And these are them. There is too much going on. I have made three trips this summer, and make three more in the next two months (though only two, both over, were longer than 4 days, and only one of those was over a week). Work has been busy - in a good way, but busy.
A year ago this week, my mother went into the hospital with what they thought at first was just malnutrition and weakness. It would take them months to diagnose terminal lung cancer, it would be almost four months before she was dead. Not long enough. Not nearly long enough. And I wish she had lasted a week longer, because then the road would not have been icy when Dad drove to the lawyer. (Oh, let's be honest: I wish she would have never gotten ill, and lived to be in her nineties. But that doesn't somehow seem as realistic as wishing for an extra week. Silly realism. Not like any of it is realistic now knowing what I know today, namely, what did happen.)
A year ago this week. My emotions have been on a rollercoaster. To add to that, I got the letter today; the estate is closed out. I write two more checks and the whole proceedings are completed - legally. I still have a lot of stuff to sort through, dispose of (sell, donate, etc.), and so on. What's neat on paper is not necessarily neat and tidy in any other way.
I do not expect the months between now and January to be easy. And this coming weekend is another of my trips, to get together with college buddies from ten years ago and hang out and play games (myself and my husband both). And it seems strange to ping pong like this between the trivial but sweet and the other.
We had to have Basta put down. (Heart disease caught up with her, despite attempts to treat her. She would have died that day, it was just a question of whether it would be quick and peaceful or not.) But we still have Babe, and she regularly puts holes in my leg climbing into my lap. I still remember her jumping to Dad's lap, when he sat on the little computer chair by the foot of Mom's hospital bed. Even with his heavy jeans on, he would quickly grab for her and look pained - a heavy, clumsy cat with a lot of pointy pieces. She still is. And I understand why they loved her so. She is a charming sweetheart with those she knows and trusts. A cuddly little sweetheart with a joy for life that is so touching.
And sometimes, rather soggy fur. She's fairly patient with me all things considered.
I wish she were home - home with my parents, home where she was born, with them still taking care of her. I'd never know this side of her, for I was Stranger then and she was cautious with me. But I'd have my parents. On the other hand, since I don't have my parents, I'm rather glad to have her to cuddle.
I want to go back five years, ten years, and do all this again, treasure my parents and our time together more dearly, ask the questions I wonder about now when they can still be answered. (For example, where did my sister's baby book end up? I want it, but I cannot find it. I don't know why I care - she was born and died eight years before I came along - and I have baby photos of her. Just not the book. But I do care.)
If I could go back, of course, the first thing I would do is try to change things, not get those answers I get maudlin about now.
Perhaps we're lucky humanity hasn't got a time machine. What a horrible temptation it would be - or, if nothing could be changed, what a torture.
I'm going to have enough on my plate, just living through these next four months, I think.