Friday we left Florida, heading for home. We traveled most of the way home, stopping in Raleigh, NC, at our friend Maya's, as a waypoint.
That stop was a literal, and metaphorical waypoint, a "set of coordinates that identify a point in physical space", as well as in my and my wife's lives.
It's been a very difficult week. I drove down to Florida to meet my wife, and sister-in-law, and assorted other family, because my mother-in-law passed away Monday.
My mother-in-law has had health issues to varying degrees for a long time now, but about two months ago, they ratcheted up in speed, power, and complexity. It created a whirlwind of unhappiness, and discord in our lives, but most especially for my wife and her sister. My wife was at her bedside when she passed. My sister-in-law was in the air, on her way back there, after having spent several torturous days there helping Missy tend to her affairs. I rushed down right after it happened, too, aided by two of my closest friends, Maya and Michael, who split the drive with me. They selflessly spent the time down there with us, aiding the family in big ways and small, and being emotional support.
It's a debt I can never repay.
On our way back up, we stopped in Raleigh after about 13 hours on the road. After a week in limbo, it was good to have a safe space to crash in, literally. Yesterday, the last leg of the trip, the drive back home had a dreamy, surreal quality. It wasn't just slowly slipping back into familiar geographical territory, but feeling the phase shift through life-before-tragedy, crisis, and life-after-tragedy.
We returned home to our well cared for house and pets, and a delicious dinner, to boot, thanks to our friend Rachel, who watched the cats while we were away.
I'm beyond grateful for the ways so many have seen us through these waypoints.