Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rock on

Well its crunch week. Finals are Friday (Biology lab), Saturday (Biology lecture) and sometime before Tuesday (algebra, which can be taken at the testing center). To say I am stressed would be an understatement. I have been up since 3:30 this morning turning it all over in my head. I am looking forward to the three weeks off before fall term starts and then having just the one class to wrap my head around. This all just turned out to be a little too much, too soon. Joe is supportive, sympathetic and yet sternly encouraging, which frankly helps a lot. It keeps me out of freak out mode. The pictures above are from last night of him teaching the boys that real men do dishes. I had made dinner and they cleaned up so that I could get busy studying. Now that's love!

The other pictures are of a scouting endeavor the boys had this weekend...rock climbing. Alex is just a little monkey and wriggled his way up and down those walls, ringing the bell at the top six times. Nick was able to ring it once. He is just built so slight and upper body strength is probably not his strongest feature, but he had a good time working it and it made him sore. Both boys want to go again. Nick had Court of Honor on Monday and recieved six merit badges that he worked on over the summer. He is well on his way toward becoming an Eagle and I am so proud of him. I hope he sticks with it all the way through. Its really shaping his character in such a good way and giving him so much confidence in himself. Sadly I think Joseph's illness just really held Nick back. Now that we are home, things are stable with Stewart and I, Joe and I and that situation has reached its unhappy end (but an end nonetheless) he is really just kind of thriving. He cries the easiest of the two over Joseph's death and talks about it the most freely but also seems to be benefiting the most from life becoming more traditional and predictable again. It is only now that I begin to fathom how hard it had to have been on them, never knowing where they would be sleeping for sure (Dad's? Mom's? Granny's? Grandma's?), never quite knowing what was going on with Joseph, going months at a time without being able to see him, watching him deteriorate, feeling the absence of family meals and both parents present for school productions and the is a bittersweet thing to be able to bring some normalcy back and it is bittersweet to see them benefiting from it. Such a high, high price to pay.

I continue to go up and down in my ability to function and get through life. I am trying to keep the pain at bay this week because of finals, but am not doing too good at that. I get choked up when I realize the semester is almost over and school about to start...everything such a testament that we are moving forward, life is moving on and Joseph is still gone. I miss him so incredibly much. I realized that at some point I am going to want to do family pictures again...and that in the ones of my children, there will be two adorable redheads but no handsome tow head. Two instead of three. Its a fist to the gut every single time the realization comes to me. Every time I think about it, it is as if I didn't know it before and just found out. Joseph would have been starting high school this fall. 9th grade. I can't believe I am old enough that I could have a child in high school. I used to marvel that I would be only 42 when Joseph graduates. So forlorn, these thoughts of milestones we will never get to celebrate.

Wish me luck on my tests...I am going to need it.