So it is the first day of school today. I am spared some of the emotional internal drama in that it is Stewart's turn this year to have them on the first day. I did last year. I hope the day goes well for them. I am thinking about Joe-Gi and wondering how tall he would be, what he would have chosen to wear, wondering if he would be learning to drive yet. He would be 15 now and going into 10th grade. Hard to imagine. He is 13 years old forevermore. I am reminded of a quote from a movie I enjoyed...'You shall never age for me, nor fade, nor die". Except he did die and I watched him do it. In my worse moments, my head and heart hurt as if I caused it. The unfortunate side effect of having put your child on a ventilator and it not working. Someone has to make the decision to turn it off at some point. I didn't kill him. The cancer killed him. The virus killed him. The transplant killed him. Not I. But the intensity of emotion can remain in my darker moments of having been forced to make that decision, to let him pass away as he would have weeks before if we had not put him on the vent. It was not as if it bought him quality time. I wonder sometimes why we did it. I look back over my journal from that time and I foresaw the outcome, tried to avoid it, but in the end, was told there was still hope, and so I seized it. I believe the doctors believed there was, that they were not just feeding me stuff and nonsense or harboring false hope themselves. And Joseph had a history of rallying beautifully through some of the most harrowing complications a cancer patient can suffer. Nobody expected him to die. But something inside myself had been warning me, or maybe had just been afraid of that very scenario. I carry it with me sometimes like an up front heaviness in my chest and upper arms. Today is one of those days, at least so far. It may improve as I get to work and get busy. I am quiet and I am sad. He is gone. Nick and Alex are growing up and at times my fears for their safety and well being borders on internal hysterical irration. Thankfully I am much better now about getting a grip on my overactive imagination and not feeding the fantasies and fear. They are both well and fine, we have good relationships, they love me, they are safe.
Joe leaves on Wednesday to visit his kids and grandkids. It is almost amusing how much anxiety this is causing me right now. Five years of long distance meant we were awfully good at good-bye....we said it monthly. We got good at looking to the next visit rather than the end of the current one and we were secure in our love and loyalty. That is no different. I am laughing at myself a little bit. I will be without him for five days and I feel so desolate at the idea, and chide myself for the immaturity of it. He's given me a generous budget to have a party with my girlfriends while he is gone and that will be fun. I have this little girl voice inside me worrying that he will regret having moved here, that going back will bring memories of his life there held up against his life here and he will be lonely at the idea of returning to Texas. His kids and grandkids are up there. Its cooler and greener. His friends live there. The traffic is not as bad. Life's pace there is more laid back. What if he feels his heart sink upon returning to Texas? We have talked and he understands this fear. I have not let it take hold of me nor affect our relationship. Honestly I am happy for him. Just nagged at times by insecurities of his being gone.