Sometimes people fall out of sync, and that’s ok. Friendships, family, partnerships, all need to be built on trust and grace… trust that we will make it through the hard times together. Grace for the frustration we all feel during those bad days.
This has been a really hard week. Allison has been supporting everyone in her family as they deal with the physical and emotional fallout of her father’s death. The bedrock of the family, they call her. Meanwhile I’ve quietly been there in the background, supporting her, making dinner, and fixing things.
But we are both tired.
Today at Wegmans we had a quiet conversation about tone and frustration. She pointed out that my “being very patient” tone sounds like I’m talking to someone I think is an idiot. I expressed that our life is a train wreck in a tornado right now and I’m using that voice only when I feel like something really needs to be handled, and otherwise I’m staying quiet so I don’t scream or cry.
We talked more.
We ate sushi sitting in her mother’s car, watching the cherry trees blossoming on a cold April day.
A few hours later we started to get texts from James about his travel itinerary. It soon became clear that he would miss the train from DC to Baltimore, so I drove to the end of the nearest Metro line to pick him up. It was good seeing him again, even if the cause of his unexpected return was such a terrible event.
When James walked in the door, Barb cried… The she ran upstairs so he wouldn’t see how upset she was. Allison and Ryan talked her down for a bit, then James came up and hugged her for a long time while I fought with a faulty toilet line in the on-suite bathroom.
Some of us show our care in different ways. He gives gifts, works hard, and hugs tight. I quietly fix things and talk through problems.
Eventually Allison called me over and the four of us sat together, holding Barb’s hands as she cried. After a long while she was able to breathe again.