I have to admit I am struggling in every way right now. The world is much darker this week than it has been for a very long time. I do not feel confident about my final exam in Algebra. I am trying to work on my attitude about that. I have my last chapter exam tonight (which I am also nervous about) and then a whole week to study for the final. I try to conjecture forward, to imagine how exciting next semester is, when I take my first class that will actually count toward applying for nursing school and the last class I need for my Associate's Degree, which I have put off finishing since my early 20s and now, with this new motivation, I will finally finish and have come May, just in time for Joseph's birthday. How if I stick with my plan and do well I will graduate from nursing school right when Joseph would have been graduating from high school. I openly, consciously fantasize about the envelope coming that will tell me I was accepted into the nursing program, what that will feel like, how Joe will hug me so so tight, how proud I will be, how fun it will be to tell Heather and my other girlfriends, how we will celebrate. It keeps me going. I read about childhood cancer and think about the difference I want to make, if not with children then with SOMEONE. I feel like the little engine chanting "I think I can, I think I can". I have a "B" in the class right now, but only by a squeak. I am terrified of bombing on both these tests and failing.
Joseph is everywhere for me now. These are the last days we had with him in any real sense of interaction. Today is one year since he ate his last meal. Isn't it odd I would rememer that? He had gone to the kitchen on his floor of the hospital and popped himself some popcorn. Stewart and I clung to that. He'd been happy when he did it. He ate as much of it as he could. We hoped it meant he was getting better. I do not fight what happened. His body just gave out and could do no more, and my faith is a little stronger now than it has been since his illness and death. Now its just the sadness of being without him. Both Nick and Alex are having such a hard time. Nick failed a class in school for the first time ever, and though I am not one of those parents who refuses to hold their child responsible for their school work and their actions, this really was a case where the school has erred grievously. We had a behavior and action plan in place to help manage Nick's grief and ADHD and apparently they decided they didn't have to follow that plan anymore, part of which was to notify us when Nick was starting to do poorly and miss things. We didn't find out until after the fact that he was struggling and I am so furious about that. Its just wrong to put a time limit on this kind of a loss. Alex is having trouble with a bully in the apartment complex making life miserable for him at school and on the bus. This child's mother has decided that Alex is a "sissy" and encourages her son to pick on him. I am just almost without breath when I combine these worries with grief and school. It seems unfair for life to keep throwing things at us when we have already suffered so much. It is unfathomable to me that a parent would encourage a child to act that way and not try to teach them right from wrong. I could not sleep last night from turning these things over in my head and I have been up since 2. Joe's son gets here tomorrow or tonight and I have done nothing to prepare for him coming. I'll do some things this morning but it feels piddly compared to all the effort I put into getting ready for Katie and I fear that is telling Joe I don't want Andrew here. I am thrilled Andrew is coming. I feel unbelievably guilty to be having such a hard time. Joe is patient, but I know its hard on him, watching my depression deepen, watching me doubt myself, keeping quiet about all the things at home I am not paying attention to, waiting for me to come back to myself again, wanting me to bring joy and excitement to our home and the holiday season. He's been so so supportive, doing dishes, keeping the boys while I go to school, hugging me, keeping a gentle voice and demeanor, letting things go that would normally grate on him. I am very lucky to have so much support.
I'll be glad to have all this testing over and a few weeks break, time to get through Joseph's anniversary before class starts again, time to process what this last year has been and to regroup and go forward.