Nothing like an unexpected adventure to do what a weekend holiday in paradise, followed by some much needed time a part, still could not accomplish: we, three, are finally a bonded, harmonious, peaceful family again (fuck March) Yaaay April!! And all it took was the threat of a tsunami (why didn't I think of that?!?).
The Little One and my mother arrived a day later than expected (which I should have expected) on Wednesday afternoon.
I will tell you a secret: part of my anxiety at being away from the Little One, is that a.) she wouldn't miss me b.) she would find she was happier visiting her other relatives that she used to live with when her mother first died, and so my mother would decide to let them take her back c.) she wouldn't miss me AND wouldn't be happy to see me.
They came in soaked from the days rain, my mama looked just as shy of me as I was of my daughter, as if she goes through the same anxiety over me (and a tiny part of my mind made a note of this). The Little One would not look me in eye; she carried a big suitcase and concentrated on trying to bring it in, ignoring my attempts to help her. My heart did a tailspin and I did all I could to not fall on my knees in anguish. The art of adulthood: to be falling apart inside, and on the outside, you are exchanging small pleasantries:
"hiiiii, look you're all wet" (oh my God, she hates me).
"Here let me help you" (damn it just give me the suitcase, great the driver's watching, can they all see it??)
"Hi mama. Hi Little One! I missed you! Ohh you're cold, huh? (WHY won't she look at me? what's happened? What's going on?? I've completely FUCKING failed-can't let it show, must not let it show, fuck, fuck, FUCK)
"Would you guys like some tea?....I said would you like some tea Vannesa?? (Mama says ALWAYS act like nothing is wrong-I HATE being a grown-up!)
Well, melodrama is in the mind of the beholder. After a cup of tea, a sweet snack, and some Mindful techniques of emotional observation (did I mention I have a therapist now? She's no Guru*, but she is a good dose of "just what I needed"-God Bless!) it occurred to both of us that, "Hey, I actually still love you; and wow! You TOTALLY love me to!" A much needed separation, followed by an equally integral reunion.
It turned out that, despite some unsettling health concerns that had been the cause for the delay, my mother was only stopping in long enough to take a shower and grab new clothes before hitting the road for an out of town workshop. There hadn't been any power since the night before and my mother left while the building manager was trying to rectify the problem.
We sat down to a nice meal of homemade fish and chips (a little indulgence to welcome home my Love); It must have been four o'clock so this was late lunch, early dinner. I considered maybe taking us to the movies, but the rain (though light) didn't seem to be letting up. Then my mobile rang; it was my mother......
"Soooooo, I've just gotten an update on my phone, there was an earthquake in Indonesia and Dar Es Salaam is on alert for a Tsunami."
The funny thing about me: I need a therapist to navigate the overwhelming pressures of choosing a country to settle down in, getting a job, getting a boyfriend, etc. But give me an unexpected crisis and I'm ON IT, like WHAT! I become all Peaceful and Zen. Let's recap:
I have no power, no computer, not even batteries in the radio;
the fridge is semi-stocked (my mother just unloaded a shitload of avocados for me to do I dunno what with so no threat of scurvy);
I can't swim;
Everyone I would think to call in Dar will probably be at this out of town workshop-though I probably wouldn't call them anyway;
my mother spent the night before in the hospital after a severe migraine attack and is now on the road on a four hour journey;
how come everyone in other natural disaster crisi (crisi? really?-blame spell check on that shit) always seem to have boats?-
I don't EVEN HAVE A BOAT!!
DISCLAIMER: Don't get me wrong. I am not in anyway dismissing the horrific, tragic, realities of natural disasters. I am in no way trivializing the suffering that happens. I am sincerely relating my exact thoughts as I spoke to my mother about what could very well be a life-changing circumstance and looked around our house instinctively trying to spot what could be turned into a flotation device in a pinch.....to no avail.......