First-world problems here. But enough little losses to strip away so many attachments. Two of my daughters broke up with their long-time beaux. Maybe for the best, but I still miss them. Home felt empty. They had been a constant presence; they were on my short list for pall bearers. Their joining the family had seemed inevitable and then they were gone.
We had been renting from my in-laws and when they sold their home their advisor decided that our townhouse was a liability that they should unload as soon as possible. I did my share of lamenting. First wondering aloud how our house would sell when there were similar houses on Smith which had been on the market for a long time. Then I ranted that the fall was the worst possible time for this...two daughters still living at home and just starting new jobs. By October I am already getting into Christmas mode at work. Late fall and Advent is probably my busiest and most focused time at work, not to mention the usual work a mom puts into Christmas preparations for her family. Couldn't this wait until spring?
I must admit that I was not a particularly cooperative tenant when it came time for the realtor to bring people through the house. I made my bed, tidied up a bit, made sure my underwear was out of sight. But that was the extent of my help. I didn't really come unglued until the realtor scheduled viewings for Sunday morning. Sunday morning? The Sabbath. My dedicated slack time to relax and take my time getting ready to go to Mass. And now we were being asked to evacuate our home on Sunday mornings.
I had another diversion in October. A young woman who worked in our parish was engaged and two of my work companions and I decided to give her a shower. It got a little out of control - but it was fun. And a fine diversion. I hand made the invitations, putting my Martha Stewart paper punch to its first real use. Then I devised a little prayer card (edged in gold) to go along with the invitations. And there were the decorations....trips to Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Michaels. We pulled together an array of pink and gold tulle, ribbon and various objects. And the menu....my friends cooked a grand assortment of divine appetizers. My cooking skills are a bit dull, so I bought a bunch of things at Costco and took care of the cupcake desserts; each little cake frosted with a delicate pink rose.
The combined stresses didn't hit me until days before the shower, when I was stalking the Halloween candy aisles at Target looking for any candies wrapped in pink or gold. This was not easy. If we had been working; around Christmas or St.Valentine's Day it would have been easy. At Halloween it was an overwhelming challenge. The pink in the the gossamer candy bags was provided by individual packs of Orbit bubble gum. That was all I could find. And I was thankful that the Hershey Kisses with almonds came in gold foil. I left Target sweating profusely and feeling like my head was going to explode.
I still felt 'unwell' the day of the shower. And that day was a virtual shower of surprises. Shortly after I got to work I tried to text someone - and found out that my phone had been turned off. So I had to get a message to Rick to pay the #&@! bill. I think the first call that I got when the phone was turned back on was Rick calling to tell me that his parents had received an offer on our house. The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a daze. I remember going to a staff meeting. I don't remember what transpired at the meeting; even my notes are a bit vague. There must have been a while I just stared out the window.
The shower was a tremendous success. Everyone had a good time. I think I had a good time. But there was the throbbing in my head, the feverish glow, the feeling of everything spinning around me.
Actually, I was sick. Spent the next two days in bed with aches, fever, sore throat, and "flu like" symptoms, though I had had my flu shot several weeks before. Even with that protection there are viruses out there waiting to attack. My throat turned out NOT to be strep, so when I returned to work I could apologize if I was spreadding viri on everyone, but at least it wasn't strep.
While I spent two days in bed with fever and chills, Rick began the morose task of finding a new home for us. It did not look promising. More horrifying than promising. Time to leave our modest little pocket of wonderland and survey the "real world" for a place to land.
A Chance to Do a Work of Mercy
4 hours ago