Posted by: Kate | December 11, 2008

A Series of Events, Unfortunate and Otherwise

It’s been quite a week.

It started with the baby shower on Saturday and the Nutcracker on Sunday, followed by Emily’s school concert. Good stuff, all, in very different ways.

My grandmother died early Tuesday morning.  I didn’t feel a single thing when I heard the news; not a moment’s sadness or even regret for what might have been.  I waited a few days, to make sure that I was actually not feeling anything on my own terms, as opposed to just being numbed by depression.  Then I thought about it some more, because I did have some guilt over my own lack of response.  I realized that the fact that there was no relationship between us is more my grandparents’ responsibility than my own; they were the adults in this situation, and they chose to handle the relationship with neglect and disdain rather than care and effort.  I feel sad that my children won’t get to know them, but I also am glad that they don’t have that particular disappointment awaiting them.  I grew up seeing how beautiful and fun and sitcom ready my father’s family looked, and was just devastated to reach adulthood and realize that theirs was a culture of grudge-holding and empty promises.

Not that they’re bad or malicious people.  With the exception of my grandfather, whose actions were deliberate and unprovoked, I think the rest of my father’s family means well.  They just can’t seem to find another way of being in the world.  I don’t think they see any problem with the way they handle things, and that’s fine.  There’s no reason in the world for them to change for me; I just couldn’t continue to have a relationship with people who were not seeing me as a person in my own right. I said my good-byes more than a year ago, and I realized this week that I have come to terms with that loss of family. Someday, maybe, there will be a reconciliation, if any of them are at all interested. But I won’t hold my breath, and I won’t regret the time we’ve had apart. It was very necessary for my own sanity, such as it is.

I’ve been talking to my dad a lot this week, as he has been down in Florida with his father and sisters, sort of in the thick of it all.  He has been living that reminder of why humans don’t tend to marry within the family: we need to go out and find new crazy, because the old crazy from childhood is a special and horrifying flavor of crazy.

Close friends of ours officially filed for divorce today.  The writing has been on the wall for a long (long) time, but there’s still something a little bit shocking when the actual event occurs.  They’re the first of our close friends who have reached this point, and it’s hard and a little scary to watch.  Relationships and trust and stability seem like such solid, constant things, and yet the reality is that they’re only as solid as the two people involved want them to be.  Right from the start.

I remain unemployed, though I finally did get a letter officially informing me that the position I interviewed for up north was not being funded in the immediate future.  Closure, if not a happy ending, there.  Lots of resumes flying about the area, and still waiting on an unemployment check.  Until that shows up, I don’t dare purchase one single Christmas gift or even the stamps to send out cards.  We have enough money to last a few more months, at least, but only through careful budgeting.

I hate careful budgeting.

To end on a happier note, Willem presented his paper for his minor today.  I got up and went to school with him, so I was able to watch and see how everyone basked in his general aura of mathematical and probabilistic awesomeness.  He did a great job, and deserves to bask for a bit before moving on to the next task.  Of course, he doesn’t have time for that, since his dissertation advisor wants a rough draft of his proposal by Tuesday, but he deserves it.

I also had a good day today, just by getting up and dressed and out of the house, and feeling like I had something to do with my time.

So, with a little luck, tomorrow will be fantastically, inexpressibly boring.  Willem has already cancelled his class for the morning, and we have every reason to expect at least a delay for Emily’s school.  I could use some uneventful for a day or two.


  1. Kate,
    I hope we talk soon.
    Geography sucks.
    I love you!
    A xo

  2. My condolences. I hope your dad survives the time with his family. That need to find new crazy is a big reason why my dad has never (until a couple of years ago when his mother moved into town) lived anywhere near his family.

    Yay Willem!

  3. I am just catching up on several posts and just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you.

  4. Hang in there Kate. You’ve had an awful lot on your plate, and are dealing with it pretty well, from this perspective.

    I truly believe the coming of th elight on the solstice has to help.

    Thinking of you.

  5. Man, talk about when it rains, it pours. You have so much going on right now. Condolences on your loss, even if the loss really occurred years ago.

  6. Hi Kate, haven’t been round for a while. Seems it’s been a rather tumultuous week for you. I still can’t believe you get an employment cheque? We had to lay off one of our Paraplanners this week. Times are getting tough alright and Clare’s still looking for work but not likely before Christmas. Keep those resumes out and about. Cheers 🙂

  7. Divorce between our peers is scary. Thankfully, we haven’t faced that yet with our friends, but I can probably place a few bets or two on who I think will likely be divorced within the next 10 years. (Is that bitchy of me?)

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