It is almost as if the family's health pot of stresses and strains have boiled over. My other sister, Fern, is also in a bad way, and this serious event not only overshadowed her, but also meant leaving young Zoe with her today, who was being a handful earlier. My dad is currently struggling with sciatica, which he contracted earlier this week. It's been hard seeing him contorted in the living room on an evening trying to find a comfortable way to get some sleep. My mum and dad were meant to be flying out for a special joint birthday holiday on Wednesday morning (I stress the word holiday only because their other trips to Spain normally involve so many other passengers that there is no less housework to do than at home, and I have a vested interest in this because the flights were my present to them both). Whether this now delays or ruins the holiday is unknown.
Our family can make things particularly difficult for ourselves. My dad faced suspension from his job earlier this year due to a minor incident, needless pedantry from a young upstart, and subsequently from his own mouth. My mum, meanwhile, has been exalting in some of the internal politics of this fostering business, and yesterday managed to ruin what, it turns out, would have been a perfect option for Zoe today. But sometimes, in the face of adversity, I can be proud. Since moving downstairs, I see worryingly little of Faye - only twice since returning back home on Thursday. She had been ill since Friday afternoon, and my mum started getting concerned last night. But this morning, they checked her and realised that something was seriously wrong. Her temperature had approached (hyper)pyrexic levels, and my dad would have done whatever necessary for her to receive medical attention.
Times like this make life all the more confusing. The degree of shock with these events can normally render one fairly stoic, but I question what will shake my stoicism at home? Was there a moment today when I feared the worst? Is this part of being an adult, and putting a brave face on things? I wouldn't be writing this at all if I did not care; of course I do. It has left a reaction, but a more hardened and gritted reaction than I expected. But today is not about me or my thoughts. I only learnt this evening, before my parents left again for the hospital, that Faye had been asking for me this afternoon. Thank goodness I got to see her, if only briefly. If I cannot find the right summary for what is going on inside, I can turn to fine evidence. Almost all of my favourite photos are with Faye; and given a history of anguish with body image, that is testimony that I can reach out and touch. My family place a lot of value on first-footing, but it was clear from 2008 that I was not the person to face that accolade, and I should not attempt it again.
[Out of context, but strangely relevant]. 'Cause I, Need time / My heart is numb, has no feeling / So while I'm still healing / Just try and have a little Patience.
Get well soon treasure.