Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The cruelest season

I had to put my wife on a plane to the States this morning. A family member passed away, not entirely unexpectedly, but a bit of a shock nonetheless. For those of you who may have known her blog, back when she was keeping it up, you will know a bit of the back story to that. So as she finds herself grieving and trying to negotiate her family and potentially hostile territory (this relative lived in a state where we won't travel with our family because the laws are bad enough that we couldn't trust a judge to side with us if someone decided it was in our son's best interest not to live with two women), I am temporarily a single parent as I try to finish up my semester. Scooter and I are both sick and grumpy; we miss Trillian.

I should be working on my paper. I should be reading for my class on Friday. I should be writing my holiday post for Mommy Blogs Toronto. But unfortunately, this is pretty much what I would come up with right now:

While I generally enjoy the holidays, this time of year brings with it many reminders of sadness.

Fifteen years ago this month, we lost both my grandfather and my father. Both had been ill for months, my father on and off for years. But suddenly they were gone in less than a month. Only my mother made it to my grandfather's service, and she came home to a husband who was in deteriorating condition.

Almost four years ago, just after New Year's, while I was in my third trimester, my grandmother passed away. My uncle followed about a month later. I couldn't get to either service because I couldn't fly and both deaths happened as our area was struck by winter storms that paralyzed all car and train traffic.

This year, it's in my wife's family. One of the things that upset Trillian most was that she had been planning another trip down to help out once her family member was out of the ICU. Everyone told her she didn't need to hurry down, plus while she was recovering from pneumonia, there's no chance they would have let her into the unit to visit. And I have a fear that the previous pattern may be repeated since another of her family members has been diagnosed with a type of cancer that generally has a poor survival rate. One small ray of hope is that it has turned out to be more localized than originally expected, so there may be more treatment options available.

Tonight I'm wallowing. Tomorrow I may make cookies and try to recapture the holiday spirit.


metro mama said...

Oh, I'm sorry. It is particularly hard when things like this happen at this time of year.

Mad Hatter said...

Mouse, I am sorry to hear this. I have lost a lot of family over the holidays these last few years. I know how hard it can be.

Lisa b said...

Each time I read something you write like this statement about states having laws where your child could be taken away I am just overwhelmed. It terrifies me that such ignorance exists. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this and that it just compounds your worries and troubles when dealing with family illness.

Mouse said...

At times I'm appalled by my own statements about US law, but usually it's very matter-of-fact for me. We weigh our options carefully whenever we travel. We occasionally go visit some of my family in red states with unfavorable laws because we stick to liberal counties with good court records and family support. But this area where Trillian's relatives live doesn't meet those criteria. In fact once when we expressed concern about taking Scooter there, Trillian's mother emailed a family friend who had been a family court judge in that state to have him assure us it would be fine to come down for a family celebration; his response was that he wouldn't advise it because he didn't trust the judges who were there.

Maybe that will change someday. It would be nice for this not to be an accepted aspect of my daily concerns.