm just throwing things out there. I can ABSOLUTELY see how hurtful it would be to you that they all just disappeared. I'm just trying to look at it from both sides, that's all. I've been doing lots of thinking and soul searching lately, so maybe I'm just over-analyzing this....I'm going to email you about "the scoop," since I could use some words of advice.