August, my always-most-hated month, is drawing a close. Whew. Every single day this month seemed to hold a weight of some sort of significance, as if my senses were all on high alert. Emotional highs and lows, the likes of which I've never experienced before and that's truly no exaggeration.
A few minutes into August 1, I got a brand-new nephew. I went to Kentucky and had a wonderful time. A week later, I went to Nashville for work. Then, I had my incident-that-shall-no-longer-be-discussed, and two days later, went to Salt Lake City to spend a week prepping for an all-day presentation and workshop on healthcare reform to almost sixty people by the end of the day. I was super nervous about this, and I had to really invest myself in my work in order to do it -and honestly, I kind of liked the challenge. This stuff isn't as overwhelming to me anymore, and for the first time....I feel like I'm actually "getting" it. God, that is a relief.
Let's see...what else? Oh yeah, that new relationship of mine? Officially over.
It's, um, been a long month.
Last weekend, I cried uncle. I told my best friend S that I'd buy her a plane ticket if she'd come see me this past weekend because I needed someone with me. I couldn't spend a weekend staring at my four apartment walls, or I would go nuts and I've never had someone be so consistently there for me and love me so completely for so many years. Aside from Andrea, of course :) Since that aforementioned incident, I've hated and dreaded being alone for long periods of time. Not that I'm afraid, just a bit more lonely than normal and not quite as comfortable with my own thoughts for an extended period of time.
She had a better idea -- to meet halfway and go camping in West Virginia. I got off work earlier than expected on Friday, and when I got there, she and all of her kids were there with tents set up and marshmellows already flaming over the fire. When I pulled up, all of them broke into huge grins and exclamations of how they didn't have to go to school that day (except for her daughter, who is out of school) -- S had surprised them with a day off instead of a half-day. I asked S what the excuse was that she gave the school. "Urgent family business," she replied. I kind of laughed and asked what gave her that idea to use as an excuse. "Because we had it," she said firmly. "You are in this family too, and you are our business."
Stomach: drop. I realize how much I'm loved.
Her two older kids are teenagers, and have been in various stages of difficult times, but both are thriving. I told her son that he was a different kid now, and I was so glad he was "back" from the clutches of addiction he was battling. He smiled and we toasted plastic cups of milk. Never going back -we both agreed.
We hiked and spent most of the day in the lake which was almost completely deserted. The water was so clear, we almost couldn't believe it. We skipped the bathhouse and shampooed and soaped up in the lake and took crazy pictures with shampoo in our hair. Humiliating pics? Probably, but as I said to S, we'll like them when we're old.
Funny --I haven't felt that clean in a long time.
So here I am --sunburned shoulders, dirty and a mountain of laundry. And feeling refreshed. I already miss them, though, but we will be back.
This weekend, I'm supposed to be in a wedding in Kentucky. But, my mom called me today to tell me that my grandfather has been given a week, or less, to live. This is news that -while somewhat expected- its always something I have been dreading.
I worry about my grandmother; about my mother. I worry about the sadness and the reality of the situation as we face how our family will take shape going forward.
If the worst happens, I can't be in the wedding. Even if it doesn't, I may have to go home to say goodbye. Priorities, and my family is at the top of this list.
I'm running another HUGE meeting this week. And when it ends, I'll pack a red bridesmaid dress and a black dress in my bag, and fly off to either a wedding or a funeral.
Sounds like life to me.
We sat around the fire last night and talked about stars and found constellations. Tommy, S's youngest, said that atoms make up every single cell in our bodies. And he thought each star was maybe a single cell of God's body. I was holding S's hand and we squeezed each others hands at the exact same time. "I really like that idea Tom," I finally managed to say.
Out of the mouths of babes.