July was dreadful.
To handle the dreadfulness, I did what I do best: stuffed all my misery and mowed the grass like a woman possessed. It's practically bald.
First there was the family reunion scheduled for the middle of the month. I worried myself sick about this. I would be seeing my father's family and my father, presumably, hopefully, without my father's wife. Several years ago, she wrote a letter, photocopied it and mailed it to all his siblings and parents and a few nieces and nephews. I never read it, but my brother paraphrased it for me. She felt insulted by my mother's presence at family weddings and funerals since my parents' divorce. She would never attend the yearly family reunion again. After my father died, she would take back her maiden name.
So, I felt pretty certain she wouldn't be there. I wouldn't have to see her. I wouldn't have to deal with her. Did I say she's only 2 years older than I? That she was born 2 days after my parents married? That I only met her once, at my grandfather's funeral, where my mother (my mother!) brought her over to introduce her, not knowing that she was boning my father at the time.
She was there.
She and my father were in the campsite adjacent to my uncle's. I'm pretty sure my father knew I was there and deliberately did not come over to say hello.
I decided not to go back to the campground the next day, even though my elderly grandparents would be there. I don't really have a relationship with them. I'm one of 19 grandchildren, I don't think they ever really liked me, we haven't corresponded or had any contact since I was a teenager. I knew if I showed up and saw my father I would be very upset. I don't do upset, at least not in front of people. If I can help it. I knew if I didn't show up, I'd feel guilty for not being a good granddaughter.
I chose guilty.
The day we came home, my boss called and told me our office was closing. I've been fearing this all year. I didn't want to write about it because I knew that people were actually going through job loss, rather than just obsessing about it. One of my worst phobias is unemployment. I haven't been without a job for 17 years.
And now, I'm unemployed. With very few actual quantitative skills. And I'm 42.
Several days later, our church sexton dropped dead while he was on vacation. I was really fond of this man. I think our personalities were similar and I've always had a soft spot for him. He was an integral part of our church life.
Next week, I'll usher at his funeral. And surely, between then and now, will mow the grass several more times.