It's been a while since I've written. A long while. I am staying pretty busy with school and wife-ing and momming these days. I'm tired. I had forgotten how much energy it takes to learn. Or maybe it's that when you're 20 and learning you've got larger amounts expendable energy so you don't miss any. But at this age, wow I can feel my brain cells wiggling with glee and expanding in their knowledge, and it makes me freaking exhausted. Especially Spanish... it drains the energy tank.
I'm tired yet exhilarated at the same time. Everything is waking up inside of me. I honestly didn't realize how much of me had been asleep. When I walked away from school in 2000, I turned off a large part of my brain. Stepping back into the classroom was the most frightening thing I've ever done in my life. But now that my first semester back is almost over, I've never been more sure that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. This is the path for me. Call it God's plan, my calling... whatever term you want to use, but I was made to be a social worker. I still have no idea what kind I will be, who I will work with, exactly what my job will entail, but I know I am in the right place.
I look back and think about college before. I didn't know what I wanted to do or which direction I was going. I was just there. I couldn't focus on much of anything. I spent most of my time trying to hold a disastrous relationship together along with the pieces of my own broken soul. But now that I've made it through all of that, made it through losing you, made it through over four years of grief, I feel like a different person. Well, to be honest, I feel like I am more me than I ever was before. Funny how that works.
I still miss you terribly. I still romanticize what life would look like if you were alive. I still hurt deeply. Everything is so much different than I thought it would be. I find myself not only grieving you but also the family and life I thought would come later in my life. My kids don't have the family life I had growing up, and they aren't building relationships with their grandparents like I was able to do. And there's nothing I can do about it. You are gone, and the others just aren't interested. So here we are, just the four of us, our own little unit unto ourselves. Of course, my kids don't know any different, but I do. And it hurts. But we will make the best of it.
My birthday was last week, and I really had a great day and felt so loved. But in the midst of the fun, I still think of you. What we would have done. I am sure we would have gone to Belk, and you would have bought me something. And then we'd have grabbed lunch somewhere, most likely Panera Bread or Olive Garden. You had that special way you said birthday with your cute little voice you reserved for use just with the three of us kids no matter how old we got. We would have enjoyed the day. And thinking about it now makes me equally happy and sad. I'm so happy to have the memories of days like that with you because now I realize how precious our relationship was, how lucky I was to have it. And I am sad because those days are frozen as memories. I wonder what your favorite place to eat lunch would be now. Would we have found a different one, or would things remain the same? What would you look like at 70? What little things would change and what would remain comfortably similar? These are questions we will never answer, so I have to force myself to stop thinking about it. To enjoy my memories for what they are... little snapshots of you, of your amazing love for me and your whole family.
Miss you much, Mama. Love you always.