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Moving Backward, Going Forward – Approaching 50 and Fabulous
Bereavement Family New York City Parenting Work life balance Working Mom

Moving Backward, Going Forward

March 8, 2016

Today I returned to work. I had previously checked with my sons to make sure that they were OK with my timing on my return to the office. If they needed more time at home with me, they would have it. 

However, they were both in full agreement with the idea. My Joey had said “Mom, there will never be a perfect time, but you should go back now. This way it will get easier every day.” Louie quietly said “I agree.”   

Sunday I went to the cemetery, and asked Anthony if he was OK with my return to work. There was still time to back out.  If he said “no” I am sure I wouldn’t be the first grieving parent to decide not to return to work the day before you’re supposed to show up. And in his usual fashion I heard the words “stop bullshitting mom, you’re a strong woman, get on with it, you got this.” So since I had all my guys full backing, I did.

This morning for some odd reason the Huey Lewis song “Back in Time” was stuck in my head. Does that sound weird?  

I always feel like I am such a weirdo lately.  Alone, in a universe rotating around me. 

When I closed the front door and stepped outside, I suddenly felt very safe. The weirdo vibe dissipated quickly. 

My beloved carpool buddies were their normal fun selves, with the addition of a few welcomed hugs and hand squeezes. I had more trepidation about going into my office, than getting into the car. Riding in, it felt like time stood still in between January 29 and today. We chatted away and I felt warmth and happiness in my buddies presence. 

Before I knew it, I was on the corner of Park Avenue and 40th Street, nerves started to take over. Starbucks is always my first stop. 

So take me away, I don’t mind…But you better promise me, I’ll be back in time…Gotta get back in time… Gotta get back in time…Get me back in time…  There goes that song again… Ok so I am still a little bit weird. 

After picking up my coffee, I ran into my favorite newspaper vendor. As always, even tho’ I don’t buy a newspaper, greetings are exchanged. A cheerful “good morning,” without question as to where I have been for past 5 weeks. 

Not that I wanted to talk about it anyway. 

I made my way into my building and felt a surreal wave come over me, was I ready?  How can I go in to work so soon?  Isn’t there more I should do at home? 

“Stop the bullshitting Mom, you got this.”   

I pressed the elevator button thinking about Anthony and how much I missed him. 


Arriving at my desk, my jaw dropped. My computer was decorated with streamers and pictures of special moments shared with my amazing colleagues (who I am proud to call friends). The handmade Welcome Back… It was all so heartfelt and gracious of them. 

Thank goodness I was alone on the floor. The tears came quickly.  However, for the first time in 5 weeks, they were not sad tears. They were not tears of longing for what I lost. 

Joy filled my heart.  Joy and gratitude. 

As my Anthony said, I got this…

…with a little help from my friends…



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