Where to start?  It has been one hell of a week.

Last Sunday I didn’t wake up thinking I would be on my way to North Dakota by that night.  I woke up thinking it was going to be just like any other day… that the next day I’d be going to see Issac.  The reality of that day would be very different than I had anticipated.

It was around 10 am when my phone rang.  It was Ben.. I thought he had just taken an early lunch.  I answered cheerfully… and was met by very distressing news.  Ben was crying.. and told me that his Mom had passed away.  My stomach flopped… how was this even possible.  He had just talked to her a few days before… on Thanksgiving and she was fine.  I mean, she had some medical issues but she was fine.

The phone call was short… he said he was coming home.  My mind swam… she was 1,200 miles away… what were we going to do?  I finished up what I needed to do and left work as well.  As it turns out we both pulled into the driveway at the same time.  I got out of the car immediately and went to him.  As soon as he got out of the car.. I hugged him.  I cannot describe how hard it is to see the person you love so completely devastated.  It tore me up to see him like that.

We got home at around 11 am.. and by 3 pm we were on our way to North Dakota.  The plan was to drive there.. clean up her place and settle any bills and such while were there… then head home.  We had a very short period of time to get it all done so we could get back and go back to work.  We left the kids with their grandparents to make this trip easier.   His Dad came along with us… we took his truck because it is a 4×4 which came in handy when it came to going over the passes and moving some of the stuff out of her place.

The trip over was terrible.  In fact, the whole trip was terrible.  His Dad drove us both nuts.  He’s a nice guy but has a lot of annoying character traits.  I was so ready to boot him out of the truck it was ridiculous.  I had earbuds in almost the whole time just so I wouldn’t have to listen to his voice or his poor choice of music.  When it came time to let him drive.. well lets say, I was scared for my life.  Imagine a little kid sitting in a car pretending to drive.  Well that’s his Dad.  He jerks the steering wheel back and forth which causes him to weave all over the place.  It is amazing to me that he hasn’t killed anyone.. or himself.. or had a wreck of any kind.  It was terribly scary… and we had him drive as little as possible.

We got to North Dakota around 10 pm on Monday.  It was a very long drive and we were really tired.  We met up with the neighbor who had found Ben’s Mom.  She let us into the apartment…. and when inside I realized what kind of task we had in front of us.  She was very much a pack rat… that collected all sorts of things.  Don’t get me wrong, she was a very clean person.. but the amount of stuff was overwhelming.

We hadn’t been there fifteen minutes when the first family member showed up.  Ben’s uncle and his crazy girlfriend.  They would end up following us to have dinner and invite themselves to sit with us.  It was all a bit much to take in for the driving ordeal we had just had.  The other brother and girlfriend would show up the next day.  Both thoroughly pissed Ben off very early on.

Over the next couple days there was all sorts of stuff going on… lots of emotions… lots of stress.  There is something interesting about becoming the rock for your Owner.  That is what he needed… and it was very taxing on me.  I had a few moments where I felt totally overwhelmed.  There was some tears on my part from all of this… that came and passed quickly.  I didn’t have time to wallow in my own shit.  I had to be the strong one.. and I had to be the driving force behind getting stuff done.  I’ve been through some really hard stuff… but this certainly topped the charts.  It was a hard situation all around.

All of this was done and over with by Thursday morning.. we pulled out of town by noon.  I cannot tell you how relieved I was to be back on the road… back on my way to home.  I missed my home.. missed my children.. missed my cats… missed Issac… I missed my phone having proper service.  I so wanted our lives to go back to normal.  I knew how tiring and terrible the trip home would be… but it was worth it to go home.  I was tired of all the crappy food… the hard beds… just yeah.. everything sucked.

The strain of the trip and how busy we were took it’s toll on all of us.  I could feel the space between Ben and I.. even though he was close enough to touch.  It was distressing to say the least.. but I knew as soon as we were home… we would reconnect and all would be well again.  And so, I didn’t dwell on this… just held onto the prize at the end of the journey.

We finally pulled into town last night at around 7 pm.  I was excited to see our cats… the kids were at their Dad’s.  We walked in… and we only saw two.  We searched the house over… only not to find the third one.  We searched outside for a hour… after tears had fallen and the worst was feared.  We didn’t find her.. and we were heartbroken.  After the week we’d had… hadn’t we endured enough? This was so not fair.  I’d take another week away if it meant she was home.

Then Ben went into our room and saw a flash of gray.  We had no idea where she was hiding… but there she was.  We were so relieved.  But we were spent.  It was all too much.  We had worked too hard… dealt with too much… and now it was time to finally just be.  It is amazing the amount of stuff a person can handle.  We are such resilient creatures.  I just hope we never have another experience like this.  Ever.

So today… I am still exhausted.  I could sleep another ten hours easily.  I am just simply worn out… but Ben and I have found one another again just as I thought.  I love him so… and I would do it all over again.. because that’s what you do for the people you love.  Sometimes you have to be someone’s rock and let the storm rage against you in order to protect them.  It just goes to show you how versatile our roles have to be.  He can’t always be the one that takes the lead… sometimes he needs me to.  It doesn’t make him any less in charge…. it just makes us a couple that loves one another… that doesn’t fit anyone’s mold but ours.

There is so much that happened… it would take me forever to share.  These were the major bits.  The rest will fade into the past… and stay there.  All we can do now is move forward.  Me? I am just happy to be home.

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