Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Death, Birth, Life

So, my friend died. And then my other friend died. One I had only met in person once, and we kept making plans to get together that never quite materialized. One I had never met in person and it was unlikely that I ever would. This doesn't really matter - Nicole summed up nicely how Internet friendships are not in any way inferior copies of real-life friendships here and here. It does mean that I'm very aware of not being anything close to a primary mourner, but I am heartsick and bereft and can't even imagine how devastated their families are. I also got kind of scared to open Facebook, which was where I found out about both (very unexpected) deaths. My husband came home and said "My Facebook was blowing up about Greg from Science School" and I started tearing up before he could spit out that Greg wasn't dead, it was just really cool that now his daughter was going to the same Science School where my husband met him.

Then my dad had a sudden-onset crippling vertigo thing that landed him in the hospital for a couple of days being CT-scanned and examined by a neurologist and unable to move out of a bed without falling. This was terrifying and surreal and also sort of screwily wonderful, because it showed how my family maintains their cock-eyed humour and smartassery even in the face of fear and medical uncertainty. The paramedics said they hadn't had so much fun on a call in weeks. It turns out that it was probably a virus, since the doctors couldn't find any causative factor and we heard anecdotal reports of other people having the same thing. Still, it was exhausting and scary and showed how everything can turn in an instant. Which I knew, of course, but there's knowing and knowing, you know?

In the midst of all this, I finished my placement at my kids' old school library by running a book fair from start to finish. It was a lot of hours of being on my feet, and dealing with volunteers and kids and parents, and moving stuff and fixing stuff and adding stuff and counting stuff, and my head was usually pounding at the end of the day, but it was wildly successful and very rewarding. Kids ran into the library yelling "Looks great, Mrs. McCaskill!" Kids pumped their fists when they were given their book fair time slots. Everybody bought Monsters Love Underpants and kitten posters. Then Katy did my evaluation for the placement and said she had to take out the thesaurus to look up a bunch of synonyms for 'excellent', and it was just really nice to feel so wanted, and competent, and appreciated.

I've been really happy for the past few weeks. Like, really, weirdly, several-days-at-a-time happy. I was working just enough in a really fun position where I saw people I liked every day, I had just enough structured time and just enough down time, and I felt good. So of course when things started to go haywire I wondered if I shouldn't have been so happy. If being happy was taking my hands off the wheel and not paying attention was what made stuff go wrong for other people. Or if I stole someone's happiness right when they really, really needed it. Intelligent, logical stuff like that.

And in the midst of it all,  my sister-in-law went ahead and produced this magical creature.


And Matt and Angus met her when they were in Toronto last week-end for baseball.


And Eve is green with envy, so this week-end Eve and I go to meet the baby, and the goddamned vicious, cursed, perverse, wonderful, beautiful circle of life goes around. And around.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Halting and Catching Fire

It's been a strange, exhausting few weeks. I'm happy about some things, sad about some things, and my computer keeps overheating and shutting off every few minutes. But I'm still here. And I just realized I really want to talk about all of it. So stick around if you feel like it, okay?