Damn hormones! They've got a lot to answer for. Not only have I had it on two authorities (physio and yoga instructor) that the recent shift in my hormones has probably not helped my back problems in the slightest, but as I write this I have tears streaming down my face.
I have just heard that my colleague's brother died suddenly over the weekend. My friend and his wife were on a plane heading back to England at the time. They arrived 22 hours after his brother died. He leaves a wife, a 9 year old son and a 7 month old daughter.
This is just the saddest thing I have heard in a long time. Richard and I often have chats about what it's like living away from our families, how much we miss them and how difficult it is to get home. I know they wanted to visit this year anyway but then they bought a house so I realise they can barely afford their trip. His brother wasn't diagnosed very long ago and when Richard found out we had a big discussion about how we wish we could just pop back from time to time.
So many things about this make me sad.
Firstly, it's a sad story anyway.
Secondly, Richard and his wife, Sue are my friends and it's always difficult to see your friends go through a seriously tough time.
Thirdly, with death comes disbelief. I didn't know Richard's brother but I just can't believe he's dead. It was only a few weeks ago that we heard about his illness (hairy cell leukaemia) and the prognosis was reasonable. Unfortunately last week he caught a chest infection and no matter what antibiotics they pumped into him his body was just too weakened by the illness and the cancer treatment to fight it off. It seems as I'm getting older I am hearing of more and more people being killed by variations of this horrific disease, and often with little warning too.
Fourthly, I can fully empathise with Richard's situation; being away from home and not being able to have been there when his brother became ill. I remember how useless and far away I felt when Auntie Anne became ill and then died of cancer three Christmases ago. I keep thinking about it happening to me, imagining my sister becoming terminally ill but with a reasonable prognosis so I start thinking, "When would I like to go home? It'd be nice to wait until Clare is feeling a bit better so we can spend some time together rather than me bugging her whilst she's feeling ill. But maybe I should go sooner to show support." So I'm still thinking about it when I hear she's taken a turn for the worst. I think, "If she doesn't get any better by the weekend I'll go home." By the weekend I've booked myself on a plane. I'm really looking forward to seeing my family but sad that it's in such awful circumstances. I'm looking forward to helping Alan out with Lucy so he can spend more time with Clare. Most of all I'm looking forward to seeing my sister and showing her how much she means to me. I secretly hope that I can be the boost that pulls her through. I get off the plane. My parents meet me. They look awful. They don't even need to tell me in words. I burst into tears and fall into their arms. They take me to my sister's house. She's not there. Just Alan and Lucy. I hug them both and I just don't know what to do. Nothing will ever be the same again. Life as I know it is over. Please don't let this ever happen to me. Poor Richard.
Finally, most selfishly, and of least importance, we are just starting a project to redesign the website at work. We should have everything we need by Monday and we have very tight timescales. Richard will be away for the next three weeks at least. I will be six weeks pregnant on Wednesday. I am in two minds about whether this is a good thing or not (the project, not the pregnancy). A structured project may be just what I need to keep me focused at work and stop me placing all my energy into a pregnancy that could end the same way the last one did. On the other hand I really don't want to get stressed and the lady in charge of the website from a business perspective is a stressful person. I haven't been involved much in the beginning stages... actually what annoyed me last week was that they were having a meeting about timescales etc. and I couldn't make Thursday because of my first aid course. I need to do this because I'm a fire warden which, incidentally, is voluntary. Another lady couldn't make Friday but she's leaving at the start of July anyway so I was astonished when my boss arranged the meeting for Thursday so that she could be there. I'll be at a stage in pregnancy where I'm uncomfortable with telling people, particularly at work. It's just the kind of work I've been wanting to pop up for ages now but the circumstances are hardly ideal. Richard mentioned in his email that he realises his absence will be hard on me with regards to the project; little does he know. In short, I'm feeling extremely apprehensive.
I think my emotions might now be under control enough for me to be able to go and make some lunch, if I can find some food. I will try not to think about it any further. I must use this afternoon for relaxation and sorting my back out. After the fall-out I've just had though, I'm really glad I was at home when I found out about all this, and not at work as I should have been.