Life has been busy lately, but what is new. We miss out on a lot of life because we are too busy to enjoy it. So I try to enjoy being busy! Rachel has been doing well lately with less anxiety attacks. Even with the minor issues my kids might face, I think I have pretty great kids!
Right now we have a French exchange student with us for three weeks and Alice and Rachel are getting along great. It has been fun to have her here. Our house can be quiet so we have the church kids come over a lot.
I spent last week substituting at the high school in ISS (in school suspension.) It was interesting to see the students that come in. Unfortunately a lot of them come from families that don't seem to care about their student's education. It is sad. Others are just to smart for the average classroom and act up out of boredom. Instead of making them sit quietly, I often engaged them in conversations of history and government issues. It was interesting. I spent some of my time applying for my credentials to be updated and activated so I can actually substitute teach in the classroom. I usually sub in ISS or the office where you don't have to have your teachers certificate. So I am moving forward into new adventures.
Well this week is Valentines Day. During the last 15 years of Mike's illnesses, I learned never to expect anything and then when he did do something it was a pleasant surprise. There were many years he did nothing for my birthday, our anniversary and there were even a few years he didn't even give me a Christmas gift. It was hard for me at first but I learned it was often the disease and not really Mike. What he did or didn't do often depended on how he was feeling. He took himself off his depression meds in November 2007. Christmas 2007 we had 15 people at the house. After all the gifts were opened someone asked what Mike had given me. The answer was nothing, so about an hour after all the gifts were open he gave me a 3x5 card with a picture of a movie camera on it that I wanted and he told me he would buy it for me. It was no surprise to me that I never got the camera from him. As you can see for years I have had to put aside my feelings and realize that Mike's health kept him from being what we would call "normal." One e-mail I received from him in about April of 2008 he said, "I am sincerely sorry for all the pain I have caused you and the children for so many years. My only solace is that I have done the best that I knew how." I think he knew where he fell short and he didn't need us to point it out. We had good times and bad times like all couples. We chose to stay together and stick it out. The only regret I have is that he knew how hard it was for me sometimes and I think that made it harder on him.
So as we approach Valentine's Day, be thankful. Show your family, friends and special someone how much they mean to you without expecting anything back. If we expect something back, we are setting ourselves up for a fall if nothing is given. It is better to give then to receive (although receiving is nice too!)
PS. One of the fun things we did one Valentine's Day was to cut out TONS of hearts and put them all over Mike's car when it was parked somewhere else. He came out to a "heart attack" car. It was cheap, easy and lots of fun.