Wow! That was a week I wasn't expecting.
At this time last week I was wondering what I should do about the job posting in London. Less than 24 hours later I was faced with another decision.
Should I go to my Mother's funeral.
I was sent a message on Facebook from a very close childhood friend. A friend I haven't really spoken to since I went off to college 16 years ago. Her message was very urgent, and urged me to call her as soon as I got the message. As I was dialing the number, I realized what it was probably about. She was Facebook friends with my brother. Why else would she want to talk to me so urgently? I was right, she wanted to give me the news that my mother had died that morning. She was chatting with my brother online and passing the information to me as she got it. I thanked her for letting me know, and apologized for her having to get in the middle of this horrible situation.
As I've written before, I haven't spoken to my parents since just after my youngest child was born. At that time, I had made the decision that my parents were too emotionally poisonous to be around. Based on this, I didn't want my parents - specifically my mother - around me or my family again. I mourned the loss of the people who raised me just over 3 years ago. I've already dealt with my grief. Why bring up the past again?
Going to the funeral wouldn't be for me. I had no interest, or need, to go. It would have been for my father. I still love my father. I've missed him terribly since the last, horrible time we spoke. I hate that he's having to go through this by himself. So, I decided that once I knew when the funeral was going to be I would start making travel arrangements so I could be there.
The day after I found out, and once I had made my decision to attend the funeral, I called my father for the first time in 3 years to give my condolences. After a little bit, I got up the courage to ask when the funeral was going to be. His response, "it's kinda hard to plan a funeral when she isn't even dead yet".
Um, excuse me? What do you mean?
My father explained that she had been taken off of life support the day I spoke to my friend, but that my mother was still breathing on her own more than 24 hours later.
I asked my father why I was given different information and he didn't know. The only explanation he had was that my friend had misunderstood what my brother had told her. Well, I didn't want to get into an argument with him and didn't give him all of the information regarding what was posted on my brother's Facebook wall. According to my father, my brother could not have been mistaken since my father and brother had been speaking multiple times a day. If my brother wasn't mistaken, then he was an ass - plain and simple.
To say I was livid, is an understatement. My whole life, my brother has made all events about him instead of who they were really about - which is precisely why he wasn't even invited to my wedding. It took me hours to calm down from my anger at my brother. I couldn't get over why he would post on his Facebook page that our mother died Wednesday morning, when on Thursday night she was still alive.
It turned out that my anger was all for naught. I got an email from my father the next morning saying that she had died a few hours ago. During the conversation I had with him on Thursday night, my father had said that there wouldn't be a funeral or a memorial. That he was going to have her cremated and bury her ashes on their property in Vermont.
Which brings me to the next bit of stress in my life.
All weekend we were watching the CNN coverage of hurricane Irene. Not once during the broadcasts we were watching did we hear anything about the damage that was happening to Vermont. When I arrived at work on Monday morning I was saddened to see the main story on Yahoo News was about the very town my father's house is in. The property that he was planning on bringing my mother's ashes to in order to bury them where she was happiest. As it is right now, the town the property is in has been cut off from all directions. We have no way of knowing whether the house is even still standing - the house that was less than 100 feet from what turned into a raging river with very low banks. For some reason, this has saddened me more than the death of my mother.
Oh, and I made a decision about what to do about the job in London. I'm not going to apply. In fact, we don't think we want to move there at all now. Right now, we just want to stop putting our lives on hold - as they've been since the beginning of the year. We promised to revisit the idea of a move in the future, but for now we're staying put. Maybe not in the same town, but at least we'll be staying in the US. That's something at least.