in mourning

I realized today I'm in mourning for a lot of things right now. So many different things too, not all of them necessarily bad, but change deserves mourning whether it's good or bad, I think.

Of course, I will always be in mourning for Desmond. I quit waiting for that grief to go away some time ago. It will never go away, it will only change. It intensifies and recedes for various reasons - days or weeks of being ok, then seeing the neighbor outside with her one-year-old boy on his little-boy toddler toys and sobbing realizing what will never be. Then it recedes again for a time.

I am also mourning the loss of David's job. On July 6 he was told that he and a handful of other employees were being "let go." He had a little bit of warning about this, and had been somewhat unhappy with the way things were going for a little while. So that is a big change, and in itself, not a good change. Fortunately he has found another job and starts in a couple of weeks, but there is financial stress and the stress of being without health insurance for a little while on top of that. However, having him home more has been nice too. He and I took a little day trip to Bloomington this week, leaving my mom with the kids. It was nice to see all the places we used to visit when we lived there.

Another thing I am mourning is the loss of homeschooling one of my children. Lucy starts high school in just over a week, and while it's very exciting and we feel it's the right thing for her to do, it also means we will see a LOT less of her. I've been her teacher for 14 years. Giving that up to people I don't even know is very frightening. Trusting other people to nurture and support and encourage her is hard. But at the same time, there are opportunities and challenges that she will get to experience there, that she never could within the safe cocoon of our home. I will still have Truman and Penny and Jacinda here.

Jacinda is another aspect of mourning. In one month she turns two years old. Two!? How did that happen? She is not a baby anymore. She runs and talks in very complex, intelligent sentences. She is a joy to be around. She loves everyone. She even loves people who are not in our family. My friend Brooke has two daughters, Hannah and Leah, and Jacinda loves them like her own sisters. Another friend fosters two little boys, and Jacinda gets so excited when they come over to visit (she follows the older one around like a puppy, and treats the younger one like a baby doll, though he weighs more than she does). Obviously compared to the alternative, having birthdays is always the better way, but it's a little bittersweet too.

We've been trying to get pregnant again for about ten months now. Several of those months we used medication from my doctor, and just recently we've gone to a specialist and used stronger medications and treatments. No success yet, just a lot of crankiness from the meds and less money in the bank. We have to decide how far to push this, when to accept it's over. We know it won't bring Desmond back. We know it won't heal us. But we do think it would help. And we do love Jacinda so much and can't imagine life without her - because we would not know what we were missing, but we would be missing so much! So much pure happiness. So it's not wrong or selfish to want that, is it?

And finally, I'm in mourning for the hopes I had for my own life. Maybe this is a mid-life crisis. I used to want to be something. I used to enjoy working, enjoy studying and learning. But then I fell into the pattern of most Mormon women and gave up that part of my life to support my husband in getting his education and to focus on bearing and raising children. David losing his job made us realize again that while I have a degree, it's in a super low-paying field. I have toyed with the idea of going back to school for something I might enjoy more, and that would be more lucrative, but that almost seems silly when our kids are of the age that we need to start saving money for them to go to college, not their mom. I need to accept that maybe the purpose of my life isn't to become the lawyer or translator or writer I wanted to be, but to help my children become what they want to be. We've talked about how our parents gave us little money for college (Dave's more than mine), and how much debt you end up with in finishing a degree. He says, "There will always be debt." But I knew people whose parents paid for school, who graduated without debt. Can't that start somewhere? Can it start with us?


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