My Story


Photo Galleries

Body for Life

Ideas &


Contact Me

Please Sign Our Guestbook

Design & Graphics by

Investigative Solutions

A Shared Epiphany
By Bill E. Branscum   ©2002

Being a single parent can be depressing; sometimes, it's hard to appreciate how fortunate we really are. I have been raising my children for a few years now; the divorce is history, emotions have subsided, the hurt has pretty much faded away and I think the worst part is over.

For those who may be just starting down this road, I would like to share a little episode from my life with you; this is taken from a letter I wrote to a friend.

Back when this "Mr. Mom" odyssey began, I was pretty miserable (words like despair and depression come to mind) but I took the kids fishing, to Busch Gardens, to the beach . . . and did everything else I was supposed to do. I took them because I'm their Dad and it's part of my job, but my heart wasn't in it - it was an "autopilot" kind of thing. I was so miserable and dejected; all I could see was the fact that my family was split up. All I could think about was the fact that my wife, and their mom, wasn't with us.

The mind is peculiar - more people commit suicide during the Christmas Holidays than any other time of the year. Lord knows I can understand that. Being surrounded by happy doesn't make you happy - when you're depressed, everyone else's happiness just makes despair that much worse.

On this particular occasion, we went to Busch Gardens, a nasty, depressing place full of offensively happy people. Days can be really long there - especially when it's a struggle to ignore the loving couples holding hands and resist resenting all the happy little families having fun together. I bet I'm not the only single parent who can relate to that.

It was late in the day and we were back at the Stanley Falls Flume where they have little tables set up so you can sit and eat. As the kids ate, I looked across the little courtyard and saw a mom with a child in a wheelchair.

It wasn't a park wheelchair; it was one of those big, cumbersome contraptions made for seriously handicapped people who rarely get out of them. The mother was just sitting there staring at us.

From where I sat, I could see that her child was twisted up and deformed, breathing through a tube in her throat. I guess it was Cerebral Palsy or something like that, but I don't know. The mother just sat there, staring at these kids, completely lost in thought. I don't think she was even aware of me at all.

There are things we think about, things we worry about, but put out of our minds entirely when the time for fear is gone. That unspoken dread, that terrible possibility that we never really acknowledge, the nightmare that plagues all women during pregnancy had become her reality - and her life.

It was weird, it was like I could read her mind. She was looking at what could have been, dreaming of what it would be like to have what I have, or what you have, a Megan or a Lily.

Lisa's Lily

That woman was looking at these lovely little blonde children, and seeing all those magic, mental images she had carried with her for nine months. Lost in the reverie of abandoned plans and forgotten promises, she sat there dreaming about health and happiness that no money can buy.

As I watched her, I remembered our joy in the gift of perfection. With us, it was . . . it was just absolutely wonderful, time after time.

As she sat there, "What I wouldn't give . . ." was written all over her face. I knew there was nothing on earth she wouldn't give, and no price she wouldn't pay.

We sat there like that for a really long time, I don't think she blinked or moved for fifteen minutes; I don't think she ever even saw me at all.

Finally, her face changed as reality reclaimed her mind and washed over her. Her look changed to resignation, her jaw set and her lips thinned with grim determination as she went back to dealing with her child. She wasn't happy, but she didn't really look unhappy either. You could see the love and commitment as she went on trying to make something pleasant happen in the life of her child.

That poor lonely woman didn't make that child by herself, but there was no man there with her, and something told me that he'd bailed on her years ago. I sat there wondering what kind of man could have told that woman he loved her, shared her dreams and intimate moments and made that baby only to turn his back on his child, abandoning her to deal with the tragedy alone.

When you get that feeling that you're going to have to die to get better, when you just want to shoot yourself, chew broken glass or set yourself on fire and run around screaming, step back and take a look.

You may find you're living somebody else's dream.

for Lisa & Lily
God Bless You and Yours



Where to start

Your Finances

Wayfarer Chronicles


Other Resources