On Friday morning my husband and I talked over coffee about how to celebrate our 55th anniversary. We decided just dinner out and dessert at home. Maybe watch a movie on Netflix. Plans changed as the day wore on.
The last few years have had some difficult times. Our daughter died after a long struggle with COPD and other complications. We made it through this together one day at a time by concentrating on our remaining family and supporting each other. Our daughter’s grown children moved in with us which filled our days and gave me ways to fill my time.
My elderly mother-in-law sold her home and moved into a retirement home. We took care of the sale and the move and I took on managing her affairs and we took care of moving her again when she needed to go to assisted living and then again when she was hospitalized after about her fifth fall and had to go to a nursing home. She died in January after one year of isolation due to the virus. Now we are managing her estate.
My husband’s older brother battled Alzheimers for nine years and died on Friday. Jerry’s younger brother died several years ago and his father has been dead for twenty years, so Jerry is all that is left from his family. I have a brother and sister who both live far away. My parents have been dead for a long time.
While she was living with us our granddaughter had a baby girl just six months after her mom died. She was going to school and working part time and we helped with the baby. The baby’s father had been working out of town but lost his job and also moved in to take care of the baby and look for work close to home. They had a second baby girl when the first was eighteen months old, so we had this family of four and our grandson living in our house until she finished school, went to work and they moved into their own home.
A few months after our granddaughter’s family moved out our grandson found a job in another city and he moved out. His dog stayed with us, so we don’t have a completely empty nest.
All this history leads up to the anniversary date that we just weren’t up for after my sister-in-law called to tell us that the brother was now at peace. We got burgers from a drive through and spent the evening with memories of those we have lost along the way. One more time we have to go through the grief and adjust to another empty place in our hearts. It has become commonplace, but not really easier.
Now we have fewer obligations, fewer demands on our time and we don’t always know what to do with ourselves. What’s my point? Damn if I know. I know that I got through today by cleaning house and walking the dog. I will probably get through tomorrow the same way. If I figure this all out I will let you know.