My sister and I, Paris, 2013. Image courtesy of brother in law (blurry, but one of my favorites.)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016
It was finally Friday and it was time to get out of here. I went to work for a half day and did my best to get through the few hours. I never got an oil change like I wanted and my oil life had since dropped to 10%. I am not sure why I obsessed over it, but I knew that the trip out west put me over and I didn’t like the idea of something happening to the car on the turnpike. The day before, I made an appointment and that would be my last errand before I left; better to be safe than sorry. It took a while and I was feeling a little restless. The TV show Divorce Court was on the waiting room TV. This was almost the last thing I wanted to watch, couples that wanted to get married and crap. As soon as my car was finished getting serviced, I went home to get some more business cards. I realized that I only had the few in my wallet and I needed to do a better job maintaining a reasonable quantity at all times to hand out.
Quickly, I dashed into the house to get them and left. The drive wasn’t the worst, but I have been on the verge of utter and complete exhaustion. Closing my eyes at night had only lead to tears, not sleep. I was hoping it would be a painless drive and I listened to the trusty XM comedy radio stations to keep my spirits up instead of wondering deep into a downward spiral. I had quite a few laughs and it was nice to be happy if only for a few moments. Either way, it was good distraction that wouldn’t allow my mind to wander through the 2-½ hour drive to New Jersey.
When I was getting closer to my destination, I was to text my sister to see if I was to meet her at her office or go straight to her home. Almost to the second that I was at the street that would lead me to her home or right to her office, she gave me the word to make the right. I knew where I was going, kind of; I bumped around the parking lot until I saw her car and she texted letting me know that she could see me. I parked and was met by one of her staff at the back door. Thankfully, it was nice and quiet. The two of them were wrapping things up for the day. I sat in the corner chair in her office half slumped. She began to talk to me about the trip and such but I told her we could talk later and she should focus on finishing her notes; her patients are more important than me. She only heard half of what I said. During this time, she was checking on the reservations and at that moment noticed that the date for our check-in was not the following day, but instead Sunday. Briefly, she made some phone calls about the possibility of still being able to check-in Saturday, but none of the solutions were ideal. In the end we said that we would take Saturday to get some driving done and stop wherever we stop. This way, we can still leave as planned and not have to drive the full 7 hours on Sunday. I started to get excited about being on our way soon for our great Cape adventure. I knew we both needed a break. We all left the office and shared a few words, exchanged hugs and got in our vehicles.
I followed my sister to her empty home. She was one of the first and only people that I told about the breakup. This was our opportunity to have a brief moment of girl time alone outside. I lit up a black mild and inhaled and exhaled my frustration and sipped on my alcoholic beverage. We quietly sat outside for a while and did our best to release. Shortly, the silence was interrupted by the dog barking and the eventual appearance of my niece, Ms. L (the caretaker/second mother/angel) and her daughter-in law. I did the best I could to scramble and hide the traces of what I was doing, specifically the smoking. It was, however, too late. My niece greeted me with a sorrowful look of disappointment that made my heart sink. Later I found out that this look was partly due to a conversation recently had about a loved one that is in poor health as a result of smoking. She must have been concerned about me getting sick. She was also worried about me being sad; when I arrived there was a lovely drawing from her to me saying that she was sorry that I was so sad. We tried to explain later that smoking was not something that I do all the time (it really is not); it was only because I was sad. But I shouldn’t expect a child to understand what adults are prone to do in stressful situations. The three didn’t stay long. My niece hesitantly, seemingly looking for my permission, decided that she wanted to go back with them to play. I think the adults realized it was probably best since my sister and I were busted in full pity party mode. It was not an ideal environment for an energetic, happy child. The rest of the family eventually came home and we had a typical night there. We ate and talked, but it was to be a short night. Early in the morning, my sister, my niece and I were to be off and on our way to Cape Cod for the week. I was pretty exhausted and looked forward to sleeping if I could. The guest room has several pictures of both of my grandmothers. For some reason, I was not able to look at them, as I got ready for bed; I just wasn’t.
*Thank you for always taking care of me big sister.