Here we are, at the last day of August.
In early May, brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and declined rapidly. In June, he died. July is a blur, as my mother was declining. She died in early August. Today I got word that a family friend had died, two weeks shy of his fiftieth anniversary, after he had announced that he intended to stay around long enough to dance with his wife to celebrate that milestone.
I have a hole in my life now that I don't go to the nursing home every day and worry worry worry about my mother's care. I don't have the constant preoccupation to distract me. I grieved so much during her illness that I find I feel more of a sense of relief than anything else, but sadness that we all got gypped when it came to quality time.
Now that I haven't got the preoccupations, I spend more time with my kids, maybe just give them more of my attention, more time on the house, more time on homework, more time on reading. I find my mind is clearer when I do my schoolwork. Maybe "a hole" isn't the best way to describe it. Maybe it is not a void in a negative sense, but a big, open space: my life is no longer so compressed. I have parts that I can fill up however I wish.
And I want to choose things which give me joy.
After six years, I'm not used to that.