Damnit, it was still the 24th in the eastern time zone when I started this, and it's the hell going there.
This afternoon I got this curt email from my mom that went a little something like this:
We spoke to Brian last night. B's mother died Sunday. You might want to send her a card or something. Love, mom
Brian is my little brother, right, and B is his quite serious girlfriend, and her mother had cancer. And they moved across the country to Seattle--he moved to the opposite corner of the country with her--to be with her mom and the rest of their family for as long as possible before she died.
And the last couple weeks have been horrific for them. Horrific. They've been staying at her parents' house on some island in Puget Sound, and Brian has been taking the 6 am ferry (apparently the only ferry you can reliably get on) every day, driving home to their apartment, getting another hour of sleep, and going to work. Then he goes back across to the island every night. B has been staying with her mother all day. I have no idea how she is doing. I asked Brian and he said she was sad, but this is clearly not the entire story.
So I've already been walking around town for a week or two, thinking about whether to go to Seattle for a weekend and see what I can do to help, or if I can help, and trying to figure out what I would do if I did go. I do have the ability to go: I have a salary, I can buy a plane ticket, I can get to Detroit Metro quite easily. I can go take care of all the logistical things and make them go to bed with hot drinks and cook things for them and generally try to make sure things are not too unbearable. I don't know how I would do this exactly, esp. since I've never been to Seattle, but I would still do it. So I have to get ahold of them (quite difficult, at this point) and ask if they want me. Because the last thing you want to do is impose in a situation like this. But if I'm not imposing, if they want me to go, I'm damn well going.
And my mom thinks that maybe (use of "maybe"!) I should SEND A CARD?? I mean, B didn't exactly get a warm reception from my parents, since she and Brian aren't married and are therefore immoral for living together (same with my situation, for that matter), but REALLY, NOW.
It will not have occurred to my mother to do anything but call and send a card. She certainly won't consider going to Seattle. Not that they would want her there just to be judgmental at them. But actually doing something helpful won't even have occurred to her, and god knows what has occurred to my dad.
I just keep getting lulled into thinking my family isn't so bad, can't be so bad, and then they are.