No Matter What

Much of the reason I didn’t post was that I was resting. Life has been a little much for me lately, and I had not done enough eating or sleeping in weeks.  I found some peace and serenity that I had gone without for far too long.

What it comes down to is this. I’m going to be okay, no matter what. My family will help me the best that they can and they will be there for me, no matter what. MH and I are going to get through this. Together. No matter what. My friends, the people I love so much, will stand by my side. No matter what.

That kind of finality is a double edged sword, of course. Mark is gone. No matter what. My sister, who is doing well considering her circumstances, is changed forever. No matter what. My Mom is who she is, sick or well, no matter what. My Dad will inevitably mark all occasions with a trip to the liqour store and won’t see a need to leave a drop of Grand Marnier in his bottle when he leaves town. No matter what.

I didn’t realize just how bad my general state of being had become until I heard those words. I worried and rung my hands and sweated buckets thinking about talking to my Dad about our financial situation, fearing his reaction. Fearing more than anything that he wouldn’t be able to help us. He was not in the house five minutes before he started the conversation. He just knew. He just knew that it’s the end of the month, that things have been hard for us, that I hadn’t been making my usual volume of calls to my Mom (who had boarded the crazy train again, meaning that there was no way I could handle her and my own situation and especially not her being crazy-face about my situation), and he knew. He knew what I needed, knew how much I needed, and within a few minutes of getting a good look at me, how scared I was. So he just came out with it, and he gathered me up in his arms, and he told me.

“I know where you’re at. I’ve been there before. I understand. I don’t want you making yourself sick anymore. I’ve got you covered. No matter what.”

In that one moment, all the stress and shame and pain and angst lifted. I felt normal again. Actually, I felt so sleepy and hungry that I couldn’t hardly stand it. So I took a nap, and then Dad took us out to dinner, where I proceeded to demolish a huge steak and all the trimmings, and washed it down with a few vodka and cranberries. They were, of course, of somewhat subpar quality, because my sister was seated across from me and was not behind the bar.

My sister. She takes my breath away. To see her surviving, thriving in some ways, through this tragedy. To see her in her element- behind the bar, shaking and stirring, snapping her fingers at the servers, cracking ass in the kitchen when she’s running food. Every movement precise, but not planned- there’s no time for that. Seeing the respect and affection that she inspires in her coworkers and watching the way that her boss looks at her, with pride and gratitude.

There were, of course, comments from all over about how much we look alike. This was compounded by my father’s arrival. I have his smile.  I was asked if I also have his temperament, and answered in the affirmative without hesitation. All weekend long, the three of us- I can’t believe that, even when we were little girls, there was a house big enough for the three of us. There are these moments, like the one I shared with my father, at every turn- moments where it becomes undeniable that we truly are family. Looking in at a face and into eyes that are a fun house mirror of your own- almost the same, but not quite. Knowing what they are thinking or feeling, and that opposite eerily comforting feeling of knowing that I cannot hide much from these people who have been reading out of my book for the better part of a quarter century.

Add to that a husband, who as a matter of survival, has gotten just as good or better at taking my emotional temperature. Who has his own decade-plus of history in our family. Watching my husband care for and comfort my sister was quite possibly one of the most incredible things I will ever witness. Second only to watching her gracefully and gratefully accept it from him. He is there for her, no matter what. She is there for us, no matter what.

We are all going to be okay, somehow, some way.

No matter what.


20 Responses

  1. Blimey, this made me tear up a little. Finally, it sounds like you’re going where you need to and with the people that matter

    much love

    L x

  2. Wow. I need a tissue. I am sorry for the struggle…but I am glad you got good people behind you!

  3. I’m glad your time away was peaceful.

    All systems are “go” for the project. Will let you know when I hit phase 2!

    You’ve got people who love you… near and far away. No matter what.

  4. You are one of amazing strength. I’m glad you got some rest, found some peace and can breath a little easier knowing your Dad (even with his faults) is always there for you.

  5. “taking my emotional temperature,” what a great line!!!!!

    i’m glad you got some rest and hopefully a little strength along the way.

  6. I’m glad you had time to rest that little head of yours.

  7. I am a blubbering mess thanks to this post. I’m so very glad that you got what you needed from this trip and that, through all your own struggles, you were able to show up and be present for your family and with your family. That is truly magically. Kudos.

  8. This was a really fantastic post….I’m sorry you’re going through it right now…..keep you head up….allow yourself rest and peace comes in time.

  9. You are very brave.

  10. i love you.

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