Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day without J. It ended up being a pretty great day overall.

The day began with getting a text from Dyl’s girlfriend, in which she wished me a happy Mother’s Day and thanked me for all I do for her. She said I really am like a mom to her and she loves me.

Knowing that she lost her grandma (who adopted her and whom she knew as “mom”) at a young age and that her biological mother is kind of a train wreck to say the least, I feel honored to play that role in her life.

Then I had a great time with my kids when Amy and her boyfriend came over, too. I got pizza for dinner and before eating, Amy brought back a tradition that I tried really hard to implement a couple of years ago: going around the table and saying what they were thankful for.

She went first and said that she was thankful that I was her mom (and then she encouraged her siblings to say something similar.) So all the kids and even Amy’s boyfriend said they were thankful that I was their mom.

Amy also gave me a card, which was a huge deal because she’s not really a greeting card kind of person.

Chloe made me a card, in which she said that I have done well in holding the family together since J’s passing, and that she’s excited to see what I do as far as my future pursuits.

And Dyl didn’t get me a card but got me three tarot-themed tapestries and said that he did so because that was something I wanted to incorporate into my decor. (He listens and pays attention really well, lol.)

The thing that I thought of when I first woke up, though, was of the attitude J took about Mother’s Day for many, many years. He thought that he shouldn’t have to get me a gift (though he still did) because I wasn’t his mother.

And honestly that always made me feel kinda disrespected and undervalued by him. I can’t really put it any other way or put a better spin on it than that. I just put so much effort into trying to be a good mom and it sucked that he didn’t want to recognize that.

Which kind of leads to my last point: am I grieving enough or in the right way?

On some level, I feel like I haven’t grieved enough. I even feel some sort of relief that he’s gone, though that’s also mixed with complete devastation that he’s gone. I’m just all mixed up about it.

Yes, he was my best friend for almost 30 years. I loved him more than anyone else. But as more time goes on, more of those shitty little things he said and did resurface (like asking why he should give me a Mother’s Day gift because I wasn’t his mother) and that tempers a lot of my grief. I don’t want it to but it still does anyway.

The dating site is not anything serious and probably won’t be for quite some time. For now, it’s just a needed ego boost and it’s nice to exchange messages with a couple of people. I told my kids about it and they were all fine with it.

But that also makes me wonder about a lot of things, too. Like the fact that my oldest daughter asked him about 10 years ago why he didn’t just divorce me because I so clearly seemed to love him more than he loved me. I don’t have an answer to that and neither did he.

Do they want to see me happier than I was with J? If so, what does that mean? I still deal with a lot of survivor’s guilt, like he should be here instead of me. But what do I do with that information? They’ve all separately told me that I’m better equipped to live without J than he would’ve been to live without me.

I know his life was hard. I wish I could have helped him more than I did. But in many ways, he didn’t want to get better, and that’s something I can’t change.

I just don’t know what’s an appropriate way to feel right now. For much of our marriage, he was actually an emotionally closed-off asshole. But he always took care of me and the kids and he didn’t have to. I feel some guilt about that.

I want to believe that he was always Mr Wonderful, like he was in the last 6 years of our marriage. But he wasn’t and the person he was before that was kind of an asshole and hurt me in some very big ways.

I don’t think that finding someone else is looking to replace him and I don’t sense that it’s an appropriate time yet anyway. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope to find someone else who’s a little more emotionally healthy. I actually put up with a lot that I still haven’t gotten over yet.

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