Life is not easy for a single mom in the United States, especially for someone who just lost her soulmate suddenly. In this motivational piece, Top Life Tips brings to you the success story of a Single mom struggles to move ahead in life.
I am afraid he is no more,” the doctor announced. It was a Monday evening in December 2020. Your brain doesn’t easily process a statement like that. How could this be? I wondered, only 15 minutes earlier, my hubby Mark and I were about to leave our flat in NYC for enjoying the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree when all of a sudden he just keeled over. It was a fatal stroke, instantaneous and without any warning.
Mark, my soulmate for the 24 years, was an athletic build and looked much younger than his 51 years. A lifestyle that had a healthy diet, regular swimming, running and golf, yoga, and reiki was punctuated with rather more festive weekends. We sometimes went to parties, but most special was the quiet evenings at home: two small martinis and precious time alone, privately celebrating every small event. Just the day before he passed away, Mark’s routine medical test results had come in and they looked normal.
“My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are down,” he would say, “Let’s celebrate.
When Mark and I met in 1996, he was attracted by my passionate love of kids, dogs, poetry, and my blissful ignorance of life’s many nitty-grits. I was also drawn by his intelligence and quiet depth, his pragmatism, and his broad, comforting shoulders. As a marketing head with a leading IT Inc, Mark’s corporate world was different from my hectic life as a writer. But I found the stodgy corporate world rather restful.
I moved each time Mark got a transfer because I could not bear to be apart. I freelanced for online magazines across the country and my nomadic existence resulted in an enviable network of contacts.
Meanwhile, I also got a deeper insight into family life, which led to a series of articles on the subject, and a unique understanding of what was important to homemakers. I even got a job as a staff writer for a leading magazine publication.
Our marriage was exceedingly happy and our kids, Jack, a salesman in a Food chain store, and Sofia, just a graduate passed out, were warm, loving, and blessed with both level of integrity and a wicked sense of humor. It was as if everything I wished for was mine.
When people said, “Life is not perfect, “I used to think, Oh, but it very nearly is and very beautiful.
That Monday evening changed everything. You have been a couple for close to 24 years, one year less than the silver jubilee celebration of happy married life. There’s no major decision you take alone. Every piece of news is shared. And now, you feel like half a person. How does one function as a single entity?
I was traumatized and terrified but felt I owed it to myself, to Mark, and to the kids to rise above the loss and use the strength our love had given me to go forward.
I also had to deal with some pressing issues. Where would I live?
Ours was a company-owned room and most of the facilities we’d enjoyed, like the club, medical coverage, and even the phone, came with Mark’s job.
I took a decision, a role showing single mom struggles
I would try and do as much as I could on my own, without asking for, or expecting, other people to chip in. As a writer, I had been privileged to share some truly exceptional life stories. I now had to handle my own life and accept the change with as much grace and courage as I could handle.
The journey ahead needed new skills. My husband’s paperwork was good indeed, but I had never handled finances. I didn’t even know where our bank was! He never bothers me to take care of household chores. Always keep me as a baby. It was my mistake now. I should have taken the responsibilities as well. As there was no handing over, I did not know anything about the payments due for any services we used. I did not know where many important documents were.
My kids, Jack and Sofia stepped in like pillars to support, and together we dealt with tough decisions such as selling the home we had in Central Alaska to buying a small flat in South Carolina which is much cheaper than NYC.
Moving to a new home was painful, emotionally, but it signaled a clear break from the past and a final acceptance of a new life alone. The new place must have opportunities for my two sons who will be struggling to make a stable career in the new place.
With a new home in hand, there was one load off. But a change of ownership was required for a whole host of things. I had to go back and forth with forms filled, death certificates, and affidavits. Such incidents were painful at first, yet they helped me stronger. I don’t want compassion or pity from the world. In fact, I hate the world to see me as a single mom struggles in the new place.
I need to do a full-time job now. Luckily I got a job in The State. Jack too got a job at Walmart.
My life now is very different from what it was earlier. I understand that we are all given an inner strength and that we truly grow up, regardless of age, when we learn to stand alone. I would love to give back to society, to work at a cause that I care deeply about – the family to help others achieve better work-life options so that a new generation of young people, and indeed a new generation of old people, can receive the support they need.
I also hope to give motivational stories to every single mom who needs strength and courage in their life.