I have had many queries and requests for new blog posts. I have about 4 different posts that I have drafted over the last several weeks, but I can’t bring myself to publish one yet. To a teacher, summer is a magical time of recovery and relaxation. To a teacher who grieves, summer is a time when your brain can’t be preoccupied with students, lesson plans, grading, IEPs, etc. The strict adherence to a prescribed schedule gives way to large chunks of time to be alone with the presence of the absence of her. I read about sisters going on European adventures, see photos of complete families smiling at the beach, and celebrations of graduations and milestones abound. I am happy for the joy of those I love, but it is sometimes overpowered by jealousy and resentment. (How’s that for keeping it real?)
The changing of seasons is always difficult for me. As I anticipate the things I love about winter, spring, summer, and fall, I am flooded with memories of what Molly loved about those seasons. All I want to do is to be lying on a beach with her somewhere listening to music and reminiscing on how her butt cheek could never stay in her bathing suit when she was a kid. The change of season brought a co-worker losing her only child suddenly and witnessing the pain of the Bidens as their family once again is thrust into the depths on pain. These things break my heart. While ushering in summer, I have been dealing with delayed realities of picking up my life in Nashville and moving, recognizing that it’s finally time to let go of Mollly’s physical possessions, and catching up on medical needs that I have neglected since she died. I’ll blog about this later, but you know how your whole life there’s been something that doctors say, “This will have to be fixed one day”? Somehow, I have reached “one day,” and I am excited, optimistic, and scared as hell. Maybe you didn’t have childhood cancer, and your medical experience lies in a yearly check-up and that one time you had strep throat in college and you have no way to empathize with me. For those lucky souls, I am insanely jealous and wish you nothing but more health and maybe an ear infection.
MollyROCK is still here, I am still passionate about our work and goals. But for a bit, I am not in a place where I can rally the troops and incite passion. I’m not wallowing in pity, listening to Enya, and watching Beaches. I’m sleeping, coaching cheerleading, getting ready for camp (!), binge watching Netflix, riding around blaring music with my sunroof open, having conference calls with friends, spending quality time with my ridiculous dog, wandering around TJ Maxx, crying when I need to, laughing, visiting doctors, cleaning out rooms, scheduling surgery, making plans– but everything is at my own pace. Tell your kids that it’s okay to take a step back from something they’re passionate about in order to take care of themselves. Perhaps they need a break from baseball. Maybe, this summer they need to just play at the pool instead of spending hours every day in a gym perfecting their gymnastic skills. Whatever it is, tell them that they don’t have to be “on” all the time! It’s radical to think that we can’t help others if we don’t help ourselves, but be open to taking care of yourselves and encouraging those you love to do the same.
More than meat loves salt,