The past few weeks have knocked the wind out of me. I hardly know where to begin, there is so much to say. The biggest news, at least for my family, was that John’s father died. It was not unexpected. It was not fast. It was also not easy.
Just over 2 weeks ago, we got the call that John’s father was not expected to survive the night. As you might imagine, there was much travel, and rearranging of plans. John was able to travel to New York to be with his parents for his father’s last few days. I stayed home with the kids. Things were complicated by Theo having a fever one day, then getting pink eye the next, which meant missed school for him, missed work time for me, and more trauma than I would have expected dealing with the medication. (This was Theo’s first sick visit to the doctor, which itself was remarkable.) Phoebe managed to pick up her first case of poison ivy, a bad one, including welts on her face around both eyes. This led to a doctor’s trip and missed school for her, too. Then there was the funeral. Phoebe ended up missing a whole week of school. This week is her school vacation. And did I mention the stomach bug that hit Phoebe Sunday night?
These were the weeks that I was supposed to be working intensively to make a last push to try to finish my degree. Time is limited before my subject pool, the BU undergrads, is taken away by finals and the end of the term. I have now lost 2 full weeks of work time. The only day that was not taken up by sick kids or travel or memorial services and time with extended family was one that I spent shopping for something to wear to the funeral.
My days are eaten up. My energy is eaten up. My motivation and momentum for my research have all but left the building. I have been trying to push through, in the windows of time that open up here and there.
But next comes a terrorist attack in Boston, and the wind is knocked out of me again. I was not there, but I am shocked and grieving. 3 dead and over 170 injured in a blast at Copley Square, a place I know well. The news that one of the dead was a child of 8 hit hard. The news that another was a BU grad student hit hard again. The realization that my friends and family from far away might be worried about my family hit me again. We could have been there.
I am steady in times of crisis. Strong and reliable, I keep pushing through. I know that I have to keep going until the crisis time is over. But I am strained and drained. I am edgy and touchy. I am slipping.
This is not the worst crisis I can imagine. This is not even the worst crisis I or my family have lived through. I remind myself every day how lucky I am to have John and my children here with me, safe and (largely) healthy. My mother and my sister and her family are safe and well. I have financial stability, a home, and wonderful friends. I am very, very lucky. But I admit that I am tired, and I just wish I could have a few days to catch my breath. At this point, I’d settle for one.
Posted in life, parenting, sadness, school, tiredness
Tagged Boston, death, family, grief, life, parenting, school, tiredness
My mother left today after an all-too-short week-long visit. Phoebe, Theo and I saw her off to the airport in Boston. There is a really cool wall of multi-angled mirrors in Terminal C of Logan Airport. Here are the 3 of us, on our way back to the parking garage after my mother headed through security.
We decided to have an excursion into Boston today, to do something fun for my mother’s visit. We didn’t have a specific plan in mind, but thought we’d take the train and play it by ear for the afternoon, and then get dinner at Pho Pasteur. (2 years ago, we took the train into Boston and happened to eat there after wandering around the Common, and now it has become a tradition when we take the train into Boston. They have really yummy soup.)
On the train ride in, we decided that we’d check out the Institute of Contemporary Art, which none of us had been to (at least in its current location). It looked to be a reasonable (~15 to 20 minute) walk from South Station.
The building itself is very cool, with amazing views of the harbor.
We all enjoyed looking out, as well as looking at the artwork in the exhibits.
The walk from South Station may have been a bit long for those with shorter legs, especially bundled up and wearing clompy snow boots. There may have been some tiredness. We ended up staying about 2 hours, which was about right. Then we took the T toward dinner.
Whenever we go to art museums, Phoebe and Theo are always inspired to do their own art. Here we are at the restaurant before our food arrived. Theo was drawing a train.
Taking the T back to South Station after dinner, and looking a bit like poster children.
On the train home, we managed to score one of the coveted tables. Theo was happy to be able to draw some more. He spent most of the train ride drawing.
He was looking a bit tired, but his picture was super cool. He later explained to us that it was a robot as big as a planet that had thousands of robots inside.
There is a door at BU, on the street where I park, that often catches my eye. It’s a door on an otherwise traditional-looking Brownstone building, and its bright blue contrasts strikingly with the muted red-browns of the brick and stone. I happened to park directly in front of it yesterday, and it was featured among my rainy-window-filtered views. In editing my photos last night, I was reminded that I had photographed this door, and its companion red standpipe and vintage-looking fire alarm bell, a number times in the past. I knew that I had some photos of the door in question in the snow, and when I poked back through my photo library found I had one with it posing with a flower spring shrub. (It’s entirely possible that I have more photos of this door from other times, but I didn’t necessarily tag them for easy retrieval.)
Blue door, November 2012
Blue door, February 2011
Blue door, May, 2011
Finding this set gives me the urge to photograph some same subject many more times, but under different conditions.