Page 17 - 2017 Autumn-Winter Issue
P. 17

When the middle school band director persuaded Jordan I will never again have a new photo of my “whole” family,
                                                             my “intact” family.
that he should play tuba, I had no idea I would become

a “tuba mom.” But I did indeed become a “tuba mom,”          I imagine that some of them feel sad and wistful about

transporting the instrument between home and school,         those halcyon days gone by. I do, too. But in addition to

creating an illusion that practicing had taken place. I      the sadness and wistfulness, I feel something else: recalling

transported it to competition                                                     those minivan moments utterly

sites and I delivered it to concert  I try to carry gratitude                     breaks my heart. I try to carry
locations.                                                                        gratitude with that pain. I am

My minivans are gone. They           with that pain.                              grateful for memories of minivan
are also gone for many of my                                                      moments and I am very, very,
friends who were raising their                                                    very glad I surrendered the Saab.

children at the same time I raised mine. Those friends have  After adopting two children, Peggi resigned from her corporate career in
intact families. Their adult children may be geographically  telecommunications and devoted herself to full time motherhood. When her

dispersed, but they are thriving and regularly the “whole”   son, Jordan, died by suicide at the age of 19, Peggi, her husband Jeff, and
family is together. Often those families have expanded to    her daughter Claire were devastated and dumbfounded.They joined the
include in-laws and grandchildren. Photos are posted on      Arlington, VA Chapter of TCF and Peggi edited the newsletter for six chapters
social media. I try not to be swallowed by envy when I see   in the Washington, DC area for two years. After her husband’s retirement,
                                                             they relocated to Charlottesville, VA where they joined the Piedmont, VA TCF

such photos.                                                 Chapter. Peggi serves as chapter co-leader and edits the chapter newsletter.
                                                             She is also a volunteer for hospice and writes articles for TCF.

How I Found Hope ...                                                                                                                       © Galyna Andrushko;

Laughter was a big part of my life prior to May of 1995. However, I was taken aback
when I attended my first TCF meeting (a month after Nina’s death) to walk through the
doors and hear the laughter of other bereaved parents; I thought surely I must be in the
wrong room! I just knew I’d never laugh again; didn’t they love their children as much
as I loved Nina? I almost left before the meeting started. But I gave it a chance and
quickly came to learn that these same parents, through attending meetings and meeting
new friends there, symbolized HOPE personified. I knew that if they were able to laugh
again, so would I. And just knowing that grief and joy would eventually coexist was the
ultimate of hope for me.  

                                                         Cathy Seehuetter, Nina’s mom & Chris’ bonus mom
                                                                                     TCF of St. Paul, MN Chapter

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