It's hard to believe a whole year as gone by since I last posted here. On one hand, I'm sorry I haven't been as faithful to my blog as I used to be, but on the other hand, it's a sign that I seem to be doing OK (better, at least). I guess. At the moment, I really don't know. My blog served a very important therapeutic role for me in the early years after losing Natalie. One of the reasons I wanted to have my blog is because after creating Natalie's website, I realized that was The End of her story. Natalie's site is about Natalie and her beautiful, but too-short life. My blog is about me and my life with and without my children. Since I'm still here and thankfully, so are Roslyn and Gabriel, it's a story that continues to unfold. I realized, too, that with the advent of Facebook, I tend to share more about this part of my story there. In my mind, somehow, a cute little thing Gabriel said or did doesn't warrant an official blog post. So, I put it on Facebook instead.
For me, it doesn't really matter through which medium I express myself, just that I do when I feel the need.
I chose to write this post now in honor of Natalie and in acknowledgment of the 8th year since she left us. It is still unfathomable to me. Recently I saw two kids (one a 19 month-old boy and the other an 18 month-old girl) and my thoughts immediately went to Natalie who was that age and I thought, "was she that small?" The truth is, I can't really remember how big she was. Gabriel keeps on growing and is now almost 5. He's average size for his age, but it has sort of skewed my recollection or perception of what Natalie was like as a busy, happy little toddler. It makes me feel sad that as time goes on, my memories are starting to fade, too. Of course, there are some priceless treasures that will always remain, but others are definitely growing more dim. It's like losing her all over again.
As this 8th anniversary of her passing approaches, I have have found this year to be difficult and complicated. My involvement with the nursery school that Roslyn was attending at the time in 2007 and that Gabriel is now attending has stirred up a lot of emotions. It has triggered grief in ways I hadn't expected and I have been doing my best to cope with it.
In addition, we are in the thick of planning for Gabriel's schooling next year. He will be in kindergarten. In Providence, kindergarten is a major process involving applications to public charter schools (free and generally considered much better than the regular public schools) and private schools, going to open houses, visiting days, evaluations, etc. It's all been such an ordeal that has left me utterly exhausted. Getting into a charter school seems to be what most people want for their child. It seems to be the best of all worlds -- a good education with no price tag (other than the taxes we pay anyway). It is an extremely competitive process as there are very limited spots and hundreds and hundreds of applications for the lottery. Roslyn did not get chosen in any of the lotteries, which left us with only one option -- regular public school. It didn't go well for her and we ended up sending her to private school for first grade. Fortunately, it all worked out in the end, though we did end up paying quite a bit for her elementary education (all worth it, but we have our limits).