We recently hit the nine-month mark in a grieving process that was largely interrupted by my husband’s medical crisis. I see signs that life is slowly moving on for all of us, and in a way that actually makes me sad. I don’t want us to ever forget those two precious souls who brought so much love and joy to our lives.
As time passes, I struggle more to recall the exact sound of their voices and the exact way their eyes crinkled when they laughed. The memory of that day is fading a little around the edges and has become more of a dull ache than a sharp stab. I know it has to be this way, otherwise our hearts couldn’t bear the pain, but still…it feels like we’re losing a little bit of them. We’ve lost so much already that I can’t stand the thought of letting all those wonderful details slip away, too.
We also recently passed the nine-week mark since my hubby’s spinal surgery. His surgeon becomes increasingly optimistic with each passing week. The journey is far from over, as it may take up to another year before my husband regains the lost strength and motor function in his left hand. But given the odds he faced when his tumor was first diagnosed, the loss of a little function in one hand seems insignificant.
My hubby has been back at work on a limited basis, slowly increasing his time every couple of weeks or so. His list of restrictions is still pretty long, but in another three weeks, those will start getting lifted. He still gets exhausted easily, but being out of the house is good for his spirits and a great way to regain some of the muscle mass he lost.
I’ve been working for several weeks now as well. When I went back after my leave of absence (which, I should remind everyone, I took after working only one day), I was moved to a different department. It has been the most amazing experience! I love my students, and I love the challenge of keeping everyone on track. Even the smallest victory these kids achieve makes me feel so dang proud that I fear I may burst.
I never imagined that I would feel this passionate about a job, so it took me by surprise when I came home yesterday (Friday) and felt a little pang of sadness that I didn’t get to go to work today. There is nothing easy about this job – it’s constant running, constant shuffling, always tracking down missed assignments, hounding kids to get back to work, and times when you have to be the bad guy. There’s often a lot of resistance and days when you feel like you failed. But more often than not, I go home feeling like I made a difference, and that’s the absolute best feeling in the world.
Unfortunately, staffing upheavals leave my long-term stay in this department a bit uncertain. I pray daily that I get to stay, because this position is the perfect fit for me, and I know the teachers I work with are very happy with how things are going. My students are making progress, and their continued success is everyone’s goal. So hopefully I’ll be able to count many future anniversaries in this department.
Speaking of future anniversaries…we’re going to be remembering this week for a long time. On Thursday, my brother had to evacuate from Paradise, CA, where he lives and works. A wildfire tore through the town, and it’s still uncertain if he has a home or job to go back to. Thankfully, he and his dog made it out safely, and they’ve been sofa surfing at friends’ houses in the nearby town of Chico.
My brother is the epitome of calm (he must have got it all instead of me), and he’s coping with this recent disaster in the same collected manner he’s faced every other challenge he’s been thrown in life. Somehow, he always manages to land on his feet. So as devastated as I am by his loss, I know he’ll be okay in the long run.
One thing is for certain – life is crazy and unpredictable. Anniversaries of both the good and bad events in life remind us how hard we’ve fought to survive and how lucky we are to have gotten this far. They remind us to be thankful for our blessings and to keep fighting for what we love.