I've never seen Finding Nemo, but isn't there something about "just keep swimming"?
That's kind of what I've been doing. I still feel kind of like I'm underwater. I'm going through the motions, and sometimes, it feels like everything is back to normal. Then it kind of hits me again. Ugh. But I'm getting through it I guess, as are my brothers and my mom. Times passing, and that means it's getting better, right? It's certainly not my only thought all day, every day anymore. So that's progress.
Work has been a beat-down, which is kind of a welcome distraction in some ways. One of my coworkers had a serious family medical issue that started last August. It got significantly worse over the course of a month, and I guess has gotten progressively better since then? (Co-worker's father sustained serious injury, three weeks in the hospital, died, then co-worker sold mother's house and she moved in with co-worker and my co-worker's family, then she needed two separate operations and is now in a rehab facility. Yow.) And it turns out that my co-worker didn't really ask for help when all this was happening and largely neglected at least the case load I care about (I think my coworker handled cases on some other programs, but not the one I work on). So of the 50 or so cases my coworker had on this program, I've voluntarily assumed 20 of them. Whew! So I'm trying to get up to speed on about 20 cases that haven't really been touched in almost a year. It's certainly an undertaking.
And I've been traveling A LOT for work. Like back when I was working at a big firm. Mostly, Philly, but there has been some LA, and there's some upcoming Illinois and New Mexico Last week was particularly dreadful -- I was actually scheduled to be in town all week. I worked from home Wednesday (per my usual routine), and at 3:00, while still in my gym clothes, was told I needed to be in court in Philly at 9:00 Thursday morning. Ugh. So it was the whole drill -- find a plane ticket, find a hotel, shower, pack, get out the door. All in less than an hour. I had to call my husband from the car and tell him I was going, and wasn't sure if I'd be back the next day or not. And then I had to come back to Philly yesterday, and I'm probably stuck here all week. Fortunately Philly is a pretty awesome city.
The worst part about the work travel is going back home. I don't know why it doesn't bother me when I fly out of DFW, but when I land, I get that overwhelmingly sad feeling. Last week, I got off the plane and broke down in the bathroom. I actually met a nice girl from Germany who was connecting in Dallas for her visit to the US ever (flying to Killeen to visit her cousin who married someone who's in the military). I came out of stall where I was bawling because I realized there was a line. She didn't speak much English, but she tried asking, and I totally unloaded on her. I don't like stranger hugs, but sometimes, when that's all that's available, it works.
I've even been having dreams about the airport lately. Mostly where I try not to say goodbye to my mom and my stepdad when they leave. Sometimes though they haven't visited yet and he's already died but they're somehow allowed to come visit because the trip was already planned. I guess it could be worse -- my middle little brother has had three dreams where my stepdad (his dad) is sitting there crying and everything is just going on around him. I guess it's only been 10.5 weeks. These things take time. I know.
My poor husband -- I crawl into bed on days I fly home and I'm so distraught, I wake him up, and he gets stuck listening to me and trying to console me. He must be wondering how much longer this will last. He's certainly the bright spot in my world. I'm so lucky, I'm not sure I'd be so patient with myself. He certainly wasn't like this after his dad died in January. But that was so different in some ways. I think the sudden-ness of this is maybe the heart of my struggle? Just not getting to say what I wanted to say? Not knowing that airport hug goodbye 2 weeks and 5 days before it happened was a forever goodbye?
But in faith that things will at some point get back to normal, we booked our vacation tickets on Saturday. That's certainly something to look forward to. We've decided to fly into Cape Town (via Doha), and then out of Livingstone.
So it may be very, very dark still, but there is this little spot on the horizon. I just have to keep swimming and I'll get there eventually.