My sister called this evening, she was on her way to the hospital. She came home to find her husband collapsed in his office. Paramedics came and they suspect he’d had a stroke. He went into the ER, the MRI and other tests confirmed it was a stroke. He was air evac’d to a different hospital with a neurological center. The transport happened around midnight. It’s now 2:00am and they are taking him into surgery to take pressure off of his brain.
I am dozing between text messages from my sister. I offered to come down to sit with her but she said no. She has her son and her daughter (step daughter really but we don’t think like that in this family) there with her. It’s going to be a long night.
I am not really ready for dealing with this. Of course, no one is ever ready but it’s too soon after losing Sully’s dad. It’s barely been six months, we are trying to get through the holidays. Trying to figure out how it works now that there are four of us instead of five. Sully’s family was already small, Sully, his mom and dad, and his grandparents. The rest of the family distanced by either miles or past behavior. Over the years, I was added and then Boo, it was a good group for holidays. His grandparents passed a few years ago and then it was just the five of us, a smaller group but we had a great time together. Now, we are down to four, and it’s hard not to notice that our group is getting smaller. It’s hard not to be depressed, I cope by cracking jokes. I am sure some people think that I am not taking it seriously or that I am not sensitive to everyone’s loss. The truth is that I am overly sensitive to everyone’s feelings, I have to make a joke and break the tension before I start screaming or crying.
I am worried about my brother in law and devastated for my sister. I cannot imagine coming home and finding him like that. It’s so upsetting that I can’t even put it into terms of my life. Running in an undercurrent to all of that I am saddened to see our chance for a normal holiday season seemingly slip away. It’s selfish, I know, but I can’t help it. We’ve had few opportunities to celebrate lately and I was hoping for at least this family time for us to heal and make new memories. We knew it was going to be tough and we are doing our best to make new traditions and keep busy. It’s like walking into the wind though, for every step forward, it’s two steps back. It’s exhausting and miserable and most of the time it’s not getting us anywhere. What’s the alternative? Huddling in the corner? No, even at my lowest, I know that isn’t the answer either. We’ve got to keep moving forward even if it’s in fits and starts, or even though I want to scream that it’s so unfair. I mean, wasn’t it bad enough that my dog died this week? Did more bad stuff have to happen?
It’s crushing and overwhelming, but we have to keep moving forward. Not just for me, or for Boo and Sully, or for Sully’s mom but for Lily and Hans and their kids. So, we get up and brush ourselves off, even Scarlett knew that tomorrow was another day.