Friday, April 24, 2009

Through It All

It's sunny. It's warming up. And I'm glad to be running again. I've been slow the past couple of days. It seems that when I'm happy, content or angry, I can run very, very fast. But the past few days I've alternated between sad and peaceful, and so my legs have been more like molasses. I'm not complaining. The slower I go the more I time have to smell the blooming flowers, the budding trees, and the fresh cut grass throughout the neighborhood. Allowing myself to feel the sadness helps me move directly through it all, which is the only way to go.

I have at best been distracted this week at work, but I'm managing. And although I had considered NOT going back to school just yet for nursing, I'm now reconsidering that plan for two reasons:

1. A nurse (and mother...and grandmother) I spoke with a few weeks ago at my in-law's house told me that it will only get harder as the kids get older and have more activities and commitments, and;
2. I'm ready.

I've been thinking of how happy Patrick was to hear I was applying to nursing school when I saw him a couple of months ago at our friend Andi's house, where we gathered for a Super Bowl party. I've been thinking about how happy the whole idea makes ME, let alone anyone else. A calling is a tough thing to dispute. Yet, I am so, so worried about the sacrifice of time that I will be required to make. I just cannot pull myself away from Ian and the kids a few nights a week right now. Not yet. So I will start with a very simple prerequisite, I think...something that meets maybe just once a week. And I will go, slowly, from there. At least that is the plan today.

In the meantime, I have extensive little league game and practice schedules for my boys, and I'm looking forward to working on my tan tomorrow while sitting in the bleachers all morning and early afternoon. I am also looking forward to Grandma's surprise 80th this Sunday.... my prelude to Patrick's wake.

I remember two years ago when Grandma was first diagnosed with liver cancer. I was living in my "single mom apartment" at the time, post-divorce, and I took Cee Cee on a long, hot August walk to clear my head on the whole issue. I was headed toward the seawall, when I spotted Patrick, sitting outside the Morris Cove firehouse, smoking a cigarette while working oertime at Engine 16, firehouse that doesn't usually see much action. That's where they send the old and lazy guys in the department.

I stopped. He played with Cee Cee, and I told him about Grandma. He was sad to hear it, and he was sad for me. Her initial prognosis wasn't good. How was I to know she would be one of the few who actually beat the cancer. How could I know she would outlive him?

My present to Grandma, the woman who has everything--in fact, duplicates of everything, is a book of letters I've compiled from friends and family, all expressing how much she means to them and the joy she has brought to them over the years. This week I've sat on the couch, scrapbook pages and letters scattered around me, reading letter after letter about the impact one single life has had on so many. It has been such a healing, beautiful way to accept Patrick's death, and to remember we are all in this wonderful life together. Our job here is to make it all a little easier for one another.

So I count my blessings--among them my friends and family, but especially Ian and my two boys. Ian has been unwavering these past couple of weeks, during Patrick's injury, decline and death. He has been understanding, loving, compassionate. He has been, above all, an amazing friend to me. I'm not surprised. It's who he is. It's his character. But many men--especially newlywed husbands--wouldn't be so understanding of their wives' grief over the death of a former boyfriend. Ian has been wonderful, accepting and respecting my friendship with Pat post-relationship, understanding my need to visit the hospital frequently, and holding me close while I cried and cried after learning of Patrick's death.

In this time of grief, I've found so much solace at home, with Ian. What a gift. What a lucky, lucky girl I am to have Ian by my side, through all of this. I only hope to be so selfless.

Happy Friday. Enjoy some sun.


1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Beautiful. You are lucky, and all those around you who get to bathe in your shinyness are lucky too.