Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Its been a little while since I updated and I apologize for that. Life is busy and finding time to sit down and write has been challenging. The party went well on Saturday night. Now we are in high gear getting ready for Katie and her significant other to arrive tomorrow evening. This will be the first time I have had any opportunity to spend any kind of time with her and I am both excited and nervous. I hope she has a good time while she is here and gets some good time with her daddy. I know he is excited to see her again.

While Joe and I had a halloween party over the weekend, Nick and Alex had Cuboree, a scouting camp. The pictures show what a good time they had. The camp was just across the highway from the DFW National Cemetery where Joseph is buried, so they stopped to see him while they were there. Nick got pretty emotional. Alex spent a lot of the time straightening up the flowers and decorations on other people's graves in the area where Joseph is buried. I sent a Halloween stake out there with Stewart a couple of weeks ago. The national cemeteries are actually pretty strict about the decorations they allow on the graves, so any time we leave something we are prepared that it probably won't be there when we return. But the groundskeepers have simply been moving Joseph's Halloween decorations out of the way to mow and then replacing them, which touches my heart. I miss him so much this time of year. I want so badly to get excited about the holidays and I hope some part of me finds a way to enjoy them this year, for Nick and Alexander's sake if nothing else. But every time I start to get excited about it I feel an immediate stab of pain. Though Joseph was on the respirator and was not home or even conscious for Christmas last year, we still had hope up to and slightly through that point. We had shopped for him and had presents for him and believed he would improve, get off the machine and have a great time opening all those gifts. This year there will be no Joseph to shop for and it struck me today that forevermore I will have just two kids at Christmas time instead of three. I cannot describe the wrongness and the pain of that realization. Yeah, its been there all along and I have known it all along, but suddenly as the time to start shopping is upon us, the reality of it feels very different. Knowing and experiencing are two different things. At the same time, it makes me only more determined to have a great holiday with Nick and Alex and fuels the hope that Joe's kids will some day be able to have Christmas with us too.

Thanksgiving will be a challenge as well. It is the last holiday we got with Joseph. I can see in hindsight that he was not feeling well that day, but he was so happy to have gotten to come home. He wanted to help cook and he wanted a turkey leg on his plate. He got both, ate little, smiled a lot. They are lovely, bittersweet memories that I will always cherish.

The weather has turned more chilly. Though it brings back the memories very powerfully, it startled me how much it also brought back the feeling of Joseph being with me. I hope that for the rest of my life the chill of fall, winter and early spring will be Joseph's spirit with me.

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