There are events we anticipate, plan for, prepare for in advance – maybe days or weeks or months ahead of time. And then there are the other things that come up unexpectedly and cannot be ignored. They are suddenly there, in front of you, leaving you gasping for air with no choice but to stop and rearrange your life as best you can, or, rather, watch as your life rearranges itself before your eyes.
This Saturday, a friend of my family, who we've known since he was just a kid, will be getting married. The invitations went out weeks ago. Ours mistakenly went to my parents-in-law (the Hubs was named after his dad), but, eventually, it made its way to us – hand-delivered by my father-in-law on his way home from work – and we all had a good laugh about the mix up.
But news doesn't always come in carefully selected stationery. Sometimes it's too urgent. I received a text earlier this week telling me that some of my parents' closest friends, friends from another part of their life, who I've known as long as I can remember because they were friends before I was born, just lost their youngest son. I haven't seen him in years, but we all used to play together as kids. He was about the same age as my younger brother – so, mid-twenties. And now he's gone. And I can't imagine what his parents and siblings are going through.
My parents will have house guests this week – one here for the funeral and the other here for the wedding. I went over the other night to help them get ready and brought dinner, because I didn't know what else to do. I guess it doesn't matter what life throws at you – people still need to eat and something always needs cleaning. And, during times like these, we all just take care of each other the best we can. Isn't that what everyone does?
Today, it was a voicemail. Mom's voice was steady, but something told me that when she said "call me back," she meant it. Over the phone, she delivered the news that her Uncle Bud just passed away. When her voice started to waver, we talked about something else. And then we went out to lunch. There's just too much going on right now to process it all. But people still need to eat.
As I was typing this, the Hubs finished his take-home exam for seminary. He came down with a big grin on his face and announced, "One class down, only 23 to go!" (only! 23!)
For now, we have I have my evenings with him back. And on Saturday, we will dress up and go to a funeral in the morning and a wedding in the afternoon. Mom will be checking on flights to Colorado. Everyone will still need to eat, and we'll all just keep cooking and cleaning and working and planning and dealing with the things you could never plan for. And, of course, taking care of each other the best we can.
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