Guess I have been a little MIA here for a while. I am constantly composing in my head for this blog but my opportunities to be alone enough to sit down, collect all those thoughts and write have been few and far between this week. I am hitting crunch time in school...finals for the semester are next week....and I can hardly believe it is already just about done. Then I have a three week break, then start my next algebra class at the end of August for the fall term.
Alex attended art camp this week. They studied all kinds of art including sculpture, painting, performing arts and song writing. He said the singing parts were his least favorite, but he did really enjoy the camp and wants to attend again next year. Nick will be attending the same camp next week for his own age group and after seeing how much fun Alex had, he is really looking forward to doing it. He has gone up in rank in Scouts and now outranks where Joseph was able to reach during his lifetime. It is a bittersweet feeling, at once making me so very proud of him and yet underlining the fact that he will soon surge past all the milestones of his brother. I am thrilled that Nick is turing into such a motivated and enterprising young man. He is about to start the first step toward earning his Eagle. Part of completing this rank will be to assist in a major household project, and I believe we are going to put in a memorial garden in the backyard. At least that is my idea. He and I will be talking about it further this weekend. It has to be something major, and I think that would fulfill him. He has mentioned several times wanting to plant trees and flowers and have a "thinking bench"for Joseph.
I get intimidated at the idea of starting a project of this magnitude right now, but knowing Nick needs it to move on in his life makes it worthwhile. Grief comes with a natural laziness and I suffer lack of motivation in almost every area most days, though it does seem to be tempering a bit. I have had a lot of thought processes lately that confuse and frighten me, times when I am not as raw in my grief, times when I think more actively about moving forward instead of going through the motions and faking it as best I can. It feels like little stab wounds into my heart, and yet I know I cannot maintain this level of sorrow all my life. That is not to say I have stopped crying or stopped hurting. It will forever hurt. It is more trying to find a place to put the pain where it lives with me rather than through me. It comes to me like whiffs of scent....I can tell its out there, but cannot quite identify it. It feels like a betrayal, to even conceptualize accepting Joseph is gone. But yet, he is. I have not seen him for six months. I have not heard his voice for seven. I have not shared a meal with him for eight or heard him laugh for just as long. His absence has become its own being and the desperation of missing him flows like blood. Its a physical feeling. I have daily proof he is dead, not off at scout camp. The panicked feeling of needing to get to the hospital happens less frequently now. I no longer "shop" for him when I go to the grocery store or Wal-Mart. At times the sadness now comes not in the sudden realization that I was mentally selecting things for a child who is no longer here but more in soft thoughts of how much I wish I could. I suspect it is a kind of continuum. I will hold him forever at this age, in this place, and always wish I'd gotten more of him, gotten to do more with him. I hold what we did get together softly in my hand, protectively, delicately. I still love him so actively...it burns around my heart when I think of him. I fear so much forgetting anything, both what he went through but also how he lived, who he was. I have not sainted him in my mind, yet I marvel as much now as I did during his life over the purity of his spirit, the gentleness he felt for the young, the old, the ill, the helpless and even the ignorant. He was a very compassionate soul. I want to write more about him. When I did his eulogy, his illness was all we ate, drank, breathed, slept, dreamed. It focused on that journey. I want now to remember and acknowledge the life that wove before and through that illness and I will do more of that here in the coming days and months.