Here’s what no one talks about

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When you dream about the person you’ll marry no one ever envisions someone who is disabled. When I married my second husband it was before his diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS. Yes, we had suspicions, but I don’t think either of us knew he’d get the “bad” diagnosis, the one where there are no good days nor drugs to help. I don’t think I ever allowed myself to seriously consider what my life would become caring for a disabled husband and a son with Intellectual Disabilities.

People look at me and think I’m incredibly strong. They can’t imagine how I…


Then I got this one piece of advice

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For far too long I was profoundly unhappy in my marriage. It seemed as if I was in tears on a daily basis. The irony was that with the exception of my mom and my cousin, everyone thought I had a great marriage. It’s not that I was necessarily faking it and pretending everything was great it’s just that I believed everyone had their own problems and wouldn’t want to hear about mine.

I wish I could reach back and hug the younger, sad version of myself and tell her that it would be OK, that life would get better…


Growing in courage through grief and struggle

Often it’s hard to keep in mind that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. When you’re in the depths of grief, fear, and anger you can’t see beyond the next minute, let alone believe that at some vague point in the future you’re going to emerge from the darkness.

I entered the tunnel in 1997 when my son Connor died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at 3 months of age. It was as if the color drained from the world. …


You can either fight the tide or ride the wave

When you’re disabled, date nights require research to find out what places are truly wheelchair accessible.

Let’s agree that marriage isn’t easy. It’s a lesson in compromise, trust, patience, and perseverance. I’m not sure if most people really consider their marriage vows — in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.

My marriage to my second husband tested this to its limits.

I met Greg on Match.com and we were a success story. He lived in the town nearby, was handsome, a devoted dad, an athlete and above all kind.

It wasn’t love at first sight but we both quickly knew that this was something incredible.

At the time we met I had three…


The joyful new mom I was — died that day too

I cherish every photo I have with Connor.

Twenty-four years ago, this month, my first-born son Connor died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) He was 3 months and twenty-four day’s old.

While the days and weeks after he died are not always clear (I believe that’s the mind’s way of dealing with profound grief) the day he died is seared on my brain forever.

I had recently returned to work in New York City after my maternity leave and left him off at the daycare provider’s home prior to catching the train into work. It was such an ordinary day.

It’s striking how the days of major…


Doing this will help you take risks

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Yesterday my son Spencer who has Intellectual Disabilities was outside most of the morning helping me mow the lawn and do yard work. He always volunteers to help without hesitation and I’m incredibly grateful. When I thank him he says, “Mom, being helpful is my super-power.” Spencer is really into superheroes. We started talking about superpowers but also what our Kryptonite was. For Spencer his Kryptonite is the heat — he hates when it’s really hot outside.

It got me thinking about what my Kryptonite is. …


It starts with these four things

Image: Heather Kile

Living through a pandemic was a seismic wake-up call for many people. Especially for people in their 40’s and 50’s, it made us question what the hell we were doing with our lives. Having time to walk the dog in the middle of the day, sit down to dinner as a family or take up a hobby made us realize that we wanted more out of life than a career that consumed all of our time.

On the other hand, being trapped at home with a spouse they no longer had feelings for, or downright despised, made others decide that…


I was filled with self-doubt and it nearly destroyed me.

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For the longest time I didn’t like me. I was convinced that I wasn’t good enough. When I didn’t get the promotion at work it reinforced that clearly I wasn’t smart enough. When best friends turned against me through my divorce I was certain that there must be some deep flaw within me — it couldn’t possibly be that they had their own stuff going on. When my first son died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and my second was diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities I surmised that it must have been caused by something I had done while I was…


You deserve to be happy and you can be

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When I was in the midst of my divorce my life was cuh…ray..zee!!!!

It got ugly, as so many divorces do, and the emotions just kept escalating. I couldn’t focus on my career, I was stressed over money and was trying to keep it together in front of my kids. I looked and felt like crap. It was partly due to this experience that I became a coach for women in midlife because I wish to God I had had someone in my corner at that time helping me be more confident and in control. Instead, my life started spiraling…


I realize that every chat could be the last.

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I’m an avid reader. I usually have several books I’m reading at the same time. One is always my easy night reading, some fiction that doesn’t require me to think. In the morning it’s usually about self-improvement, spirituality or business.

I find myself searching right now for a book that will help me understand my feelings as my friend Barb quickly nears the end of her life due to cancer. It’s not how to deal with grief as she hasn’t passed yet. …

Alison Jacobson

I help women in midlife overcome fear and self-doubt to live joyfully and abundantly. Part spirituality/part practicality. alison-jacobson.com

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