I'm going to see FavoriteBoy for Thanksgiving. I feel alternately ecstatic and concerned about this: ecstatic because he is my FavoriteBoy and I miss him very much and want to hug him, and concerned because I feel guilt (false or legitimate? I'm not sure) about leaving my Dad and my brother during this difficult time. I bought a one-way ticket to Pennsylvania, and I'm planning to drive back to Massachusetts with Nathan so he'll have company on the long drive. Originally I planned to fly from Boston back here to California, but then I started thinking that perhaps I ought to stay in Massachusetts for a few weeks at least; I should resume my teaching and try not to lose my students and my jobs and my life back there. I could come back in just two or three weeks, in plenty of time for Christmas and to help Dad and Christopher again. However, I see my Mom lying in the hospital bed and I know my Dad feels set adrift without her, and I feel guilty about leaving. Of course, my other siblings returned to their lives a week ago, and perhaps I ought to do the same.
I can't really do anything to help my Mom in the hospital, but I cook and clean and do laundry as much as I can here at the house, and I drive Christopher around to his classes and activities. I visit my grandparents and make sure they are doing okay, and I stop and see Mom a few times a day. I try to make sure Christopher stays on top of his school work.
People keep telling me that Mom was so proud of all I was doing as a musician and a teacher and that I ought to go on with things. They tell me she'd want me to go ahead with the wedding, too. But really, I don't know what Mom wants, and I can't ask her yet.
FavoriteBoy and I are thinking about tying the knot right here in California -- a small ceremony in my house, or even in the hospital if Mom is still there after Christmas. Then, we could turn the planned ceremony in Nathan's church into a blessing of the marriage instead of a regular wedding, and still have the reception as a party for our friends and his family's friends. But I don't know how I'd feel about having that ceremony and reception without my parents there.
The following conversation took place earlier this evening:
I told Dad, "I feel a bit guilty about thinking about going back to Massachusetts for a few weeks. I can't figure out if it's my conscience telling me to stay and be with you and Christopher, or if it's my strange and distorted psychological self giving me a false guilt-trip."
I paused, then grinned. "Or maybe it's my strange and distorted Dad giving me a real live guilt trip!"
Dad laughed. "Ahh, so it's working!"