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[personal profile] eafm
It's been a sad week here. Last Friday my FIL passed away, totally unexpectedly. There isn't going to be any sort of ceremonies or gatherings until a memorial over the summer, and we didn't see him very often (he moved down south with his wife a few years ago), so it's been even more discombobulating than deaths often are, because it hasn't felt entirely real. And it seems to have tapped into my own grief for my grandparents in weird ways, so that even though it's been a year since Grandma died (almost exactly -- a year ago friday was when she went into the hospital, and she died on the 23rd), I keep finding myself half-thinking "has anyone told Grandma and Grandpa about Al, yet?" Brains and emotions and memories and time-sense are weird.

I'd said to my MIL (she and my FIL split many years ago, but they were still fairly close) that we were thinking of having something small, just to get together and remember Al and mark his passing, if she was interested in joining us in that. She offered to host, saying that would be easier for me (And she's right, our place is always cluttered, even when it's clean, because we use the diningroom table for crafts and games and paperwork and currently it houses the printer), so yesterday we went over there, along with my parents and my aunt, for a small, informal memorial. MIL made the Spanish Potatoes and String Beans she learned to make from her MIL, who brought it with her from Spain. I made Garlic and Greens soup, and roasted peppers, and Joe picked up fresh mozz, and Dunkin Donuts coffee, which was my FIL's constant companion.

The dynamics were a little tricky -- I was trying to give her as much authorship over the plans as she wanted, which involved a bit of guessing on my part, while still making sure Joe's and Sarah's needs for the evening were being met. There were things that didn't go quite as I'd hoped they would, but I think everyone got what they needed out of the day, so I'm glad for that. The food was good, and it was good to be surrounded by family who were there to support us.

I will say one thing for my family of origin. They drive me up a wall sometimes, but they recognize and appreciate and acknowledge emotional labor. Every single one of them I've spoken to has acknowledged the work I've been doing recently (this week and in other situations over the last year) to notice and support folks' emotional needs. (my little family does this too, all the time, and I appreciate that greatly, but it stands out to me as more noteworthy and surprising with my family of origin)

Today Sarah has a friend coming over for a visit, and I'm going out to see my usual friday-tea-with-friends people. Tomorrow I've got my women's circle coming over. Sunday... Crap, I have to get in touch with my aunt to let her know about Easter -- I'll be going and bringing my MIL, but Joe and Sarah won't be attending. I'd been planning to let her know on Monday but then life got chaotic and I wanted to wait a bit.

And then we start picking threads back up. JFC. Last year I screwed up and did the taxes super late because tax day fell while Grandma was in the hospital and I was not together at all. And here we are again, taxes are due and I'm just dragging myself back together. But so next week will be anti-procrastination week. Just getting to the point where the most important things are getting done and we're slowly getting back to all our good habits.
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