Looking Ahead

My brother was released from the hospital after two weeks, but now he’s back inside. He will need dialysis several times a week, and new kidneys as soon as that’s feasible—he was readmitted because of startlingly high blood pressure and fluid in his lungs. Long-term, he’s looking at some serious life changes; he needs dialysis about every other day. The ladies from the dialysis center have talked to him about the fact that he’s going to be treated as something of a novelty or a pet by the other patients—he’s not just the youngest patient there, they say—he’s the youngest by twenty years (at twenty-two). He’s also stuck with a pretty intense diet. He probably won’t be able to come out here for awhile, since he’s looking for work (he got fired for being in the hospital: woo right to work states!), but he is staying with Kate when not in hospital and isn’t homeless, at least.

In other news, Ruth reached out to me and talked a great deal about their breakup and their new and evolving circumstances. She was open about her personal life in a way that was kind of confusing: This is new intimacy. A friend asked me whether she wants to be friends—I don’t know yet, but maybe. I need more data points. But it does seem as though the boundaries are shifting, temporarily or not. I suspect that she might be a bit lonely. It’s complicated for me, because I’m a little angry at the two of them—my concern is overwhelmingly for Cricket and his happiness, and while I wish for Ruth and Nora to be happy, that wish is dwarfed by my desire that everything should be great for Cricket. I am of course not expressing that anger with Ruth or Nora; they are having a tough time, and they’re splitting up no matter what, and I think they probably have some idea that we’re not thrilled that they’ve been unable to make the marriage work. Making them feel worse wouldn’t make the situation any better, and would probably increase the distance between us. And of course anger is only a piece of what I’m feeling, and not the biggest piece: I’m sad for Ruth and Nora; I’m sad for Cricket; I worry about Cricket; I hope that their new arrangement will make them happy; I wish that I could help, whether that looks like bringing over a pie or babysitting or helping Nora move or just listening. As it is, I can only listen (and knit).

My ambition is to make the kids a sweater each year, at least for awhile—I would like to be the kind of parent who does those sorts of things, and by a happy coincidence, I like to knit. I’ve been browsing patterns and yarns since I finished both sweaters; Joey’s looks just like Cricket’s, but bright blue instead of red. Joey’s been sick this week, and it’s been awful, but we’re still making progress toward where we’d like to be: I joined a moms’ group, finally, to allow the Toot to socialize; Mr. Book had an interview for a good job, and it would be really great if he got it; yesterday, Joey was charging across the lawn on his hands and feet, chasing the cat and laughing his head off. We’re having a hard time here, with illness and bad news from my brother and just the continual grinding pressure of the Mister being unable to find work. But there are bright spots, and I am keeping my eyes on them.