Peter Pan said that with hope-filled confidence staring down Hook’s sword. I need to keep that on my mind these days.
It’s been two weeks since our world turned on end. Let me preface this by saying it could be worse. I understand that and I am grateful for the blessings we have. However, we humans like our lives predictable. We move in a house, set up our bed, have children, they grow up and move be out and we look forward to a few vacations to punctuate our worklife. Boring life, right? I know, but we strive toward it, none the less, because it eases anxiety.
Some people pride themselves on their adventurous spirit and move around, travel, never settle down and learn the names of all kinds of fancy drinks. That’s nice, but that’s not real adventure.
Real adventure is really wanting boring, but surviving when nothing goes in a predictable pattern. It’s keeping priorities right and your mind on the prize when the rug is routinely pulled out from under you. It’s smiling when you’re with others but collapsing into achy sobs when you’re alone.
An ordinary life experience happened two weeks ago: my father-in-law passed away. We had already planned to move him and my mother-in-law in with us, so it shouldn’t have been too overwhelming when that got moved up. We were buying a bigger house and planned to move both households into it.
Switch that, we moved them both in our old house before we got the new house.
Switch that, he passed away and the new house evaporated.
Switch that, we are staying in our old house with my MIL.
Switch that, we are moving her whole house of stuff into our already stuffed house. My husband and I are sleeping in a corner of a basement that resembles a warehouse that was attacked by school-age ninjas searching for socks in the dark.
When my oldest sons swoop in to stay on their days off, they are now crashed in the living room instead of the basement. No sleep for the basement dwellers as they stomp around over our heads until 3am.
Today the satellite dish guy had to get in the basement to set up tv service. We just used antenna before. MIL is used to satellite. I had to scramble to move boxes and furniture to expose the wall jack. Then pick up odd trash and toys, a cat litter box, and vacuum. Then I washed down the wall to get off the hand prints, dripped splashes from spills and a layer of crud on the baseboard that would excite an archeologist. As I clean, I can’t help but think that if one of my snobbier relatives got a close look at my house they would start having dry heaves. One corner of the house at a time, I am being forced to clean every inch of it. Thank you for opportunities?
I cling to the thought that eventually, the house will get organized and maybe even be remotely clean. Time will pass and the pain of losing a loved one will diminish enough that it doesn’t rub us raw anymore. My MIL’s questions about when did he die and did he suffer will slow down to four times an hour instead of four times a minute as the knowledge sinks in.
It’s living on the edge of your seat when someone you live with has Short Term Memory Problems. I see now why Marlin got frustrated with Dori. After 7:30pm, she does complete reversals on previously held opinions. At any moment tonight I expected, “You want a piece of me? Huh? Huh?”
As I listen to her morph into her alter ego, I look around the room and wonder if I’ll find places for the fifteen house plants in my living room. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. They are full of life and green. Their cheerful bows and florist inspired arrangements remind me that life goes on, even when you feel like you can’t. God bless people who sent flowers because even when I’m too tired to lift my legs up onto the bed, surveying the warehouse of over-stuffed boxes of laundry, they give me hope that tomorrow we will be one day closer to boring. Blessed boring.
For now, I will just try to figure out how I could drink the better part of a bottle of wine and still be on duty 24 hours a day. I’m not sure how I can do that. Bleh. I miss wine.