It’s been a weird day.
September is here. I keep seeing post full of excitement for fall, the weather getting cooler, and everything pumpkin. The kids are back walking past my house every afternoon. I always loved the idea of being close to the school, now it’s torture. Leaves on the trees are slowly turning and will soon fall to the ground. There’s promises of change surrounds me from every direction. It pressures me to feel it, but everything in my body is telling me to run back to April. Run away from Jensen being five months old here in a few short days. The promise of change scares the living hell out of me.
It’s crazy to be at a point where I remember being pregnant last year and can compare it with now. I guess what I say it like that it doesn’t make sense. It’s easy to compare the physical aspect of my life from last year to now. I was pregnant and happy that Jensen was here and now he’s not. The ‘interesting’ comparison is the train of thoughts. Last year I was constantly thinking for the future and what was best for the little life growing inside me, now I’m thinking of the past. What could I have done better? Why didn’t I take more pictures? I do a good job of making myself feel guilty…
One thing I kept going back to the past couple weeks was a promise I made Jensen, before I even knew he was a he. In May of 2015, I graduated college with my BA in Communications. I absolutely loved what I studied and really appreciate the education I received. It’s helped shape me to the person I am today. But it was never my first choice. I honestly don’t know exactly how I graduated with that degree. While I was in school I switched from education to journalism, then finally to communication. I thought I was doing what we best for me at the time and I figured I could get any job I wanted with my degree. Technically I could still get an amazing job with the degree I have now. But when I switched over and over, I only thought of myself. (Nothing wrong with that during college.) I didn’t think longterm, even when I did I thought everything would work out fine because that’s just what happens.
I broke a promise to my younger self. I went to school to be a teacher because I loved the idea of helping other learn. Seeing that spark in their eye when they finally get something that took them a long time. A series of unfortunate events and people led me to not want to be a teacher mid-college. It wasn’t until I knew I was pregnant that I needed to be a teacher again or start down on that path. Yes, for the schedule and time I would get to spend with him after school. For me wanting to keep the promise my younger self’s dream. Honestly, mostly because it would allow me to be with him more and be able to provide him more than I could now. Then it was the thoughts of seeing him learn all these new things a little human learns. The smiles and of course the tears when he would succeed and fail. But I would be there every step of the way for him. I wanted to be able to see that for other kids as well. Those looks make me happy, even though Jensen’s would have been an infinite amount better.
So early on I was really thinking about going back to school for him and his future. It wasn’t a top priority in the beginning, but definitely there. Around the halfway point, around twenty weeks, when we found out about Down syndrome I knew I had to go back. I remember through the tears, I promised him I would be there everyday after school and on the weekends to help him when he was school aged. I knew I could go part-time to school when he was little so I could take him to physical therapy and his doctor appointments. During classes he could go to grandma and grandpa’s house. Throughout those weeks I promised him I would do that for him. He needed to see the importance of school and how much it meant to me. Oh, he would succeed and blow past every expectation that the doctors told me to expect. I promised him to be the best me I can be for him.
Obviously, like the rest of my dreams and wishes for him and the future, it came crashing down when his heart stopped beating.
They say not to make any life changing decisions during the first year of grief. Which I totally get, but I can’t break a promise to Jensen. I have to continue being the best I can be for him. Today, after a few weeks of applying and getting all the information gathered, I got accepted in the University of Akron’s Masters of Education with Licensure program. I’ll get to meet with an advisor next week and schedule classes for next semester. For right now I’m going to go part-time to see how my attention span is doing, but I’m trying. Trying to figure out this life after loss. Trying to do what I know he would have wanted for me.
With that being said, I know I should be excited, but I’m pretty blah about it. Maybe I’ll be more excited when I actually register for classes and meet with the advisor. It’s just I’m sitting here keeping my promise to Jensen and he’s not here for this. Looking and planning a future without him is hard. It’s a deep pain that pulses to my very core. How can I be happy? How can I be proud of myself when the very person I promised isn’t even here? Losing your child is the hardest thing in the whole entire world. You lose them as an infant, a five month old, a kindergartener, and teenager, an adult. You lose everything. I don’t have to lose this promise. I can’t break it.
I hope Jensen’s proud of his momma.