All right, today I feel kind of horrible. I’m coughing like mad and couldn’t sleep much last night. But hey, what can you do? This afternoon sometime we’re driving back to New Liskeard from Ottawa. I’m told it’s about six hours of driving, but that the highway is very pretty. I have a feeling that we’ll be leaving too late to enjoy the highway for long before it gets dark, though.
I think after next weekend’s driving trip from New Liwkeard to Peterborough and back I will have driven approximately 4000 km in three weeks. Eeesh. And yet I don’t even own a car.
I’m at my brothers’ house (my brothers Mike and Chris share a house with two other people.) Chris isn’t even here, but Mike and I stayed up until 5am playing weird obscure music for each other. That’s just what we do.
Yesterday I made an unexpected side trip. As I approached the turn-off for the highway to Ottawa, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Iroquois was ten minutes away. Iroquois, where I spent a good part of my life, and where my Stepdad lives. I kept thinking about how I haven’t seen my stepdad in eight years or so. I also realized that in moving to Vancouver, the likelihood of my seeing the man ever again drops massively, because he doesn’t leave Iroquois and I’ll be on the west coast.
Because of all these things, I skipped the highway turn-off and headed for Iroquois. I didn’t know exactly where he lived, so I had to get a phone book and then drive around the town looking for his street. The town is small enough that you can actually do that. Iroquois is a lot smaller than I remember it, actually. Or maybe I’m a lot bigger.
I eventually found his townhouse and knocked on the door. When he opened it, I don’t think he realized who I was for a minute. Standing in his kitchen next to him was a girl I was best friends with in grades 1-3. I didn’t recognize her for a bit either… she was just leaving, and headed out when I arrived.
I ended up sitting and talking with my stepdad for about an hour or so. It was almost surreal, especially since I haven’t seen him in so very long, and our last conversations were incredibly stressful for me. He hadn’t even acknowledged my christmas cards for years, so much so that I had stopped sending them.
Apparently he has now willed my piano, my lovely amazing piano, to my brother now. That made me incredibly sad. I do love my piano. And I’m the only one in the family who plays. I’d like to ask Chris if I can have it someday, but I don’t really know if he’ll give it up. Back when I was a teenager, my mother gave me a choice between her grandmother’s engagement ring and the piano. I picked the piano. And now I have nothing. It just makes me feel so sad, since a part of me has always kept that thought in the back of my head that someday I’ll have a real home and be able to put my piano there… but now that thought is false.
Anyhow, the visit was strange. My stepdad’s not in the greatest health. He’s not going to my sister’s wedding next week (no surprise there, he’s incredibly bitter about my mother leaving him 8 years ago.) He’ll likely skip my wedding too for the same reason. I’m not sure how he’ll get around it if/when Chris gets married, but I guess that’s not my problem.
The strange thing was driving away from there and realizing that there’s a good possibility that I may never see him again. He really looked like he was in rough shape – he’s gained weight (and he was already overweight) and he wheezes more than he used to. He was talking about going in to get his lungs drained, and telling me about his pneumonia. The doctors think he may have had a small heart attack because he was showing symptoms of it… or it might be acid reflux. He’s in bad shape and my track record of visiting family is shoddy at best. But even knowing that doesn’t make me want to see him more… I think I just needed to see him again one more time before this move.
My life is revolving around this move. It’s like this is something I’ve been heading towards forever, and now that it’s happening all sorts of things are resolving and happening and changing and being discovered. Everything feels right. Difficult and surreal sometimes, but right.