Jer got to come home this weekend. It went by way too fast. I keep reading about this big oil boom in North Dakota and it terrifies me that we are indirectly a part of it. I hate him working 16 hour days. I know it's a job, for now, but I can't help feeling like we've sold our souls to the highest bidder and it doesn't feel worth it. Especially when I see him sitting with our daughter in his lap, head resting on hers, his eyes closed. We are not a family that's meant to be apart. We are a family that has had to fight to stay together. He was so ridiculously happy to get back to our messy, disorganized house. Little girl toys, school books, and pets everywhere. Still, it was a pleasant weekend and I get to go to North Dakota at the end of the week for a last visit before the ruckus at school really begins.
On the school front, I am 4 days into the yearly 9 day "orientation" we are all forced to attend. I think my last few posts made it clear I have been struggling on my own over here, but by Tuesday morning when classes started, I had a little control back. It feels good to be moving again. As much of a pain as school is, it occupies the area of my mind most often reserved for worrying over things I can't do anything about. My schedule shouldn't keep me on campus for such a ridiculously high number of hours as last year did. Monday through Wednesday, I should be free by noon. Thursdays are clinical days and the longest ones. Fridays are gloriously free. I didn't have a single free weekday all year last year, so this in itself is inspiring. I do have two mornings a week that I'll need my mother to cover day care drop-off for me, but it could be a lot worse. I'm expecting the studying to be more intense this year, but the extra day and afternoons should go a long way towards keeping that under control.
I was 18 on September 11th, 2001. I was a waitress at a truck stop cafe. We all spent the day staring at the TV screens in the restaurant. I was too young to truly understand grief. Nothing bad had ever really happened to me. But I remember the fear. And I remember what it felt like to have so many boys my age sign up and head off to war. A boy I loved in a young girl kind of way went. He came back so changed I hardly recognized him. I didn't understand that then either. But I sure as hell do now; grief can turn a person inside out, turn you into something you never think you'll be when you are 18: broken. I still have emails in my inbox from some of the boys who did tours over in Iraq. I read them over this morning. The stories they tell send chills up my spine even now. Today is a day to remember all we have lost and all we have been given.