Monday, January 25, 2016

Back to school as an older student

     Going to college at the age of 30 is in a word: SCARY.

     Until now, I had never attended classes on campus. I had only previously taken online courses. On my first day, the nervousness I had was very similar to the nervousness I would have when starting a new school as a child. I knew I didn't know anybody, didn't have any friends, and that is always such a tough situation to be in. I thought that being older, I would not concern myself with the opinions of my peers or even try very hard to blend in (my previous coping strategies).

    I was wrong. So wrong.

    In the adult world, I am completely comfortable being a person that feels confident in her own style choices and expressions of character. But put back inside of a school setting, that completely went away and I felt like such an outsider. I worried that the students would know I was older or somehow uncool and nobody would think I was worthy of getting to know. Like maybe because I am a mom I don't need friends so why bother. How awful and eye opening is that?

   The other students are polite, but most don't make eye contact. Maybe that's not just me, maybe we as a society don't do that anymore. By now, our third week of class, they know that I am older, but not how much older. I'm 30, guys. I graduated high school 12 years ago. Back in 2004, when you were just in Kindergarten. That's right.

    I don't even know what's cool anymore. I feel like Josie Geller, played by Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. If I show up in clogs and butterfly clips in my hair is that still cool?

    But speaking of cool, I don't even think college kids think they're cool. They all wear college shirts and jeans and chucks, boots and leggings, or workout clothes. I bet they don't even work out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

She's gone.

     Sometimes I think about it. Really think about it. Right here. Right now. My mother is dead. The thought sucks the air out of my lungs. It chokes in my throat. She's gone.

     I can't call her. She doesn't answer when I do. When I call her, I have a nervousness in my stomach. What if she answered? What if somebody else answered? What if the phone company gave her number to someone else. They could take it away from me- they could give her number to a stranger who would have no idea what that number was to me. A hotline to heaven.

    God, mama, please answer the phone.

     I ride past her apartment. Her car is not there. It's in my front yard with a FOR SALE sign in the windshield. Someone else is parked in her spot. Another family occupies the place that holds the last memories I have of my mother. Saturday visits, new recipes we cooked together, a place for my children to spend the night. The last walk through I did of her apartment before we packed all of her things in a U-Haul. Everything just as she had left it. Except it wasn't. It was cold.

     Now when I go visit my mama I sit on the ground- uneven because the grass hasn't grown back yet. I lean my head on her stone engraved with lyrics from her favorite hymn. Beulah Land. She's in her Beulah Land. She's left me behind.

   I don't visit her grave as much as I like. It is cold and empty there. I don't feel her there. I feel her on my first day back to college, holding my hand as I walk to my first class. Telling me to breathe deep, it's ok, I can do this. I hear her in my children's laughter and smell her from time to time. She wore the same perfume for years. I smell it and it stops me in my tracks.

   I smell her and she's here again.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Where We Are

Does anybody even use blogger anymore?

Life has changed so much since my last post here. It has changed in so many good and bad ways but it has all been such an experience to learn and grow from.

My mother died late February 2015. A lot of me died with her that day.

It was the most awful thing, to see her in her final 6 days in a coma. She had an accident. No one found her in time. I have a lot of regret about that.

Our last phone conversation was on a Monday. She told me about her doctors appointment. We laughed. She told me she loved me and I told her I loved her too. I didn't know that was the last time.

Grief has such a funny way of manifesting in each person differently. This is still a learning experience for me.

The boys took it better than I thought. They were sad. They were quiet.

In the nearly 10 months since then, we have purchased a new home. It is absolutely wonderful. We went from living in a tiny 800 sq ft home with 6 family members, to a 3200 sq ft home (if you count the sun room and, yes, I do). We are not in city limits anymore and we are loving living in the outskirts of town. It's quiet out here. It's beautiful.

I go back to college in a week. I am taking on campus classes this semester. At the moment, I am not nervous or anxious or anything. I dread the work load. I took online classes last year before my mother passed and it was difficult for me to balance homeschooling, college and housekeeping.

I still try to find time for making. Making is what feeds my soul.

This is the last photo we took together in November of 2014

This is the latest photo of my family. 

 Wesley turns 3 January 6th.