Yesterday was an interesting day on a lot of levels. A year ago yesterday Joe and I sat before the mortgage broker with a pile of papers a mile high, pen poised in his hand and my stomach a giddy knot of delirious disbelif, his features turned to mine with resolute eyes, boring into my own, asking me "Is this what you want?"...and smiling with light and sureness as he began the long process of signatures that bought our house for us. It was a series of mishaps afterward, including finding the seller had locked us out of the house (wrong keys given), so we made our first impression on the neighborhood by sitting under the big tree in the front yard drinking beer as we waited for the locksmith to arrive. We had intended I think to go inside and baptize it as ours by making love on the floor, but by the time we got in about seven hours had passed us by, the carpet was rattier than we remembered and the whole places had the scent and presence of cat everywhere and we were weary. We owned it, but it was not ours yet. Now it very much is. I remember the serenity though as we sat beneath the tree, its leaves freshly fluffed with new spring growth and whispering to me high above, reminding me of the huge trees on my grandparent's farm as a child...and I felt Joseph near and thought to myself that I would find Joseph in that sound always. I wonder why I forgot that, why I don't sit more beneath that tree? I have friends who know the loss of a child who do so well seeing and accepting signs and reminders from their child. I seldom get signs, almost never, and I cannot help but feel it is most likely because I have not been paying attention.
I went to the office after class last night and turned in a petition for graduation. I am almost embarassed to say anything about it. Its just an Associates of the Arts General Studies degree and took me until 37 years of age to complete, started at the age of 17. A two year degree in 20 years...ha! I really thought it did not matter to me, but that with this Statistics course I fulfilled the last requirement, so I may as well accept the degree and know that I finished something I started. It surprised me to have tears falling as I walked to my car, and an inner sense of having been cleansed somehow. I cannot tell you the depth to which my battered spirit thought I could not do this. Long before any of my kids came to be. I didn't think I was smart and I didn't think I had enough gumption to get through the math and science courses that were required. But here I am..I did. It makes not one whit of difference at this point in my life in terms of earning power and I don't plan to get a cap and gown and walk across stage or anything like that, not this time. But I will get that degree in the mail and know I have closed a chapter of self doubt.
I found yesterday that UTD offers a degree in creative writing and also one in literary studies. My heart was thumping so hard in my chest. I want to be a nurse. I think I would be a good nurse. But I continue to fear the classes I must take and specifically the grades I have to make just to get into nursing school. I pretty much have to have a 4.0 to get in, and at times, when I am not doing as well as I need to, I feel positively sick with stress about it, and I fantasize about writing for a living. It would be foolish to try it, the equivalent of running off to Hollywood to become a movie star, with about as good of odds of succeeding too. Maybe some day when I have made my fortune I will go back to school and study writing, simply for the joy it would bring me.