Life after Walter Reed was not fun or easy. Returning home to the quiet of our two bedroom apartment after living in the Fisher House was not only lonely, but stressful. There was no Sandy one door over to be a fill in Mom, no Faith across the hall to provide the daily dose of chocolate ice cream cake, and no Mary downstairs to provide a swift kick in the ass for motivation to keep breathing. There was just me, my thoughts, and J.R.
It was easy to dive into school. The library provided me with quiet to ease my mind, and busy work in endless mounds gave me plenty of places to hide. It's no wonder I have been able to keep my grades up and pull through two years of school with a cumulative 3.9 GPA. But this semester something has changed. I no longer have the desire to hide in my school books and knock out straight A's. My heart just isn't in it. Procrastination has become my worst enemy and I'm unable to complete any project until moments before the deadline. Even today as I sat at my computer, determined to make a dent in this weeks workload, I have ended my day with nothing but a long list of things to accomplish tomorrow.
Frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm for the semester and desperate to figure out what has changed, I have put a lot of thought into what life has been like for the past few months.
This summer was filled with time in the garden, fun filled nights on the town with friends, and novels about Wisconsin living. I spent days bent over our tiny plants, muscles aching, while my hands pulled the menacing weeds. I watched the garden that J.R. planted and I tended grow into mature plants that produced ample amounts of delicious food. I became obsessive with storing away our home grown food and dived into the world of food preservation. To an outsider looking at my food pantry, I'm just one bomb shelter away from the crazy lady preparing for nuclear war. But as I look at my collection of goods I can't help but to feel a lasting since of accomplishment that no "A" will ever outlive.
For the first time since J.R.'s injury there is an ease of life. A routine has fallen into place and our days are no longer filled with unexpected frustrations and problems that need immediate solving. We hit a few bumps now and then, but for the most part things are pretty smooth.
The first day of class I fought back tears. I didn't want to be buried in homework spending hours at the library reading until my eyes could take no more. I was already longing for days digging in the dirt, sweating in the hot sun, and whining about sore muscles. Four weeks into classes and I'm still cringing at the thought of opening a book. While I may not have Mary downstairs to kick me in the ass, at least I have her on facebook to provide the much needed "you can do eet!" that I so desperately need.