Saturday, June 16, 2012

Waiting on a Friend

I know it has been ages since I last updated, and I am pretty sure that 2012 will go down as my year of neglect but I am hoping to change all of this – hopefully starting right now! As I haven't seen my brother now in close to two years, I find myself missing him more and more frequently. Like most things, I didn't realize how much I would miss him until he was gone. So very typical indeed, yet not something I had originally considered might happen. Miss him I did. We had always been really, really close, but once he started to date, and then subsequently marry and fall heavily under the influence of Erica, we began drifting further and further apart. We would have most likely have lived out our lives this way except for that savage attack on Jim four years ago.

This attack, and all that it represented, especially that whole fragility of life et al, had a sobering effect on both of us. The four of us agreed that whatever had passed before this attack would now be water under the bridge. Any and all transgressions were to be forgiven and forgotten. We were all issued a clean slate. Now this is extremely important when one remembers all that my sister-in-law had subjected me to over the years, as well as all of us having to endure her generally mean and petty demeanor towards my brother's immediate family. Incredibly she could rarely be bothered to play nice, which is pretty shocking into and of itself when you take into consideration that by immediate I mean my Mother, myself (& Jim) and my daughter (or his niece), Sara. It truly doesn't get much smaller than this!

For anyone interested in reading and finding out exactly what I mean about my sister-in-laws temperament, can read THIS, THIS and/or THAT at their leisure. You can also choose SISTER-IN-LAW or FAMILY FEUD or BROTHER or you get my drift n'est pas? Now, three of us four actually meant it when we said that the past was exactly that, ancient history, and that the past would be exactly where it would all remain, no longer able to influence or prejudice our future relationships. From the time of the attack until my brother had to leave Ontario for Nova Scotia due to his job situation we made up for lost time. Although he ended up moving half way across the country barely a year and a half after our attack, when he left our relationship was the strongest that it had ever been since we became adults. I guess because of this it made his move that much more difficult and bittersweet in the end, but I'd most certainly prefer this than had he left under acrimonious circumstances that's for bloody sure.

He has now been gone two years and three months which means that is how long it has been since I've seen him. Sure, we talk on the phone and email back and forth, and I even learned how to Skype this year – Skype truly is bloody, freaking amazing I must confess! None of this is the same as seeing the person in the flesh. They are merely cheap imitations and substitutes! Jim and I had actually planned on flying east this summer for six days aiming to be there for either the end of July or beginning of August depending on the availability and price of flights. As my Mom was going to visit them in May and her parents were supposed to visit in June, we thought it prudent that we wait a bit so that they wouldn't feel inundated with all of these guests – we had every intention of staying at a hotel for our entire visit as I would never presume to think we could stay with them – this would actually be rather difficult space wise as there wouldn't really be any, extra space that is, cause they now have five children giving them a household total of seven! Never mind the space issue, the fact that there would be five children under the age of 13 under said roof would be enough motivation to get our own hotel room!

Unfortunately, these best laid plans will not be happening at all this summer. Erica's most recent pregnancy was fraught with problems so Mom ended up flying east so that she could stay with them to help out and her visit stretched out to near six weeks. Her parents' visit was put in jeopardy when they discovered a dark cloud on one of her Mother's lungs during a routine chest x-ray. While it did turn out to be cancerous, apparently it was caught right in the initial stages so her prognosis is very optimistic although she does have to have 12 weeks of chemotherapy which obviously will prevent them from traveling in the near future. If this wasn't enough, my brother decided that his current job in Nova Scotia wouldn't be good enough to support his growing family, nor in fact, would any other job in Nova Scotia right now. After the Christmas holidays he started to send his resume out to a number of companies right across the country. While there were a few that expressed interest in my brother's resume, one company in Edmonton, AB and another in Langley, BC were extremely promising and seemed to be able to offer a substantial pay raise. Ultimately he decided to go with the company in BC cause he felt that this would be a much better place to raise children – population approx. 35 000 vs. something like 1.2 million!

He starts his new job on Monday, July 9th but I just found out that before he starts him and his family will be stopping in Ontario en route from Nova Scotia. This is the best news that I've gotten this year by a long shot to be sure! I am so excited. Their furniture etc. is getting moved across the country in some sort of storage container separately and is leaving NS on June 28th which is also the last day of the children's school year. The next day, the whole family will drive in their van to Ontario stopping occasionally so that Erica can feed their newborn – born the second week of April so will still be feeding every few hours minimum. I don't know exactly when they will arrive in Ontario as it will all depend on what kind of time they make, but I do know when they will all be leaving Ontario as they'll be flying for the second half of their trip and their plane tickets have all been bought and reserved for July 5th! Apparently, her Dad has found someone to buy their van in Ontario plus her brother was able to give them a gift of 220 000 Air Miles allowing them to fly out to BC instead of having to face that extremely lengthy drive west across the country. I've got no clue how much time that would take either though I don't imagine it would be very fast.

So, within the next two weeks and a bit, I will actually get to see my brother as well as spend some quality time with him. I can't wait. I talked to him a couple of days ago when I called him to wish him a Happy 46th Birthday and he is equally excited. Now, Jim and I are going to start saving and planning on flying west next summer instead of heading east this one.

Peace, love and happiness…

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