Depression ……

the whole Crew…… And so much more.

Depression……. never seems to visit at a convenient time.  Or maybe that’s just me.

The past few days have been hard for me, and yet I’m unable to say why.  We made it past May, our anniversary, 3 of our children’s birthdays, etc.  It’s now the middle of June.  My birthday is around the corner, but that doesn’t seem to be looming large.
Or does it?

Maybe I’m not giving it enough credit.
I’ll be 56.
Still single.
Still expecting to be single for the rest of my life.
But that can be good ….. and yet not so good.

I weaned myself off of my antidepressants early this year (Yes, I can hear your tsk, tsks, head shakes, and finger wagging from here).  But it was very slow and hey ….. if I was able to make it through my daughter’s wedding (where I looked worse than I have (weight-wise) in YEARS) and survive, then I think I did pretty damn well.

I made it through moving homes (and not selling one …. YET), through adopting Little Man, unpacking an entire house by myself, and then moving back to NY.

I’ve been doing really well, if i do say so myself.

And then.

Then these last few days have brought me no sleep, and an onslaught of tears.
I am in the throes of missing Jim.
Missing him hard.
Missing him constantly.
Missing his voice.
Missing his hand.
Just ……. the missing of him.

No explanation.
No answers.
No whys.

It just is what it is.

And then add to this missing of him …… the unfathomable horror that occurred in Orlando this weekend.
Orlando — a place that has meant nothing but fun for my children, for me and for Jim.
Many times.

And now it means death.
And hate.
And horror.

It also means that it’s time for me to stop hiding behind my children.
I have 6 wonderful, beautiful children.
Two of them are gay.
One, I had no doubt about as this child grew.
The other, I really never saw it coming.

I haven’t been public about this before because I’ve believed it’s not my story to tell.  So I still won’t tell it.
But I will say that I love these two children just as much, or maybe a bit harder, than the other 4.
They were brought up the exact same way their siblings were.  They received the same amount of unconditional love, the same expectations, the same discipline.
I believe that God loves them the very same way that He loved them when they were barely inside of me. I don’t believe that Christ’s love changes with the wind. Or depends on who you love.

I don’t believe the way they love/who they love is a sin.  I don’t believe in a God who would create love and then penalize certain children for experiencing it.

I may lose many friends over this.

But that’s ok, because they most likely weren’t my friends anyway.

More tears come now as I wonder if my children will feel forever unsafe ……. solely because of who they love.  Not who they CHOOSE to love, but who they fall in love with.  Just as I did.
Just as Jim did.

The tears flow.

And now I will lose more friends.

I have no problem with Americans owning guns.
I agree it’s a right in this country.
But I can no longer condone the ownership/usage of assault rifles.  Guns that rattle off bullets by the second.  Guns that are used because the user wants to feel “tough’, “masculine” ,  “macho”,  “in control”.
Or because he wants to kill as many people as possible in a very short amount of time.

I am done. I can’t stand by any longer, no matter what area of the country I’m from, no matter who I’m related to, and say nothing.
I am sickened by the lack of action on getting these types of guns out of the hands of our children and out of our country.

Delete me if you must.  Because isn’t that what this country’s come to?  If we don’t agree with someone, we delete them.  We used to talk to each other, to share our differences.
Now we delete.
From Facebook.

From Twitter.

From Instagram.

From Life.

58 thoughts on “Depression ……

  1. glenda1203

    I found you through Matt years ago and have always followed your journey. Don’t always leave a comment. My mom was a widow when I was 13 and my younger sister 9. I have a window of what my mom went through when my dad passed. They had been together 28 yrs. I was born and raised in NY. I love that you spilt your time between TX and NYC and love your pictures. Most recently your grandson. I too have a grandson who will be 2 in Oct. I’m a couple of years younger than you, not much 🙂 I have friends that are gay and my niece suffered from depression. I love your raw and honest posts. My heart aches for you. LOVE is LOVE. Best to you and your family. If they delete your for your honesty and for loving your children for who they are and who they love… they weren’t friends to begin with or friends you want to keep around.

  2. Jeni Ellis Halliday

    Completely agree on all counts. Our thoughts and prayers are not ACTION. Let’s work together to ban assault weapons and continue to spread LOVE. To ALL. Love you ! Jeni

    Jeni Ellis Halliday



    I so appreciate you Janine. I admire your love, life and honesty. Some things you have experienced I can relate to others I cannot but reading the words you write brings so much to light. You are amazing, a rock, and a blessing. Thank you for sharing your world. Love in PKE sister.

  4. Paula Tamburro

    I would never unfriend you. I have wonderful and beloved family members who are gay. I am now scared where I was not before. I guess I cannot ever understand guns but if you want them OK, except for those assault weapons that have no place outside of the armed services. Depression? Well, it is my old friend that sort of hangs around even when I have moved away from it. I am always afraid it will show up like an embarrassing relative. Sometimes we stare at each other. I had to put my sweet doggie down today and I was afraid it would be so similar to Bills death it would trigger me over the edge. I am broken hearted but so far OK.

  5. Shelly

    Love your beautiful way with words, Janine! I feel the same way you do. We need to fish, it’s my therapy. Call me when you’re back from NY! 😘

  6. Rebecca

    I read your txmom blog and then didnt know this one existed until now that I stumbled upon it, so glad I found you again! I hardly relate to anything you’ve been through, – Im 40, married 10yrs with one 4 yr old girl, living in Mexico- but I love your honest writing and enjoy your raw comments, your pictures, your grandson etc! I hope your children stop living in fear of who they are and who they love! They should be free like everyone else! Please keep weiting and sharing! Know that you have people by your side and through this blog that support you!

  7. Stephanie

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I am so sorry that there are people who will unfriend others because of their decision to love, support, accept, and understand their children. Although we’ve never met, I admire you! (PS – I will be in NYC next week and would love suggestions about your favorite restaurants, shows, etc.)

    Stephanie – Your OSU friend in NC

  8. Debbie Sullivan

    I’ve never met you but I love you and your family. What a wonderful group of children you have. I also don’t believe God stops loving us because of who we love. And anyone that doesn’t want to stay your friend doesn’t deserve your friendship anyway. God bless us all.

  9. Cindy Trammell

    Bravo!!! OK, what day is your birthday? I remembered it was June but I’ve forgotten the date! Thinking we might be celebrating this weekend! Cindy

    On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 7:00 PM, My Second Plan A wrote:

    > mysecondplana posted: “…… And so much more. Depression……. never > seems to visit at a convenient time. Or maybe that’s just me. The past few > days have been hard for me, and yet I’m unable to say why. We made it past > May, our anniversary, 3 of our children’s birthdays,” >

  10. Diane

    Janine, when I read your words it helps me to feel not so alone…thank you for that and for your unique perspective … ((((Hugs))))

  11. Ruth Sklut

    “Thank you” does not adequately express my gratitude to you for sharing your life, your strength, and your humanity with so many of us. You probably don’t even know how many people you have helped. Please know we all appreciate YOU!
    I hope your current bout of depression will dwindle quickly and a joyful summer is just ahead.
    With love!

  12. Amber

    Sending love and prayers ur way. I feel forever connected to u and I love ur wit, love, and strength. Keep on keepin on. 🙂

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you, Amber. There is never a time when I reply to you without crying. The tears may fall ….as I’m sure they always will …. because they represent so much of what we lost together, but know that I will continue to follow you, too. And that I always picture your sweet Addi being held in Jim’s strong arms.
      Always. ❤

  13. writebrainwidow

    I am fairly new here but what I’ve read has kept me coming back, awed by your words, your kindness, heart and courage. It will only be 8 months tomorrow that my husband is gone so I don’t have a long perspective but sometimes it feels like yesterday and I’m still shocked each time I think of it, which is always. For some reason (duh!) these last few days I have found myself in the exact same place of tears, missing so hard it’s physically painful. And can also feel your pain of worry for your children. I have 3 not 6 kids but 6 grandchildren and wonder what their world will be like, too. And tonight, all I can think of is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (Hamilton) words last night on the Tony’s….”We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer and love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside,” Keep up your beautiful words..

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you Write Brain …. Lin -Manuel said it much better than I could’ve ….. and I hung onto his every word last night. Love is love is love is love is love … cannot be killed or swept aside. I hang onto those words. Very tightly. As I said, this was by far the most difficult blog for me to write, yet I have no doubt that it will be the last. And it’s people like you who will give me the courage to continue. Because words have to be said.

  14. Terri

    Our paths crossed through tennis and we really never had the opportunity to become real friends but yet through your amazing talent in sharing your life through written words I feel as if we are … at times I’ve imagined if I ran into you here in Texas we’d hug and go have lunch … weird, I know. I can’t know the real pain of your loss, but my heart aches for you at times as if I do. I do understand the fear you have for your kiddos, one of my sons is gay. I grew up with guns, my dad was law enforcement, but I too believe assault weapons have no place in the hands of anyone outside of the military. Things need to change … love is love is love is love ….

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Terri,Though we only met briefly, I did feel a connection with you and I’d def hug you and ask you to go to lunch. Who knows? That may still happen. And yes, love is love is love is love is love.

  15. Linda Jones

    I have also followed your blog since my husband died about a year or so after you lost yours. Through your writings I learned I am not “grieving wrong” as some have insinuated to me too often and that recurring tears over the years are ok. I think after losing someone close you learn to hold your family closer than ever and love them unconditionally. Love your kids for who they are and never stop standing up and letting others know how proud you are of them. You did that today with this blog. That’s what moms do. Keep sending pictures for us to enjoy. Your children and grandson are beautiful. Also I love the New York pics!
    Linda Jones

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you, Linda. I’m sorry that you have a reason to follow my blogs, but I’m glad you’re there. And thank you for your support, understanding and encouragement. They mean so much. ❤

  16. Wendee

    You’re so brave & wonderful Janine. I agree with you wholeheartedly on all you said. And I hope your two gay children find peace & strength in faith & in what a wonderful Mom you are! It’s a scary world for sure & there are haters of many people who are different, sadly. But fear can’t be the thing to follow, only love.

    And on depression sometimes after big events there’s an emotional letdown or void, so that’s when the sad emotions catch up. Are you taking enough vitamins (like B12 in particular), as that can also affect the tendency toward depression. And ginseng (or is it ginkgo??) can help in natural ways without ads. I’m on them still but would like to eventually get off.

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Hi Wendee. Thank you, my friend, for your love and and encouragement. I haven’t thought about the B12 and ginseng/ginko, but I’ll look into it. Thank you. ❤

  17. Wendie Tobin

    I feel you on every single bit of this. Look how far we’ve come in just ten years. I believe there is way more love than hate and I must believe our children WILL be safe. Your children are SO fortunate to have you.

    Regarding meds, well, you need to figure that out for yourself. Perhaps list ten times [post-loss] where you felt really good…as “good” as the new good can be. Look at the list, be honest with yourself and ask: During these events, was I on an anti-depressant? It’s a good place to start in trying to figure out the role medicine may or may not play in your life.

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      I wondered if you might be related to Marilyn! So now I’ve met two very nice Tobins!
      Thank you for your continued love and support and thank you for your advice. It makes sense.
      I appreciate it … and you. ❤

  18. Amy

    Jake would say it this way, “Same girl, same!”
    I wish I didn’t understand, but I do. But then again I’m so thankful because intimately knowing grief, and sadness, the hollow ache of aloneness and having loved a gay son all the way to the Throne of Grace has made me a much kinder and tender person.

    I wonder if I will forever cry alone in bed at night and if sadness will be my permanent companion, but I also realize that God’s mercies are made new every morning and some how I make it through those horrific nights and manage to smile and laugh. I don’t have any idea what gets me through those moments when all I want to do is die, but with out fail I have survived them all so far and so have you! I love you Janine! You were my mentor mom in MOPS, so many years ago and you’re still that mentor for me now…

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Oh, Amy ….I so wish that I could take the heart ache and grief from you. But you’re right …. I think it does make us better people. I know that I’m much more compassionate, kind, accepting and patient now. I love you so much …. T.A.N.W. ❤

  19. Andra

    Bravo Janine. I’m a lurker 99.99% of the time but had to emerge from the woodwork to break my silence as you have broken your silence. Love is all. Let those who hate and judge slink off into their self-righteous holes. And I hope that a tiny little corner of your depression starts to lift just from exposing it to some sunlight — I know that helps me when it descends. Love your writing and admire your living. It has helped me so much in being a friend and trying to be a support to a young widow. Xoxo

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you so much, Andra. Thank you for coming “out” and commenting and for sharing part of yourself. It always helps someone. And … I’m happy to meet you. 🙂

  20. janet norris

    Words from the Grandma in the movie parenthood. Life can be predictable and normal or a rollercoaster, I choose the rollercoaster. On antidepressants we miss a lot of the high but are saved from the lows. It’s a tough choice to know you are giving up the thrill that you can get out of life, but I focus on my eternal life where there will be no more sorrow and no more tears. Where we will be given new bodies, yeah, that will delight us, what a concept for us women!
    Staying busy is great therapy, unfortunately we all have to stop and rest sometime, and that is when the sadness can overwhelm. But, heck, your in New York City!! Love and prayer coming your way.

  21. Di

    Re: Meds……you are braver than I. I can’t take the lows….so I give up the highs. Middle of the road kinda girl. As far as losing friends….they are not friends if your “news” offends them…be gone!!

  22. Kristen in CO

    Good for you, Janine! I have never understood those who are homophobic, racist, holier-than-thou or any of the other ways we label those who hate anyone they deem “different.” I can’t believe in a God who would condone any of that, and that’s why I no longer attend church, which is made up of people. So if any of your so-called friends are bigoted and hateful, you will be better off without them!

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you, Kristen. It’s true that there are many “holier than thou” people in churches, but I truly believe there are more and more “real people” who are attending. I think that people are realizing that the masks they try to keep on are getting too heavy to keep in place. Maybe you’ll be able to find such a church one day. And thank you for your kind and encouraging words. 🙂

  23. Cindy Deere

    Hey Janine, I love my kids … Both of them … 100% or maybe 200% … For who they are, who God made them … Regardless of the decisions they make, regardless of the path they choose, regardless of whether I understand or not or agree or not. None of it matters except that they are my kids and I love them. For as long as I am on this earth, I love them. And you do that six times, not two … Hugs from Houston!

  24. Chris, who lurks

    Okay, since I’ve apparently given up the lurking thing. Janine, if those are “friends” you don’t need them! Friends are the ones who have your back, friends are the ones who will be there for you no matter what, friends are the ones who pick up the pieces…. Yes, you may lose some people you “thought” were friends, and it will hurt. I’ve been through it a couple times- first when I was diagnosed with a rare disease in college, and again when my mom died and it absolutely stinks. But, I know the few who stuck by me are true, true friends.

    And, I for one say love is love. I also say bad, bad guns. And I have plenty of people who disagree with me on that. But, I’ve survived gun violence and I don’t think the average run of the mill person needs an assault rifle. 🙂

    ❤ Chris, who didn't lurk to show her support for you and all your kids.

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Oh Chris, how I’ve come to love you and your comments! I’m so glad that you no longer lurk.
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart here … and for your kindness and encouragement. I appreciate it more than you know. ❤

  25. Chris, who lurks

    Oh Janine, I’m glad, thank you for making me feel so welcome. I used to feel like maybe I didn’t really belong. I’m not widowed, I’m not a mother (Unless you count my precious little furball. She calls me mommy. Okay, she doesn’t but she responds and looks at me when others call me mommy. LOL) But, I’ve always related to your writing, because deep grief is grief, because love is love. So thank you

  26. flashlight batteries

    I am sorry to hear that you are suffering. You are not alone. Please continue to reach out to others and be kind to yourself. Please visit my blog if poetry may lighten your load. It often makes the hard days a wee bit better.


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