There are your plans, and there are some higher power’s plans….and in the end, yours don’t count. You see, I had today all planned out, a year ago. Yep, we were going to start a tradition. Remember how, last Thanksgiving, my mother, my partner, and I all went to the Texas Renaissance Festival just outside Houston? My dad was out of town so he couldn’t be with us, but we simply assumed that this year, we’d be doing the same thing and this time, Dad had planned to join us.
Not so fast. You see, some geriatric whose mental faculties warranted the stripping away of his license years ago managed to slam his big-nuts all-steel pickup truck into my parents’ Fisher-Price Ford Escape (not meant to criticize the rents, but merely to impress upon y’all the inequality of the vehicles involved and the subsequent disadvantage assigned to my parents), throw my father 30 feet into a concussion that would ultimately cost him 80% of the hearing in his right ear (permanently), and my mother one of her kidneys among many other serious injuries, all of which involve chronic sequelae and thus long-term care.
It’s amazing how fast one second changes everything. In a parallel universe somewhere just out of reach, I’m walking around with my family, bodies intact, throughout the RenFest grounds. I’m dressed up as the custom-made bad-ass warrior princess with ancient Turkish accessories and a semi-functional sword. My mom was planning on she and my father dressing as a pair of pirates.
But somewhere in Saskatchewan, there is a stop sign that needs to be twice the size that it is. As it stands, they’re at my sister and “brother”‘s house, awaiting my mother’s surgeries (her kidney’s been dead since May and she developed a hernia in July but she’s been on a surgical waiting list since August, she’s had multiple consults, and the earliest surgery date they’ve been able to get her is January 19th. How’s that for healthcare “reform”? Do you really want government-run medicine? If so, fine. But be prepared to wait, and do not deceive yourself into thinking, for one second, that you’ll get the standard, quality, and timetable of care you receive now. Off soapbox).
Funny thing is, though, aside from the healthcare atrocity, I sense a peace that shouldn’t be, considering everything that happened this past year, and everything that’s slated to happen this next year, but it’s there, big as life. We packed a truckload of books and unopened packs of twin sheets to use for massage therapy, and we strapped it down under a huge green tarp and went.
Coming into the small rural area in which my parents live, an area that up until now had always been one of slightly oppressive isolation and extra-sensory astral murk due to my uncle’s slow, agonizing neoplasmic death several years ago, I still felt a warmth and peace. Something told me that it was OK to be there. It felt slightly strange unloading our stuff from our truck and into the workshop near the house, a feeling that could easily be attributed to the fact that after what seems like forever, we’re leaving our house, the house that was supposed to be home until the end of time, because of how perfect a match for us it is, and the fact that I would have liked to have moved for the last time. (Well, we could’ve succeeded had we made a more palatable decision, someplace–in Texas–other than Dallas.)
But still, it feels oddly comforting. I can’t describe it. It’s infinitely more palatable than I had once thought. Hell, it’s beyond palatable, I’m downright out-and-out lucky. We have a place to live and a great setup at that, and an open invite to stick around a while. We can now begin to realize our dream, several years ahead of schedule. I’m quite thankful.
I’m also thankful that although I don’t get to spend Thanksgiving with blood relatives, I do get to spend it with an incredible partner, who has parallel visions and identical thought patterns when deciding on what we want to do. I’m thankful that we’re thisclose to finishing school. I’m thankful that we’re not being forced to move or shed our house due to being financially strapped or in an otherwise bad situation. I’m thankful for being able to eat food, the fact that someplace was open–even if it was Dairy Queen, it was something.
Above all, though, I’m thankful that my parents survived their accident, walking and talking like they were almost their old selves again. Sure, some innocence has been lost (let’s face it–there are still stones unturned, even in middle-to-later adulthood). They now have memories that no one should be stuck with.
But when all is said and done, they’re still functional and they can live independently, enjoying pretty much all the activities they took part in before. Once their bodies are repaired, they’ll be able to go on with their normal lives, almost as they were before. (Maybe then I’ll be able to forgive the bastard that hit them; until then, he can burn in hell for all I care. But…)
Time will heal…eventually. And when it does, maybe we’ll get to go on a little jaunt to the RenFest grounds north of Houston over next year’s Thanksgiving weekend. And we’ll start our tradition after all. Dressed as warrior princesses and pirates of the Caribbean. Or something like that.