not the end

Teapot and Teapot’s dad have been sick the past few weeks. And by weeks, I mean almost three. It’s been really hard on all of us. Teapot didn’t sleep through the night at all the whole time she was sick, hacking up gobs and gobs of phlegm and bile and dinner at midnight and not going back to sleep for an hour. Then came antibiotics. Then came the antibiotic-induced diarrhea and diaper rash and literal screaming at every diaper change.

Somewhere in the middle of all that mucous, I got an email from my secondary employer stating that my assignments were being slashed; my income was taking a bit hit. I’d had that job – in some incarnation or another – since before Teapot’s dad and I got married. It was gutting.

On the weekend, we went to ride the miniature trains about 10 minutes’ drive away. We needed to get out of the house, breathe some fresh air. We took the dog, too; Teapot’s dad took her on the off-leash trails while Teapot and I rode the trains. After, we ordered take-out from our favorite Italian restaurant and waited the half-hour in the children’s park. Teapot went down the slide, bounced on the see-saw, swung in the swings and looked for airplanes. Teapot’s dad and the dog endured child after child wanting to pet the dog, who tolerated the sticky hands and ear tugs with steely resignation.

I got disposable utensils from the restaurant and we drove to the funeral park to put flowers on my mom’s grave. We opened the trunk of the car and sat there on the side of the lane. The sun was setting, glorious peach and pink filling the sky. We were the only ones there that we could see. The day was warm for October. We ate slices of meatball and pieces of gnocci one at a time, blowing the heat from each morsel. We watched a V of geese flying south. I think my mom would have liked it – us coming to have dinner with her. Later, Teapot’s dad pointed out the moon rising to Teapot while I cleaned away the garbage.

It was the first time I didn’t cry leaving the cemetary.

Things still suck. I miss the money from that job, but take comfort that we were smart enough during our financial planning meetings to not rely on that income stream; we’ll be okay. And it’s funny, after a few days of fretting, I actually feel free. Teapot’s diaper rash is finally, finally clearing up. And Teapot’s dad is getting better, too. It’s all slow, but maybe that’s how we heal.

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