Photo: I can’t even believe that picture. I can’t even believe it!! Yes, I did take that picture. With my phone. Yes, that phone! The phone that usually takes blurry pictures!! This is one of those drop-the-mic kind of moments. How the hell will I ever take a better picture than this!? Also, big props to Marney Mae because I’m pretty sure that this beauty comes from one of the seeds she sent us!
No school today means two little boys are home all day and I could not be more thrilled. I’ve gotten more work done today than I have since school started! Little boys slept until 9:30, had a long and leisurely breakfast, played very nicely for about two hours and now we’re all outside enjoying the warm air and the unhurried schedule. Wow… what a difference a new schedule can make! Now I remember what it’s like to look forward to school holidays! Now, next week, they’ve got three days off, and I’m not delighted about that. But, actually, it might all work out in my favor because I will likely have to go home to Maryland next week.
My grandmother has been in the hospital since last Wednesday. There is no talk of her being able to go home. While her health isn’t deteriorating anymore, it does not seem to be improving. She is not eating, she is sleeping in fits, she is uncomfortable. All I can do is sit here and go about life, diligently preparing myself for having to go home and possibly say goodbye.
I’m not really sure how to deal with it yet. Matter of fact, I’ve been angry at myself for compartmentalizing it the way that I have. I have reached down and found the numbness, and that seems to work for me. I admit that a bit of alcohol over the weekend has helped with the gauzy non-feeling that I have. The news about my grandmother comes at the same time as another major shift in my life: I have decided to completely sever ties with my father.
Father sent me his obligatory annual text of “Happy Birthday, I love you” last week, and I decided that I’d call him instead of simply being satisfied with it. It was a phone call that featured laughter and pain, a normal thing. He didn’t ask about the boys. Talked about himself and his boys, mostly. He mentioned Christmas a few times. I didn’t think much of it. I felt pretty jazzed about the whole thing after I got off the phone. On Thursday morning, I get an email from him to me and my sister. The subject line: “I’d like to have you guys over for Christmas dinner.” The body: “Is that even possible?”
The answer was no. For many reasons. Even when we were one big family, we have always spent Christmas with my mother’s side of the family. And as long as my grandmother is still alive, I’ll be with her. That’s just how it is. I offered that we create a new tradition, or pick back up the Christmas Eve lunch tradition we’d had before (he blew me off last year, as some may recall, for nothing more than “I just don’t feel like it this year.”).
The result was a series of emails so belligerent and ridiculous, first to me and then to my sister, that it was made perfectly clear to me that I’ve made a horrible mistake by thinking he could remain in my life. Outside of the pain upon pain he’s caused me for years, I now realize my obligation to keep my two sons completely away from him. This is no longer healthy or acceptable. It never was, really. My sister and I talked for a long, long time on Friday, after another set of emails just a vile as the night before. I’m not sure if she has completely come to the same conclusion I have. She processes differently than I do. I think, though, that she’s going to arrive at the same place I’m in right now.
and so… here I am… Saying goodbye to my grandmother, a beloved mentor and friend, and also walking away from my Father.
So imagine all of that, but then having to get up and look good for church and shake hands and smile and be. And wake up this morning to take care of the children on their day off, offering this, patiently dealing with that, somehow managing to get the systems that keep this house in order working. There is work to be done. Freelancing work, fiction work. #DVPit is on Thursday and I’d really, really like to pitch Meadowlark to agents. Thanks to that editor I hired last month, I have two clean manuscripts that I think are ready to go somewhere. I’m doing my best to follow the advice of a friend and not just throw them up on some self-publishing site. I worked on my pitches a bit this morning. Lord, I hope I can draft a query letter during school time tomorrow.
I happily waved to my neighbor who is mowing his lawn. I’ll give hearty good mornings to the teachers and parents at school drop-off tomorrow. Matter of fact, there is freshly made apple butter from Friday’s field trip in jars ready to be delivered to school while butter and eggs are on the counter warming up for brioche. Two loaves of brioche need to be baked tomorrow morning so that a little boy can take a treat to school for his classmates.
This is how the world functions. You just never know what is happening behind the smile, the small talk, the fleeting moments of interaction with the people around you. So make haste to be kind, be quick to do a loving act. Ease the pains of this crazy world with just a little bit of care. You never know, Dear Reader, how much your little act can do.
It is Monday, and there is so much to do. Stay focused, stay motivated, and we’ll all make it to Friday together.
Until Wednesday, take care.