Ohh I am trying so hard. So hard. My last post just kind of took me down, as if typing all of that out expended all the energy in me I had. I want so badly for this to be a nice Christmas for the boys, not one they remember as me crying all the time. But right now that is pretty much what I am doing. Crying. All the time. The guy on the Sunday Morning show played his piano at the end of the show and sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and it was so charming and without guile. I just sat there with the tears rolling hot down my face. Poor Joe. He is just being here for me. I know he has his own issues and sadness to think of and its his first Christmas living this far from his kids. I ought to be comforting HIM. But he has been incredible. He looks at me a lot, holds me a lot, his eyes a mask of compassion and anguished helplessness. He puts me to bed like a child when I need it and has been doing pretty much all the cooking and cleaning up after dinner. He holds me all the time.
I went to the cemetery yesterday. I purchased a big gaudy live hot pink poinsetta that has been decorated with sparkles. Joseph would have loved it. I got him a little blue bear with a blue and white Santa hat on, holding a soft blue star that said "peace" on it. Stewart had put up a Christmas decoration stake there already. I got Joseph a Christmas card with a puppy on it and wrote some things in it and left it tucked against his headstone behind the flower. He already had a pinwheel there already too and I used it to stake the bear down so the wind would not blow it away.
And then I just sat down and let it all come. I had been weeping on and off and contantly trying to stop it for days. So I just let loose, there in front of his grave. I have never sobbed like that in my life. I hated it, looking at the bear and the tacky but funny poinsetta and realizing these were the whole of my Christmas shopping for Joseph this year and my sitting here putting it on his grave was our Christmas together. It is just so wrong. Sometimes I honestly cannot figure out how it all came to this. My mind can glaze over the 18 months of horrifying illness and it can still feel so sudden.
Amy and Tracie wrote to me. They are the ICU nurses that took care of Joseph (and me). We became such good friends during that time and they were a big reason why I was able to keep my spirits so up. They also were the biggest reason why I decided to chase my dream of becoming a nurse. We just got along so well and they invested their hearts into Joseph and into me so deeply. I have had some contact with Amy and I have written a hundred letters to Tracie, who was there the day Joseph died. I just have so much trouble getting the words out and then having the courage to mail them. I love those girls so much and that they would be so touched by Joseph and remember this time last year so well as to write to me is so humbling and so warming. Tracie sent me the newst Jim Brickman holiday CD, as she and I had listened to it endlessly in Joseph's ICU room while he was so sick. Tracie was the last person on this earth that Joseph smiled at. He was groggy and barely conscious, but he drug his eyes open, saw her and lit up into this beautiful smile before closing his eyes again and going back to being mostly unconscious. It was as if he had seen an angel, and I am sure it looked to him like he did. Tracie is very beautiful and very gentle. But she walked around the rest of the afternoon with a smug smile on her face, knowing I had told her how much Joseph hated the nurses, but he chose to smile at her. And it was the last time he smiled in this lifetime. That alone makes me love her forever. There are so many reasons I love those girls forever. The brought me sodas when they got one for each other. They had been friends forever and made me feel like one of them. And they miss me and have written to me. Its time for me to write back and tell them. I want to find something of Joseph's to send to them.
Its going to be a tough day. I miss him so much. This hurts far worse than I could have anticipated and every moment going by brings me to tears. I am going to try...really, really try...to enjoy this holiday. To find a peaceful way to think about Joseph. To savor where I am now and who is with me. To appreciate all my blessings. One of my blessings is gone. But I cannot let that hinder my recognition of all the others.
I love you Nick
I love you Alex
I love you Joe
I love you Mom
I love you Jeff, Stacey, Jacob, Matthew, Zachary
I love you Ryan
I love you Stewart
I miss and love you Dad
I miss and love you Joe-Gi