Our boys are doing well. For the most part, they are happy. Austin is still struggling with his ADHD. We put him back on his medication three months ago. Even with medication, he is very impulsive and often makes bad choices. He was going to counseling at the school, but I am not so hip on the school counselor here. He is a great person, but he isn't a behavior counselor. I am still in the process of finding another counselor who can help Jason and I with Austin. I am so scared if we don't help him now, before he is a teenager, we will lose him later on. Sometimes he makes me so angry, I don't want to be around him. He bullies his brothers. He takes off and I have no idea where he went. It is so hard at times! But I know with guidance from Heavenly Father, we will be able to find the help we need for our son.
Spencer is doing better as well. We had several months when he suffered from horrific stomach aches. After a few doctor visits, we found a medication which helped him. He also began seeing the counselor at school. Again, I don't think the counselor helped much. Spencer was clearly suffering from anxiety. I know it. I have it myself, and he exhibited every sign. I think I did more for him than anyone else did, only because I have walked this path myself. Fortunately, Spencer is feeling better. He stays every day for lunch now. For a long time, I brought him home for lunch every day. Thankfully, he feels happy and safe at school. He is making friends. I know Heavenly Father is watching over him.
Preston just turned 8. He will be baptized in June. I can't believe how grown up Preston is. He is very independent, much like Austin. Sometimes you can see the influence Austin has had on him. I pray every day Jason and I will set a good example for our sons. I want them to grow up loving the gospel! I want them to be good, strong, kind men who serve others and take care of one another.
It has been hard living in Logan. Despite all the good, there have been many struggles. Jason hasn't been well for a very long time. The doctor is blaming his fatigue, headaches, stomach problems, dizzy spells, and general malaise on the concussion he had a month ago. While I can see how that concussion made his symptoms worse, I feel his problems go deeper than that. He was not feeling well even before his fall. I am waiting until the end of this week and then I am taking him back to the doctor. I get so frightened that something is wrong with him. He is my rock! I lean on him for everything! There is no way I would have survived school without his constant love and support. He picked up all the pieces I couldn't. He cleaned the house and took care of the boys. He ran errands and encouraged me when I was down. I need him in my life. I just want him to be okay. I worry he is not.
As for myself, I don't feel the greatest. I started exercising last week. It has been a very long time since I did. My stupid head was giving me such fits, I couldn't. It is still bothering me, but at least I can exercise. I love the way exercise makes me feel!! It definitely helps with the depression. I have had such a fight with that! I feel bad when I get down. I know I have so much to be thankful for. When those downer moments hit, I bottom out, bad! I can't see anything positive! I don't feel like anyone likes me. It is insane! I have to reach and pull to get myself up again. Sometimes it takes a few days for that to happen. YUCK!
I think about Ashley every day. She was such a wonderful part of our lives. I can't believe how long it has been since she died. It seems like yesterday we had her funeral and said our final goodbyes. I had an interesting conversation at school not long ago that bothered me. We were talking about losing children, and the difference between sudden death and a predictable one. It was the consensus of the group that sudden death was way harder that a predicted one. I have never experienced the sudden death of a child. I pray I never have to. I have no idea what that experience would be like. But there is one thing I know: death hurts no matter what. The pain is still the same. While sudden death is traumatic and shocking, and there isn't time for final goodbyes like the one we had, predictable death is just as hard. I had to sit and watch my daughter slowly die over the course of many months. Every day was a struggle. It was emotionally exhausting in every way! I can't imagine the agony we experienced was easier than if she had suddenly died. It bothered me to think my experience was viewed as a lesser trial. We went through so much in those many months. My beautiful angel struggled so!! She was such a trooper! I wouldn't trade my time with her for anything. I learned so much about life, about the gospel, and about myself. I couldn't be more grateful for every hard moment. I have said that so many times. But it is true.
I have decided trials are truly the breadth of life. They keep us humble. They keep us focused on what truly matters. Over the past few months, I have had many times when I felt weak, unimportant, insignificant, and alone. But when I remember the courage our family had, the courage I had, during those last months of Ashley's life, I am so proud of myself. We survived. We grew so close. The spirit filled our home. I pray that we will always keep that spirit with us. I loved the way I felt in the days following Ashley's passing. I know the Holy Ghost filled my heart with peace. We were not alone. We are never alone in this life. Oh if everyone felt that spirit of peace! It is so comforting! (0: