Respite – Day 2

Childhoods end…

Every year, we would pack up for the weekend. We would drive for miles Out the Road. I’m sure the road had a proper name, but to us, it was simply Out the Road. Thru the trees and along the beachy coastline. Too often, I’d fall asleep, just wanting to be there. When I’d open my eyes, we’d be pulling into the parkinglot facing the small inlet. Other families unloading their bags and packing them onto the small cart. This was it, the beginning of the long journey by foot, along the beach, around the wide corner, and to the camp site..

Respite, day 2. Or maybe not. There is no real rest to be had here. But it is not me who is the unlucky one. Perhaps I am actually fortunate, to be here, at this time…

We were a group of families that showed us kids love. We were a group of kids, all adopted. We were a group of kids who were invincible. In hindsight, my childhood was probably pretty idealic. We all grew up in a bubble of safety and ease. And maybe to some extent, I accidentally left my soul back there. Back where it was all safe and easy. Because I can’t make sense of this. These things don’t happen to us. We don’t die of drug overdoses. We don’t get rare forms of aggressive cancer. We have kids, and husbands, and lives. We are only in our 30s for Gods sake.

I woke up this morning, to a snow covered dreamy landscape. Coffee was brought to me, and all the fur babies were nestled into my covers. It wasn’t long before I realized I was actually in a horrible reality. My childhood friend, one of the crew, one of Us, was dying.. 

“We don’t know how long she has. She wants to be married tonight. Please come…”

The snow is melting and our coffee grows cold. Its easy to put on the brave face now, but I don’t know what will happen later. I’ve had my share of death before. Family members passing, patients at the hospital passing… but this is different. This is not right. And I’m a little bit scared..

This weekend we all packed our bags. We made the long drive to the ferry terminal. Along a road whos name I don’t know. Some, coming from even further. Thru the trees and to the sea. I fall asleep, not sure what we will be arriving to. When I open my eyes, we pull into the small terminal facing the sea. Other cars fill the lot as we wait. This is it, the beginning of something that will change us all forever, something cruel and unfair, but undeniable..

And when she goes, alone, we will be a group of families that show each other nothing but love..

Respite – Day 1

You’ll know you’ve fallen in love when you no longer want to sleep, because reality is finally better than your dreams…

I slept. I slept. I slept til afternoon. And I dreamt. One tiny Trazodone to help me sleep, one tiny doorway into the world of dreams. And in my dreams, my heart was breaking. A love I’ve clung onto, was falling in love with someone else. By mistake, I was late, or took a wrong turn, or some other random chance, and saw her climb out his window. And with a blush, and a sigh, I knew she was falling in love with him too…

I claw my way out of slumber, like demons climbing out of hell. It is light out and the digital clock on the nightstand taunts my unseeing eyes. I hear the sounds of cooking from somewhere downstairs, and the deep rumble of my displeased cat. I put my glasses on and am surprised to find its noon. I’d slept for 12 hrs straight. The cats both emerge from their hiding places, and follow me into the bathroom..

The day is cold, wintery, and with the leisure beholden a Saturday, we drive down into town for coffee. We drive past the other coffee shops til we reach the end, a special coffee shop. The coffee shop with a How-To juggling book on its shelf. The coffee shop that is a cross between casual and serious. (Casual cat t-shirts and flannel. Serious weigh each shot of esspresso for perfection in a cup.) The coffee shop that drew a penis in my cappuccino foam years ago for a laugh. Nothing like a Cockoccino to start your day..

I sometimes forget how much I like this perfect little dream town. Coffee shops where you can make your baristas blush. Bookstores where clerks know the exact location of the book you want. Theaters that show real movies, not just the Hollywood stuff. And the sea..

I bite into a yellow apple and can’t recall the last time I’ve just eaten an apple. Each bite, juicy and dreamy. I meet a cat with two odd back legs. Living a difficult life, but living it none the less. He pulls his back legs behind him as he crosses the store to greet us. No less life in him, no less drive, despite his handicap. An old man tells me a story about spliced apple trees and magical bites. A distant time, a mystery apple. “Happy bedding…” he says, as we depart.

We return home, only hrs later. My head is foggy and I still feel the pull of sleep. I ascend the stairs, and let slumber take me..