Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bad news/Good news

It has been an insanely long week.

Earlier this week I got a phone call around 9:30 pm from our landlord.  She wanted to move back into the house, the sooner the better.  She was super nice about it but bad news is bad news, no matter how it's delivered.  I went into freak out mode, and for good reason.  Between now and February we've got about 5 days that we'll be in the US.  The rest of the time we'll be in Nicaragua or Korea.  And seriously, bad news at night is a hundred times worse.  I would have preferred getting a call in the morning because at least I would have a good night's sleep to back me up.

I don't know about you, but I am physically incapable of packing up all of our stuff with two little elves running around "helping".  I have us almost packed for Nicaragua and I've had to load every suitcase about 4 times due to Theo's perpetual "helpfulness".

The good news of this whole story is that today I got a call saying that she found an apartment and wants to let us stay.  We're signing a new lease through June.  Praise Jesus!


Then today I was visiting my grandparents and we got the news that his brother passed away.  It was my grandpa's last living brother.

Since he wouldn't, I wept for him.

I tried to take as much off of my dear grandma's plate as possible.  Being the bearer of bad news is never fun but I felt like it was the least that I could do.

Grief is so difficult because everyone handles it differently and at their own pace.  I never know what to do or say.  I just hope and pray that I was able to help a bit.  I do know that having the boys there was an appreciated distraction.

As I was driving home tonight I had a memory of being little and fighting with my brother.  I don't remember what the fight was over but I remember clearly my mom's response.  "You two need to stop fighting and learn to communicate.  Someday your dad and I will be dead and you two will be the only family you'll have left!  You don't need to like each other but you always need to treat each other with love!"

I kind of understood that at the time, but I get it even more now.

My brother Stephen is honestly one of my best friends.  He's two years younger than me but I know he's got my back no matter what.  He can irritate me faster than almost anyone but until I had kids there was no one I was quicker to defend.

Siblings are really the ones who get it.  Steve grew up with me.  He saw me pre-braces, during braces and was there when I got them off.  He saw the fat Jenni, skinny Jenni, and every Jenni in between.  He knows where all of my horrible adolescent pictures are in the family album and gleefully shows them off when he gets the chance.  I know where all of his are, too, for the record.

I don't have to explain inside jokes to him: he was there.  He lived through them with me.  He suffered the awful mandatory fun Ungame nights right along side me.  We skipped a week of school together when our parents went out of town.  Even though we rarely see each other anymore [because he's always in Asia and I'm usually in Central America] I know he's got my back.  I know he would be there in a heart beat if I needed something.  He's my brother.  He's my blood.

And that's why I felt so strongly for my grandpa.  I didn't know his brother well.  But I can empathize with what he's lost.

Siblings are one of the best gifts.  I consider myself blessed to have an amazing one and I am so excited that my kids have great ones, too.