There are two questions I get asked regularly. The first is always, “Have you heard from Jeremy?” and the second is usually, “What’s it like since he’s been gone?”
I’m always pleased to answer the first one with whatever the latest news is. We’ve gotten a couple of quick phone calls and a handful of letters. Long story short, he’s doing great! Yes, he’s homesick, but he’s still focused and moving towards his goal. Lord willing, Jeremy will continue to do well, graduate boot camp in mid-October, and officially become a sailor in the U.S. Navy. After graduation, he will move to San Antonio for Corpsman school.
The second question is harder to answer because I’m still not used to him being gone. Sometimes, if I don’t think about it, I can believe he’s at Emma’s house or soccer practice or work or at the bike trails with Foster. Other than our grocery bill being a tiny bit smaller, the biggest thing I notice is how quiet our house is now because the extrovert moved out.
For 18 years, he has been the primary conversationalist in our family. Oh how I wish I could count the hours he and I have spent talking — from our earliest conversations about animals, trains, and who’s who in Star Wars to our hours-long talks about relationships, building a work ethic, and his future.
Jackson talks to us just like Jeremy does, but he generally has fewer things to say, and since Chuck and I are also more introverted, the three of us can go hours without interacting at all! Honestly, the weirdest thing was to have Jeremy’s 19th birthday come around and he wasn’t here for us to celebrate with him.
But, our lives have moved right along in the meantime. Jackson and I started the school year. (Yes, it was weird to take a First Day of School photo without Jeremy!)
It’s his hardest year so far academically, but he’s learning how to manage his time and study in different ways. If he can do well this year, his senior year will be an absolute breeze. Jackson also has a part-time job at our local movie theater, which he loves more than anything. I’ve never known anyone to be so excited about going to work. (The other big news about Jackson is that he got his driver’s license!)
I have about 65 students this year between five in-person classes and one online class. Most of these kids are students I’ve had for years, so I adore them. I keep wondering if I’ll continue to teach at our co-op once Jackson graduates. Part of me really wants to.
I had Girls Weekend with Susan and Lesli in early September, which was long overdue as usual. The following weekend, Chuck, Jackson, and I drove to Nashville to see The Killers. It was supposed to be our first concert together as a family, but of course now we had an extra ticket to give away. Fortunately, Susan lived nearby and is also a Killers fan, so she joined us!
I bought these tickets 15 months ago, so my excitement level was through the roof. The tour was originally planned for 2021 but had to be rescheduled on account of the pandemic.
This was my third time seeing them in concert and it was by far their best show yet. They used the same art from Imploding the Mirage as a background and it was even more stunning in person.
Jackson knew all the songs since we’ve played The Killers regularly his whole life. In fact, I have a vivid memory of holding Jeremy as a toddler and dancing around the living room to Mr. Brightside.
I went to another concert in late August – this time with Mom! She and I saw Air Supply together, and it was a wonderful night of nostalgia for both of us.
Strangely, it was on Jeremy’s birthday when word came round that Queen Elizabeth passed away. I was so sad to hear the news, but what a legacy she left behind! I am so grateful to have visited England several times during her reign. I’m also glad I bought the commemorative Swatch in honor of her Platinum Jubilee. I was wearing it on the day she passed.
Now we are counting the weeks until fall break and then Jeremy’s graduation. Football season is in full swing, along with F1, and soon Chuck will be getting up at ungodly hours to go hunting. It is truly the best time of year, and we have so much to be thankful for.