At last, I've reached the end of that trying month, September. Even with the blessings it brought (beautiful new granddaughter!), September was overwhelming, like a tsunami I was trying to surf.
I don't know how well I did, but at least I am still here.
We are entirely moved out of the house, which was a chore so monumental I can hardly describe it. It was more than just a move; it was a complete reconfiguration of a family. What was once a family is now fragmented, its members and their many possessions scattered in several directions.
It was more emotional than I expected, stranger, more difficult, more full of surprises.
A defining moment: My son's things all boxed up, my ex-husband's things loaded on a trailer and the house cleaned, it was time to say goodbye to my cat, Paris, who was about to be loaded into his carrier to go home with my ex.
I sat on the porch steps, with my great big cat in my arms and soaked his sleek black fur with tears, while Paris purred patiently, unaware it was goodbye.
This pain is Novocaine-numb and as mysterious as an iceberg; I don't even want to know what's under the surface.
On the bright side, my son is staying with me after all, so it turns out we're not as fragmented as it seemed. And the new apartment is coming together like a work of art; the final product will be a home. I'm comfortable already. And now that I'm finally online, work and school will be easier.
I am engaged in an epic battle with the flu, valiantly fighting it off, though it won briefly on Monday and is still not conquered yet.
I am afraid to visit my little granddaughter because there have been several confirmed cases of H1N1 on campus. Dammit.
She is 21 days old and I have only seen her once. Send me get-well wishes so I can see her Saturday. I really must see her.
Finally, the other trying thing about September is uncertainty about my chosen career. Teaching academic writing to university freshmen is in sharp contrast to teaching ESL to international students, who were motivated, mature and respectful.
I passionately loved teaching ESL over the summer; ESL is where my heart is. Surprise, surprise. I wish I had known this earlier so I could have added a TESL minor to my master's study.
Usually I have long-range vision about where I want to go and what I want to do, but I can't see beyond December. Finish the thesis, finish grad school.
Lingering heartbreak has me experiencing all these events as if I were watching them through a window on a rainy day. Unfortunately, something has happened to tarnish the golden memories that were supposed to sustain me through this difficult season.