Saturday, September 15, 2012

summertime summary

As you know, I spent three months on crutches. During that time my kid went back to the US for her annual summer visit. I was scheduled to follow her out a month later and then we'd return together.

Not what happened. I got off crutches, went to a wedding in southern Moravia, was mistaken for a prostitute by a rather dirty nearly toothless man in a car who followed me while I walked to the wedding brunch, went to graduation, went on a weekend trip to Slapy, and then, just before I was to fly to the US for a pleasant summer holiday, the kid called to let me know she'd decided to stay.

So I packed an extra suitcase and moved over some of her favorite things. While I was there it wasn't so easy. There was an underlying level of tension in the air and a lot of preoccupation which made it hard to connect to the people I love most. Another family member was in failing health and that caused a great level of totally understandable stress. After three weeks, the chance to see my siblings and nephews and some friends, and celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday I returned.

And then I had to start adjusting to being alone, not waiting for the kid to come back, but truly being alone for the first time in my adult life. Temporarily I have someone staying in her room, but that's truly temporarily. The cat is still here.

And now, just over a month after my return. I've had a family member pass away. This isn't the moment in which I'll pay tribute to him, but rather the moment in which I'm updating the events in my life. It wasn't sudden, he was in ill health for a long period of time and deteriorated while I was visiting. It doesn't make the loss of his physical being any less. It hurts. And it hurts knowing that I"m not present to be part of my family at this moment. I'm not able to share in the joy and the love and memories that are free flowing as he gave all of us so much and so many. And I'm not there to sit with my mom or my daughter or my grandma. I'm here, alone, and crying.

The last few months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. The time spent on crutches brought an underlying injury to my arms and hands to the forefront and I'm dealing with ongoing pain and required medication. Getting blindsided by the kid, adjusting my life and mentality to the empty nest and now the loss of a loved one.  I've taken a bit of a break from a lot of things. This post doesn't necessarily mean I've returned, but in case it's a while longer before I write again... well, now you know what's going on.

I hope you are all happy and healthy. And maybe you can sit down and write or call someone you love but don't see very often. Make sure the people you love don't just know it on an inner level but are aware of it on an ongoing basis.


I forgot - due to a rash of deaths this week from methanol poisoning the Czech government has suspended sales of all hard alcohol - anything over 20%. In respects to liquor this country is dry until the government can identify the source and destroy all of the poisonous alcohol. People have bought it in stores and restaurants across the country and so far 20 people have died and an unknown number have been blinded and otherwise seriously injured. There are a number of people here in an uproar about this "prohibition" and deprivation of alcohol. I think that's an ignorant and shortsighted stance. The government is going shop to shop, bar to bar and restaurant to restaurant to make sure that what is available isn't going to kill the consumer. Then it, the suspension of sales, will be over. Chill out.