When the Sh!t Hits the Fan, the Extended Family United Stands

dog on water, extended family comes together

So I usually have brainstormed ideas in advance and am working on a blog entry based on a memory of something that happened in the past, but tragedy struck recently in our family, and I am in awe of how everyone came together.  In AWE of how this extended family showed up for one another.

I was out of town visiting my parents. My daughter was at her Dad’s house. I look over and see my phone ringing, it is my husband who I just spoke with…I pick up the phone.  He is hysterical. Our dog has just collapsed in the backyard on a routine bathroom outing prior to the hubs heading to the store. There is crying and breathless speaking as our dog dies in my husband’s arms. These dogs are our babies (next to my daughter, of course) and this one is (was) our favorite (Yes, we have a favorite. Don’t judge.) and had so much time left on this Earth. Yet, here he was. Passing before his time.

A mom out of town during a family tragedy that involves your spouse and your child is not an easy cross to bare. I am a fixer and I wasn’t there to hug and “fix” the situation. I got my husband situated for a minute by texting his best friend to come over and go with him to the vet with our pup. I proceeded to call my ex to let him know I was about to break our daughter’s heart. My daughter is tough. Always has been. She processes information and works through it on her terms.  She listens, absorbs, plays brave and immediately crawls into my ex husband’s lap after hanging up with me and cries. We’ve lost hamsters, we’ve lost my husband’s first dog, we’ve lost friends, we’ve even lost grandparents but this one hit so hard.

Here’s where I am so grateful. Here’s the sunny side up.  My ex calls my husband, talks him down, and makes plans to meet him at the vet with our daughter, so she can say goodbye. He then proceeds to take everyone out for a beer (pop for our teenager), drive my husband home to collect our other two dogs and takes EVERYONE back to their house to color eggs, eat steaks and be together.

I can’t begin to explain to you how awesome it was to know that my husband wasn’t sitting at home alone; how awesome it was to know he was WITH my daughter; how truly amazing it was that my ex and his wife scratched all their plans for the rest of the day and allowed my daughter and husband to mourn together.

All this over a dog. Yep. A dog.

The point of all of this is…every single damn day we should be loving and respecting the people in our lives this much. One little girl brought all of us together and I can’t even begin to express in words how grateful I feel. Family is family is family is family.  It doesn’t matter the make up of people. Two moms, two dads, an aunt plus two dads, four parents, grandma who is mom; you get the point. Love is love is love is love and in a divorce family dynamic, when everyone can put the kids first (which has always been our agreement) then this can be the end result: a larger, better, stronger village.

I am honored to be a part of my village. Even on the days when I’m annoyed by the village.

The First Mom

About author View all posts


I give a voice to the women who are concerned about sharing their story publicly. My mission is to give a voice to the women who want to start conversations, but who are concerned with sharing their identity, for one reason or another. My posts don’t reveal personal details that can identify particular people nor do I promote bullying or bashing others. I am designed to give women who can’t share their names an equal voice in the important conversations we are having at She In The CLE. Want me to share your story? Submit a post at http://www.sheinthecle.com/she-speaks/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *