It's been so long since I've posted that I can't really remember where I left off...
I did make it safely and without incident to graduation. The graduation itself was a whole awkward thing, with the families of my divorced parents mingling again for the first time since the divorce four years ago. The whole thing felt a bit ridiculous as I just wanted to collapse in exhaustion and zone out for a few days. But it was pleasant. I still don't know if it has fully sunk in that I actually managed to escape The Nursing School from Hell before it caved in over my shoulders. The chaotic fog that has been swirling around me for the last few years has definitely started to lift, but I don't really know how to behave in a calm environment either. So I've been racing around as usual. I am pleased to report greatly reduced anxiety levels though.
Jerry's dad passed away three days before graduation after a long battle with lung cancer. I don't know that I've ever written much about it, but he was diagnosed in late 2009 and was hospitalized and on a ventilator for several weeks immediately after diagnosis. He was never even supposed to survive that hospitalization much less live for nearly three more years so his passing was not completely unexpected. However, he had been functioning at a very steady (though unhealthy) level since that time so we were a bit shocked. His cancer was also complicated by liver cirrhosis and a very unhealthy lifestyle. Jerry had been looking forward to spending Father's Day with his dad today, knowing it would likely be his last. Out of Jerry's very "special" family, I loved his father the most. He was this lovely man hidden underneath a rough exterior. He made a lot of mistakes in his life and lost his way sometimes, but if people were able to see past the surface they were privileged to know a lovely person.
We left town and headed to the Oregon coast to introduce our daughter to the ocean for the first time. She was absolutely fascinated by everything she saw and so were we. It is so wonderful to experience life through the eyes of your child. I have no doubt that she would've been happy to stay on the beach the entire time, but we managed to do some sight seeing. It was great to just get away for a few days. Jerry and I have never even taken a weekend trip together before so it was nice to get away for a whole week and just be tourists. There were several hundred seals in the harbor where we were staying and we spent many hours just watching their antics and feeding the seagulls. It was good for Jerry to see the world outside of Montana; he was born and raised here and I've always had a sneaking suspicion he thinks he will fall off the edge of the world at the state line. He was thrilled to learn that other states have both mountains and hunting.
So what's next? I am camping at home for a few days before the Kiddo and I join Jerry on the other side of the state. I'm studying for nursing boards, the final exam that will legally allow me to call myself a nurse. I am hoping to test by mid-July at the latest. Our little house is going up for sale this week, and I am beginning to browse jobs for myself and Jerry that will allow us to relocate to a location we will enjoy living in. We've both agreed that his current location is not where we want to be long-term, but for now it will have to do. Expect whiny posts about life in a teeny tiny awful little town to replace the whiny posts about nursing school. I will be working on my bachelor's degree and hopefully working on our next baby over the coming year. I am hoping this combined with a part time nursing job will be enough to distract me from the bad location.
Since I am now free of The Nursing School from Hell I feel I can be a bit more open here so I want to start including a few pictures: