Slide on Over to the Driver’s Seat

by: Janeen Halliwell


That’s what Mary did.  It’s not that she hadn’t enjoyed being in the passenger seat while her husband, my father, Scotty, drove.  She was quite comfortable letting him steer while she watched for a change in traffic lights, read street signs, searched for landmarks, or enjoyed the scenery.  If Mary had had her way, she would still be the passenger, and Scotty the driver.  But sadly that is not how things turned out.

Married for 55 years, my parents had a special relationship, one that involved 3 quick kisses before they parted for the day, taking yearly ‘just them’ holidays, enjoying impromptu candle light dinners, holding hands, and dancing together in-time.  This is not to say they didn’t step on one another’s toes now and then, they did, but they remained in love until death did they part.

Scotty died of pancreatic cancer in July 2010.  My mother and I were holding him in hospice when he crossed over.  It was a painful death, both physically for him, and emotionally for him and everyone who knew him, as he did not want to move on just yet.  He told us so.

Moving on after losing the love of your life involves taking one breath at a time, to one footstep, to one day at a time.  Mary will tell you so.

The vision for ‘We Move Forward’ came to me eight months following my dad’s death.  My mom embraced the vision and worked alongside me to prepare for the inaugural WMF 2012.  WMF did indeed achieve its mission: Like-hearted and minded women of all ages and backgrounds form community and share amazing experiences that re-energize all that makes them whole, their minds, bodies and souls.  And they leave ‘Isla’ moving in one common direction – forward.

A short time following WMF, I asked my mom how she had benefited from the experience and she told me, “I got behind the wheel of your father’s car and for the first time since his death, I drove with confidence, knowing that I could get to where I was going on my own now.”

This is a picture of my mom, Mary, in the driver’s seat of her new car, hands on the wheel, moving forward in a direction that serves her.  Under the passenger’s seat are Scotty’s sunglasses.

Drive on mom.

Please Note: Joyce Urzada, a wonderful woman and long-time business owner and resident of Isla Mujeres, will co-host an interactive discussion with Janeen Halliwell on grieving on the afternoon of Day 2 at We Move Forward 2014.  And, yes, Mary will be there too, helping Janeen and the rest of Team WMF out.

If you haven’t registered for We Move Forward yet, we encourage you to do so now while there is still space, and before the Winter White Special ends on January 31.  

Register Today & SAVE a space with your name, and SAVE $ too!

We look forward to seeing you in March on sunny Isla Mujeres 🙂