I got nothing. Really, I have been feeling so uninspired to write lately.
I thought I would just give you a general update on our lives.
Second grade is going okay for him. He isn't showing as much interest in reading as he needs to as this is really the last year they "learn to read." Next year, they "read to learn," so he needs to start picking up the pace on this. Getting the kids to read is a constant challenge. He is right at state requirements, but a little low for the class. Not the bottom, though, so he won't get any extra school help. Math is getting harder as they have started borrowing in subtraction. Gavin isn't great at subtraction - he always has to use the number line or his fingers. Brian's aunt, a dear, sweet, wonderful, lady who also happens to teach first grade, has offered to start coming over on Wednesdays to work with boys boys on school work a bit. I think this is a great idea to give them a fresh look at homework and to give me a break. And they really like
Zach's grandma Deb.
Gavin is home sick today with a fever for the third time in about 7 weeks. He seems to get sicker these days than any of us. He still eats terribly, so I swear that his immune system is weakened. Sometimes he scares me because he always looks a bit peaked and gray to me.
Gavin is continuing counseling for a while. When I told him we were wrapping up our sessions because counseling is not supposed to be forever, he freaked out and started carrying stuffed animals around all the time and sleeping with Daddy's things again saying he can't stop because he is still sad. I explained it was okay to be sad and he will FOREVER be sad some, but he was okay. The counselor and I agreed that despite losing our insurance coverage and going to private pay, we will continue until it appears the decision comes more from Gavin. Also, the group where we attend counseling is introducing a support group for 8-12 year-old's who have experienced a significant loss. I think this will be great for Gavin.
First grade for Grant is going about the same as second is for Gavin. He doesn't love to read, but needs to do more of it. I have been very concerned about him academically, but have noticed in the last two weeks, he seems to be making great strides in his printing and some decent strides in his reading. His teacher informed me that is common after the first quarter. In the end, I did not do much academically with the boys all summer, so it is no wonder they would be a bit lost when school started again.
Grant is doing well with his grief. We all had a hard week the week of Brian's birthday. Halloween, the announced end of counseling, Brian's birthday all falling together took every one of us to a bit of a melt down stage. We all three had some crying episodes. And we were all there for each other. We all understand this need for each of us to express this in any way we can at often very random times. Grant is finished with his counseling, but he still sees the school counselor.
Grant is my protector. When he sees me crying, he sniffs, puffs up his chest, comes to me and immediately hugs me gently and firmly. After he does this for a while, he THEN asks me what is wrong. Do you have any idea how WISE and comforting that is?? To not have to explain why you are crying when you sometimes don't KNOW why you are crying anyway and to just have an unconditional loving pair of arms there to hold you and allow you to cry? I tell him he is never more like Jesus than when he is like that. Anyway, he usually waits til I calm down then gets me a tissue or asks if I need some water or writes me a note and brings it to me a few minutes later. He is so incredibly sweet inside that very rough outer surface. I love that boy.
I have been good. I struggle with creativity and motivation. I don't cook much anymore as I have stated in the past. I have been working out a lot trying to lose some of the 15+ pounds that I gained since 2008 that I had lost in 2006. I am making strides suddenly with that. I often forget to eat. Seriously, some days it is 2:00 and I realize I am starving because I have not eaten since yesterday at 2:00. I am trying to get better at eating at least little bits all day if not full meals.
I am leading a Bible Study now to my group of women from my Mom's group at church. I am very excited and we will have our first discussion on Thursday. Please pray for me. I have never led a Bible Study from beginning to end. It is called Wisdom for Mothers. It concentrates on your relationships in life starting with God, your spouse, your children and your service - IN THAT ORDER. I am super passionate about your relationships being prioritized IN THAT ORDER and especially a mother's relationship with her spouse. It seems we as moms often fall into the trap of putting our spouse on the back burner and focusing on our children.
I have been doing well in my grief. Not sure what the holidays will bring. I may attend a seminar this weekend put on by Hospice about tips on how to handle the holidays. As my wonderful dear wise counselor has stated, this year is my road map. I am figuring out what moments in time are difficult, what events or situations remind me of Brian, and what works for handling it all.
I have been doing a lot of reflecting on "what was I doing this time last year." My counselor says this is very normal. I have been a bit flooded with emotions around this time. It was last October that we found out the tumor had been growing despite the second chemo. It was this week last year where I had the worst, then best, then worst, then best week of my life ever.
It was the first week of November last year when we thought Brian was dying. He had excruciating headaches, loss of balance, little blackout spells and confusion. He had pressure in his ventricle and after a whirlwind 3-1/2 day stay in the hospital, he had a shunt installed and walked out of the hospital a new man who lived over 4 more months.
It was during this hospital stay that my mom took the boys to her house for the weekend because Gavin had a fever and we didn't want to risk his getting Brian sick while we were so unsure what was happening in the hospital - making this horrific decision to spend time apart not knowing how much time Brian had left. Brian got home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon. I picked up the boys on Sunday morning. Gavin was still so sick - going on 4 days now with almost no food or water intake. Then, at 2:00 am, I could no longer handle watching him moan and shiver with a 104 fever. I was not waiting for the 8:30 am office to open. I knew he needed more. We went to the ER and he was admitted a few hours later after he kept nothing down and his fever could not easily be controlled.
Little did I know when I left that hospital at 1:00 on Saturday, I would be back 19 hours later for another 3-1/2 day stay WITH MY SON and I would once again have to decide which family members to spend time with. You can't imagine how incredibly painful that is for a mom, a wife and a caregiver. Just thinking about it right now floods me with tears. My counselor says this is so normal. She likens it to a soldier's post traumatic stress disorder. At the time, you are in survival mode just doing exactly what you need to do to get through the day and take care of those that need to be taken care of. Then, you think back on it and can't believe you survived it. It haunts you.
Anyway, other than that, things are going well. Still building my road map. Still figuring out trigger points. Coming to terms with moving on, but with little guilt. Praying for guarding of my heart as I consider dating again. Trying to rekindle friendships and family relationships. Starting some new friendships. Beginning to think about what to get the boys for Christmas and what new traditions we can begin. Contemplating. Analyzing. Playing. Praying. Living.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I got nothing. Really, I have been feeling so uninspired to write lately.