long weeks

That’s what I get for taking off for my wedding.

I’ve been at work for seven of the past eight days. Saturday will make eight of the past nine.

Next week’s no better. I have to drive to Hampton late Tuesday and be back at work for a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

On the bright side, I’ll have another three-day weekend in two weeks. Originally, it was to go to Pete’s bachelor party, since I’m in his wedding, but my sister’s kids are arriving at the airport that Saturday. I can’t wait to see them.

They got a trip from Hawaii after my mom contacted the Dream Foundation. After Theresa’s last stint at the hospital in March, we weren’t guaranteed anything. We were effectively told that if she gets another infection or anything beyond her new normal, she’s not going to make it. Because of the distance, it’s not a given that Theresa’s kids are going to come every summer or Thanksgiving or Christmas. Tré turns 17 this summer and it’s going to get harder to round the three up at once after this year, even if they all wind up going to college in the Lower 48.

We’re all going to be at my mom’s house with her for one weekend, her biological children and grandchildren. Although she can’t articulate it, we know this is her dream because it’s my dream and it’s my mom’s dream: The descendants of Mary Jane and Rudolph all under one roof again. There’s a chance it won’t happen again. With so much uncertainty, I don’t think any of us would be able to forgive ourselves if something were to happen later in the year and the kids didn’t see their mother one last time.

I wish our family didn’t have to go through three generations of losing a parent so soon.

My mom and I were around the same age when we lost our fathers. My youngest nephew, Michael, has never gotten the chance to really have quality time with his mother. I don’t know if Shonda knows she’s named after Theresa’s childhood best friend, who died when they were still young. Tré is probably the only one who has solid memories of his mom being able to do mom things. I sometimes feel bad for having so many memories of Theresa as a vivacious human being that they’ll never experience.

I wish Theresa could have been at my wedding. I wish more that she could attend the weddings of her children and hold her grandchildren and celebrate all the milestones in the space between those two sentences.

My mom and I two weeks hence need to tell them as much as we can of the Theresa we know, of her hopes and dreams, of how wherever life takes Tré, Shonda and Michael, what made her who she was is inside them.

Fuck you, multiple sclerosis. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

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