Monday, 19 May 2008

I Could Use An Opinion On This...

Hi my friends, yes I really could do with some advice, some thoughts, some opinions regarding what I'm about to tell you that happened last night, but in reality has been happening for some time. As most of you would know from my previous posts Jack had gone to his Dad's for the weekend. He left Friday night instead of Saturday morning when he usually goes, so it was an extra night. Anyway all was well until I got a phone call around 7.30pm (ish), it was Jack just wanting a chat, he had been playing a Playstation game with his Dad and wanted to tell me everything about it - and I mean everything lol. I had also asked during the course of the conversation about whether he was up for another night at Dad's place and he was quite sure that he was. To me he sounded unnatural, he sounded too hyped up, just not his real, true self if you know what I mean. Anyway long story shortened (somewhat anyway) is that Jack decided he didn't want to stay the extra night with David. He told me that he missed me too much and really needed to come home. I did let him know that he would be okay and that he and Dad had some nice plans for the next day, was he sure, etc, etc. Yes he was absolutely sure, he just missed me too much and didn't want to stay, so Dave brought him home. We stayed up together for a while, Jack and I and had some talks about things and then he started sobbing and sobbing, telling me that he didn't know why daddy and I had to be separated and live separately because he hates it and when he's with one he misses the other and vice versa. He kept saying that he wanted us all to be a family and how it wasn't fair, other families all lived together and why did we have to be like this, he actually said "this shouldn't have happened to the Ballantyne's". Oh my God, it was terrible, he was just heartbroken. I started crying too, I just couldn't help it this time, I felt so helpless, so incredibly sad that I couldn't fix it for him and I couldn't protect him from stuff like this in the world, I felt so sad that he had to feel these feelings at only 6 years old. It was apparent how much thought he has given this in the past. Not only does this boy have to deal with having a sick Mum since he was roughly 2 years old but he also has to deal with a Dad that lives an hour and a half away and isn't readily available to Jack because of that and then when he is up there he feels as though he is miles away from me which bothers him, he worries about me I guess or he is just a little boy who still needs his mama.

Anyway thoughts were racing through my mind as I was trying to think how I could resolve this and make it easier on Jack. I knew that there was no way David would come down here to live because we have already had that discussion and it didn't go well, he wouldn't budge and I was furious, anyway I won't go into all the ugly details here but I know that he will not come and live closer to Jack. So I got to thinking, maybe I should go and live closer to Dave! I mean I am unwell a lot of the time, it would be really helpful to have David just around the corner to pick up the slack with Jack, also if I don't have very long to go, and let's face it they say I don't- even if I look at the good case scenario, then surely it would be easier on Jack to be already up that way, very familiar to his Dad's home and at the local school etc. David will be taking Jack back up there when I am no longer here anyway, it might be a lot better for Jack had I been living up there with him for a while first.

Part of my plan would incorporate getting those two bonding very closely. Making sure we were at each others homes a lot, sharing meals, getting David to handle a lot of Jacks school stuff, he could drop him off in the mornings and pick him up in the afternoons (Dave is a school teacher you see so he would have similar hours to Jack).

As for me well, I guess they would have a Hospice program up there and a hospital and a chemo ward etc, I will look into all of that before I do anything, also Dave's mum, Avon, is really kind and helpful and she would call in with a casserole or cake or offering a hand that's just the way she is so that could be a bit helpful and as for the rest well I guess I will be lonely and homesick but in another way, Jack's happiness will be mine, mainly because I am on a limited amount of time.

So what do you think my friends, any words of wisdom for me, any cautionary thoughts, anything at all on this for me, I would be most interested to know. All I do know for sure is that I am very confused, very tired of being ill, I don't want to see and hear Jack like that ever again. I forgot to tell you the part where he thought I couldn't hear him, I wasn't in the room but I had come down the hallway and he hadn't heard me and he was crying softly to himself and saying things like, 'it's just horrible, it hurts so much, I just can't stand it, why, why oh why' and on it went, it was heart wrenching. I just grabbed him and held him and cried with him and told him that no it was not fair, and yes it did hurt so much and it shouldn't be the way it is and I hated it too. It was all I could do. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Things I'm Grateful For Today:

I am grateful my Mum dropped by and did some shopping for me and cooked dinner tonight as I was just exhausted.

I am grateful that David brought my son home instead of letting him stay up there miserable.

I am grateful for the delicious meal we had this evening.


  1. I wonder how Dave feels about this option? If he is on board, I think it is a wonderful idea. If everyone is happy with it, it would work out well. Do what your heart tells you to do and all will be well. I wish I could make it better for you both. Hugs Lisa

  2. Oh Jenni-This is so hard and my heart just breaks for Jack. For what it is worth, Max still struggles in all the same ways even though Juan is much closer, just 15 minutes away. I don't think that we can ever take away the pain they feel for not living together as a family.
    But I do think the idea of living closer to David to help acclimate Jack to that world is an interesting one and one worth considering. Its worth talking through with David to see his thoughts and to stay open to all the possibilities. There is also so much to consider--the quality of the care you will get there and the consequences or benefits of switching your medical team at this point. Lots to think through but I know you will find the right path for your family.
    love to you

  3. Jen, that is so heartbreaking indeed. Ah, they are six but so wise to the world they live in and their feelings. He was v. articulate and good for him. An intelligent boy, who is obviously confident and secure to express his thoughts. He knows he is loved.
    Sounds like you already have an inkling of what you want to do. I think it's personally a good idea. to be closer. perhaps the pros outweigh the cons.
    Close your eyes and follow your gut. you're a smart cookie. we're here for you.

  4. I must say this thought came to me when beginning to read your blog, that your being there to help set Jack up in what will likely become his eventual surroundings would make his move up there so much easier, so much less connected to your illness. And it seems as if it could help you too, to see him set up with friends and school and all.

    Obviously the entire situation is sad and hard, but I think if it could truly work for you, it would be a wonderful idea.

  5. Jen, I think it may be a good idea - just try to make sure you have the support you need - 1 1/2 hours is not so incredibly far - perhaps some of your friends can make a schedule and come up to see you and be there for you on weekends?

    Much love and prayers,


  6. Hi Jen! Have you read Randy Pausch's Last Lecture? You have to read it it is sooooo good! He has it on CD and Randy is dieing of Pancreatic Cancer. Anyway he is a professor and has 3 small kids. When he knew he was terminal he decided to do a last lecture (Professors are always asked to do that) and it would be a lecture on all of the things he learned while alive and something that his kids could have when he was gone. One of the things he talks about is moving his family back to his wife's home town so that when he is gone they have support of her family. So that is what he did and exactly what you are talking about. But I would do it if it could be done very very easy on you. I'd enlist everyones help so that you are not inconvenienced that much. You have enough on your plate and time is your friend so you need to make it very easy on you!! (the moving part) Family and Friends would be honored to help you that would make the tranistion the easiest on you. Also when I read your story about Jack and his breakdown I remembered that kids are so resilant and Jack is going to be ok. He has so much support and love from you and his family that he is going to be Ok if you move or not!! Remember you are an inspiration to us bloggers out here. And to everyone!! XOXOXOOXO Love, Jen

  7. Such tough decisions for you to make, on top of everything else. Oh Jen.

    As others have said, you 'll need to see just what your support system would look like there. Without Lee, your mom and sister being so close... I don't mean to sound harsh here, but kids deal with divorce. I did. Many many thousands like me have. Not nice, and yes the impact lingers, but with God's grace we get through.

    But you, my dear, really need to look at how you will get the best care. If you can move closer to David and get great care and have a support system... great! If not, I hope and pray that you will consider your own health in the equation. Tough to say, I realize, when your beloved boy is crying in your arms. But we want him in your arms as long as possible, eh.

  8. I read often but haven't commented yet (I don't think!) My heart breaks for you and Jack! I agree with Lisa, that the first step would be to see how Dave feels about this, but if he's on board I believe this is a wonderful idea!

    As the grown child of separated parents, I was always so greatful that both of my families were only minutes away. It also seems that being able to transition Jack into his new environment now will do nothing but give him a leg up on the struggles ahead.

    He seems such a sweet, loving boy!

  9. Dear Jen, I discovered your blog through Ali, and read it often and pray for you and your family. I have been a divorce lawyer for 22 years, my parents were divorced when I was young, and also went through a divorce about 14 ago. My mom passed away of colon cancer when I was 20, so I thing I have a bit of an idea of everything that you and Jack are going through and hope my thoughts are helpful.

    I think your idea of moving closer to Dave is wonderful. This can only help Jack to deal with such a difficult situation. If Dave is up for it, it would also give you the opportunity to do some events together with Jack, a dinner, go have ice cream, celebrate an unbirthday (I love unbirthdays. you can have a birthday party for Jack even if it is not his birthday with all the trimmings of a birthday party). You will be creating incredible memories for him and you will also have peace of mind as he starts getting closer to his dad. It is really a win win situation. It may be hard for you to be away from your family, but as a mother nothing will make you happier than to do something to bring peace to Jack.

    Wishing you love and light Jen, feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions (my e-mail address is


  10. My dear Jennifer,
    It's heart breaking, indeed.
    I come here everyday and I only can say I'm concerning about you and your little 6 years old boy.
    You're and Jack are in my daily prayers.
    Sending love,

  11. There could be a lot of benefits for Jack in that plan - as others said, if David is on board and supportive of it, but I would be concerned for you. A move is stressful for anyone - but with health challenges, and especially with your condition, surely all the more. You would need to be able to have all the supports you currently have - plus more probably. You'd be that much farther away from your Mum, and Jamie, I presume? It is heartbreaking to think of little Jack feeling this, but that he is expressing it is good. I'll be praying for you all.

  12. Dearest Jen,
    How heartbreaking that you have to make all these decisions!!
    I think that you should do whatever you think is the right thing for Jack and for you.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers often,
    love and hugs to you, Tabitha XXX

  13. Hi Jen-
    When I first read this my immediate reaction was that it sounded like a good idea (if it could be done with as little stress on you as possible). You'll feel more at ease because Jack will be happier and you'll have some help with him. If his dad is okay with it, it sounds like it could be a good plan. Will your friends and family be able to come see you and help you often?

    Anyway. If it feels right in your heart, then it's the right thing to do.
    Hugs and hugs,

  14. Hey there Jen

    Delurking here. I never have the right thing to say and I really feel for you.

    It is so hard, because the strongest arguments FOR moving nearer your ex is because it will be easier for Jack to do deal with the future.

    See, I can't even type about the fact that you have to face every day. Perhaps I am a better lurker.

    However, your support network of finally finding a good nurse and the team who work with you at the hospice and family who give you respite are also important factors.

    If Jack's paternal grandmother is on hand and supportive, that is one ally. Quite often the mobile nurses in rural areas are angels, but you can have little Atilla's in every community.

    Is there a good GP there to help manage? Are there handy facilities for your treatment and care? Can your family and friends roster themselves to give you time when you need it (as someone above has suggested)?

    And most importantly - can you grow a garden there?

  15. Jenni - I can't imagine the pain it must bring to see Jack so sad. I ache for you both and send all my love. I think the possibility of living closer to his dad is brilliant and at the very least worth fleshing out. Would you be giving up any immediate family/community support (like your mom) that you depend on in ways emotional and practical? I know you must feel overwhelmed. You are very much in my thoughts.

  16. hi, just up late and sending along a greeting, hoping you are getting some rest. i hope some things are becoming clearer or solid for you. i made a big decision alone this past year to move many states away for one reason, the kids. so far so good. i miss a lot of my friends, but i'm still here...

  17. It's a hard decision, so I won't "muddy the water" and try to advise you. Just know though that I will pray that the right decision will be made clear to you.

    Hugs sweet friend!

  18. No real good advice here, just empathy and understanding having been with my own confused son once upon a tim.
    One thought is that having a conversation with David would help as you are wanting to strengthen their relationship and be there for your Jack.

  19. Hi Jen,
    I found you through Ali. Can't remember if I've commented before or not. I don't feel worthy, and I don't have any words of wisdom to share, but I want you to know that I read all your posts, think of you often, and pray for you too.

  20. I, along with others, are commenting for the first time. I have read your blog for awhile now and have had you in thoughts and prayers. My instincts as a mother would be the same as yours. The love of a mother always seeks the best for their child. I certainly can see how this would be a wise choice for Jack. You of course would be the one giving up the things you need. But isn't that always the way? It seems you would get a lot of peace knowing that Jack was settled, with his family that will care for him, and you would be there to help him adjust now. Otherwise, he will be there alone to take those adjustment steps. I say GO. His father should think it is a good plan too. That is, if he has the best intents for his son. As far as your healthcare. I am sure God will provide. And your family? They will come to you. Let someone else be strong and you concentrate on getting peace of mind. Whatever you choose, your friends will think it is the right thing. Everyone wants you to do what you want to do.

  21. Oh you are all so gorgeous for answering me so quickly, thank you so much. I would like to address each and every one of you and I will try but for now I think I will leave a post on my blog thanking you all. Love you Jen B.

  22. Hi Jen,
    I think everyone has summed it up really well before me... do some research and checking on things (w/Dave, the doctors available, friends and mum/sis able to visit and such) and I think that it might help you in the long run to feel like you have some control over how Jack's life looks when you aren't in charge (which I still pray will be many decades down the line).
    I don't think it's an easy decision as you and Jack are very settled and comfortable at your home now but going somewhere else together would certainly be an adventure and a way to imprint the new place with your stamp, so to speak. I think most of the experience depends on attitude and I'm sure you'll have a great one, whatever route you choose!
    Wishing you the best in this decision - and continued good days...
    Cate in Cal

  23. I don't really have an answer for you Jen, except to say that I think that in a situation like this you have to truly listen to your heart of hearts and go with that, go with what you feel in your gut is the right thing, the thing that will bring you the most peace. I hope the right path becomes clear to you and that you are able to walk it proudly, without regret.

    Warmest wishes,
    Linda @ Barefoot in the Park

  24. I think even without our opinions you already know what is best for Jack...go with your gut on this one !!!

    Hugs to you sweetie.....I know this can't be easy !

  25. everyone has already said most of what i would have said jen. this is a really difficult situation, and i'm with greenishlady that you need to take care of yourself well if you decide to make this move because you are very vulnerable. you're such a dear and such a wise soul that i have no doubt you will do exactly what is needed. praying for you...

  26. Dear Jenni—I agree with the other writers that this could be a wonderful thing for both you and Jack if Dave is on board, there is health support for you and the move would require no work on your part. It came as inspiration to you and so you are so right to look at it and see what feels best. I am praying you will have a long time still here on the planet because your spirit is shining so brightly. But, whatever time you have, it will give you pleasure to see where Jack will be and to be part of it. I will say too that I was divorced when my children were young. There were occasional tears and the effects are real but they have both grown to be strong, deeply wise and funny adults. I know Jack will too. And I know you will follow your heart wherever it leads you now. We are all behind you, dear Jenni, and send love and prayers.

  27. May wisdom and comfort and knowledge and support and love and peace be yours as you make inquiries and decisions with regard to your care and the welfare of your son.

    What a mixed blessing it is to have those kinds of conversations - to find out again how much your son loves you and, at the same time, to realize that the decisions you must make as a result of his deep love for you and his father are not easy ones. But I know you will do what is best for both of you, for all of you.

  28. Lisa - I wonder what David feels about this option too lol!!. Of course I will discuss it with him before I decide one way or the other and hope that he will be on board, if not then we won't be going. I certainly will try to listen to my heart, thanks Lisa xx

    Hey my friend, oh Meg, it is tough having to make all the decisions when you are a sole parent huh? I know Max goes through pain aswell and that Juan only lives 15 mins away but I think in this case it would be different than what is going on with Juan and Max. (explain what I mean later in email). I will keep open to the possibilities. Love you, Jen

    Dear muneera, thank you so much, your words are always encouraging. It is so sad for Jack isn't it, he is just such a sensitive kid and he sure knows what he wants and doesn't want in this life. Good for him I say to that! I will follow my gut darling and thank you for being here for me. Take good care xx

    deezee, I am glad you are so positive about this idea, I am also impressed that you thought about this when first starting to read my blog, that is interesting to know. I think it could be wonderful too, but there are a couple of big IF's as long as they are answered and I am satisfied with the answers I will most likely go at some stage, sooner rather than later. Hugs xx

    Jeanine, it is true it is not all that far away and I know for a fact Mum would come and stay with me a lot (when she doesn't have work) and Lee would too, I am sure most folks would at some stage come and visit and help out if need be. Thanks for your support by the way! Hugs to you and take care J xx

    Dear Jen, I certainly have seen Randy's Last Lecture he is inspirational isn't he? Actually I just came from his web site per your link (thanks for it). I guess moving to where the kids will end up is what is important here. Although I hear what you say about kids being resilient and that he would be okay if I stayed here. I guess he would be, I just don't know if I could stand another few scenes like that, it just wrenches at my heart terribly. Anyway we shall see dear one, thank you so very much for your support darling, I really appreciate it so much, take good care Jen xx

  29. I would do it. You'll be at peace helping Jack get settled into his new routine. Jack will enjoy having both of you with him. Trust me I know how it feels. A weight will be lifted when you see and know Jack will be taken care of. It will create memories of you that can be touched and remembered by Jack in his new environment.

  30. Dear sweet certainly sounds like it is worth considering. It may make things a little easier for Jack. You will just have to make sure that you have enough support for YOU.

    Hugs to you.

  31. Jenni,
    I know that you will made the right decision for all concerned. You are so intuitive. Just make sure, as others have said, that you figure yourself into the equation also... YOU ARE STILL HERE!!! YOU MATTER!!! I pray that you are able to make it all work, and that the decision is a blessing to all.

  32. Jen,
    I think this is a wonderful idea, and help Jack get bonded with his daddy, and in his new surroundings with you there to support him. And it would give you great peace to know he can adjust better. Best wishes dear and prayers for you. Let God lead your way. Follow your heart.

  33. The most important consideration is a good location for all of your beautiful potted veggies and herbs! [smile]

    You know how all of us feel Baby Darlin. Everyone has spoken so eloquently and caringly to this question. So, Sweet Jen, My Precious Gift from Heaven, I can only suggest that You allow what will be most comfortable and feel the most natural to You right now. I know that your lovely Spirit will direct You in this choice ... so just go with its leading. Trust that sweet Soul of yours and you can't go wrong.

    I do adore all that is so beautifully YOU.