The last post I put up was not quite one year ago. To be honest, it has been difficult to find time to write. Even more than that, I haven’t had the desire to write about anything. Life, to be honest, has just been too busy. Most of the activity has been normal life stuff, but there have been some things that I should have written about. Because life has a strange way of throwing curve balls at any of us…
An example of this centers around our changing domicile. My wife and I had to pack up and move this past November. It was not a voluntary move; the property management company that owned the house decided they were going to turn the property into a laundromat.
A laundromat. Kind of a strange use for a single story house. But there it is. At the time of this writing, over five months later, no work has been done with that house. I find that interesting just by itself.
We were given 30 days to move. This was at the beginning of October. Not a lot of time to find another place to live, pack up an entire household, and find movers to bring our stuff from house to house. Surprisingly, however, we.were able to do just that. We were able to locate a house for rent on the east side of Manchester. A two story home with a detached garage and a full unfinished basement on a double corner lot. More expensive than what we were paying, to be sure, but you get what you pay for. It has been, and continues to be, a good place to live.
So we packed up our belongings, which took a considerable amount of time, and we prepared the new place, in terms of cleaning, painting, and general stuff that needed to be done. Plus we had to clean the place we were leaving, which admittedly wasn’t to hard to do.
So the day of the move came. We had hired movers and my wife was supervising their movements. I had to work that day, and she had said to me that this would be okay. She also told me not to worry about the move and to concentrate on working, or words to that effect. And I believed her; she has always had talent for making things go smoothly.
Those were famous last words. Little did I know how badly things were going to go off of the rails.
I had been busy on shift the day of the move. It was a cloudy, damp day; in hindsight, these were perfect conditions in which things could go wrong. At about 11:30 that morning my cell phone rang. It was my wife calling. When I answered and she started talking, I knew something was wrong. I don’t know why I knew that, but it was apparent after about 10 seconds that there was big trouble. In the transit from house to house something happened where she blacked out or had fallen asleep behind the steering wheel of her car; we don’t know which. When that happened she drifted across the road into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a large truck. Her airbags had deployed, our dog (who was in the back seat) got thrown around pretty violently, and a bunch of stuff in the cargo area of her car got damaged or destroyed as a result. And the car was totaled.
In her telling me what happened she sounded pretty disoriented. My level of worry and anxiety had bubbled over the top of the container at that point, and I told her to go to the hospital to get evaluated and to find either our daughter or son-in-law to get the dog. She originally was going to refuse care and hope deal with the movers but I convinced her that this was not a good idea. She reluctantly agreed. After I hung up the phone I explained to my manager what had happened and that I needed to go. He cut me loose without a second thought.
When I got on the road I have no doubt I broke many, many traffic laws getting to Manchester from Haverhill. I got to my (new) house to find my son-in-law and moving truck parked in the driveway. He had his children and my dog in his truck. We got the house opened and the movers started unloading and bringing stuff inside. That was a bit of a challenge as the movers spoke limited English. While they were working I got an opportunity to check out my dog. She was listless and her gums were pale, both bad signs. I had no idea what was going on with her. My daughter and wife got to the house later on. She had a concussion and a broken wrist, plus she had bruises all over her chest. Bad enough, but it could have been much worse. She walked away from it, a minor miracle in itself. As for the dog, we were worried enough that we brought her to the veterinarian where we learned she had a laceration on her spleen and was bleeding internally. She ended up staying for a couple of days to be treated and observed.
It sucked. And there were more hits to follow.
Two weeks later I got a phone call in the middle of the night from one of my nephews. He told me that his mother – my sister – had suffered from a massive head bleed about 12 hours before. Turns out she had a brain aneurysm, which she knew she had and chose to not have intervened with, that ruptured. There was nothing that could be done as brain herniation had occurred. She was put on comfort measures and died 18 hours later. I did get to see her a couple of hours before she died. More importantly, I got to check in with members of my family who were there with her. Just the same, it was difficult. Her health had been pretty tenuous over the previous year, and there was a lot wrong that I knew nothing about. We weren’t incredibly close, but I’ve felt badly because I think I could have done a better job being a good brother. There are a lot of reasons I wasn’t, none of them especially good. But I’ve made sure to keep the door open as far as her children are concerned.
The challenges have slowed to a trickle, and they are much easier overall. But there are still days where life is just plain tough. All we can do is deal one challenge at a time. I do the best I can.