Saturday, July 7, 2007

I'm a squeaky toy

What an incredibly difficult week this was! I feel like I was picked up by a dog and whipped back and forth and flung about and rinse and repeat. I think I have managed to crawl to shore now....both the looming tests are over. I got a 90 on my algebra test. I will find out what I made on my biology test this morning.

Joe and I had a long talk yesterday. My stress caused some friction between us this week. We are pretty good at communicating and the conclusions we came to are that I probably need to stop piling so much on. Time is more valuable to me right now than money since there is so little of it. I told him so many things are happening that I wanted so badly, but in the process of trying to get them all in (ie school, having a house to keep with Joe here beside me, yard work, flower planting, redecorating, renovating on top of working full time and trying to get in good, healing time with Nick and Alex) I am actually sucking the joy out of it for myself. So we are going to revisit the nursing school timeline. I don't think I will take two classes at once again. One class. Time to travel with Joe. Time to work on the house and yard. Time to read now and then. Time to play with Nick and Alex. Time to grieve, to visit the cemetery, to process this whole thing. My grief counselor said I am bogging myself down and that I need to really focus on my family and on making things with Joe work. Between him and Joe telling me its okay to let go a little, its all the permission I need to slow things down and ease off. I will finish this semester but I am only going to take the next algebra class next term. Then I will take statistics in the spring and that will finish my first degree, an Associates of the Arts. And then I will continue on with the other nursing pre-requisites (Statistics is a pre-req as well).

After the biology test last night a group of us (students) were standing around the courtyard waiting for the rest of the class to finish the exam. We all started sharing what we were majoring in and why....one girl going into respiratory therapy because her son had RSV at five months, one fellow going into nursing because his grandma blah de blah etc. So the circle comes around to me and I say I want to be a nurse because my son Joseph died from leukemia in January. And the strangest thing happened. With the pace and the rhythm of the conversation, it was as if I had not spoken! I actually stood there and wondered for a minute if I only thought it rather than said it aloud. Nobody acknowledged I said anything at all. A little bit later they were talking about nursing specialities and I said I thought I would go into oncology or pediatric oncology......and this 19 year old girl looks at me and said "My Mom's a nurse and she said you probably really don't want to do that, because you see kids DIE and stuff". I kind of blinked a second, then just reiterated "Yes, I know. My son died of leukemia in January and I think having been on that side of childhood cancer will give me a unique perspective in helping families going through it as their nurse". And she said "Yeah but you just would not want to see it again".
I was just a little bit stunned by that. I HAVE seen it! I understand I may have some issues to work through but I also believe fully that I am very capable of turning those issues into positives, into perspective.

I was pretty angry as I played it over in my head driving home. The whole "Don't cast your pearls before swine" thing came to mind, because Tony, the grief counselor at my church, always is reminding me that my grief is sacred and mine alone etc. Then I just kind of made a mental analogy of it. I have lived things most people never will and it has changed my perspective in life and the wavelength I operate out of. I think we are just on different frequencies. Joe says its a bit like dropping an H-bomb on people, that they just freeze and have no idea how to react and that perhaps I should practice letting them know it is okay to talk about Joseph. From what I have read, learning when and how to tell people you have a dead child is very much a skill and it takes about five years to get it down. I am coming to understand why.

I am going to go to the cemetery today. I have not been there since Joseph's birthday at the end of May and it is bothering me. Joe and I are going out to dinner tonight, though we have not decided where. I am hoping to find somewhere new and different to try. We have decided to put down hardwood in the entryway, eating area and hallway, and then tile in the cooking area of the kitchen, and Corian countertops. We talked about doing granite counters but I don't think the cabinetry in there is going to be the right stuff to put something that fancy and elegant on. It would be out of place. Maybe in our next house one day. We are also going to start getting quotes on renovating the master bathroom. We have a couple of contractors in our pocket and feel comfortable we have good people to do the work for us. We brought home hardwood samples earlier in the week and both Joe and I are leaning toward a high gloss cherrywood floor with possibly travertine in the cooking area. It will be gorgeous!