We have an unexpected house guest tonight: my Sweet Girl!
That exclamation point (and as a rule I'm against exclamation points, but this one is certainly worthy) indicates a little cheer at having my girl home, and then I feel guilty for cheering, because it isn't a celebratory visit.
Sweet Girl's aunt on her father's side is gravely ill and may not live another 24 hours. Sweet Girl made the drive up from Florida this morning, spent the day at the hospital with her father, her half-sister, her cousin, and her uncle, and then she came "home" to spend the night. (We had a discussion this afternoon about where "home" really is now. It gets muddled.)
I liked my sister-in-law. (Although she was snarky with me on one particular occasion, but I forgave her for that a long time ago, even if she WAS taking up for her butthead brother.) Out of everyone in that family, she seemed to have the most sense. And she could boss everybody else around, including her mother and father, like nobody's business. I admired that about her. Except she bossed me around too.
By the way, this is NOT the ex who caused the blight on my credit report that caused me not to be able to buy the marsh house. If it were, I would have been up there at the hospital with Sweet Girl, making sure HE spent some time on his own little personal ventilator.
Sorry. I digress.
My sister-in-law had the first "miracle baby" I was personally acquainted with. She experienced preeclampsia in the seventh month of her pregnancy, and they had to deliver the baby by emergency Caesarean section. Jessica weighed 2 pounds at birth, which is not jaw-dropping by today's standards. But that miracle baby just turned 30 years old, and it was quite a medical feat at the time to save both the mother and the baby.
Martha and her husband Gene continued to consider me a part of the family long after her brother and I went our separate ways. One year BRAG went through their town, and they picked Katydid and me up at the school. (They picked us up in their daycare center's van, and one fellow rider REFUSED to believe it was not the shuttle bus to town. He continued to attempt to get in the van with us even after we tried to explain that it was only there for the two of us. Still one of my favorite BRAG memories.) They took us to dinner, did our laundry at their daycare center, and let us sleep in comfortable beds instead of tents for one night. They are good people.
Martha is only 61, and it seems impossible to believe that her time is up. Sweet Girl has to go back "home" tomorrow because she has a class presentation to make, and she has a flight to Texas on Friday. She feels conflicted about leaving, but I don't think anything is to be gained by her canceling her flight, losing the money she paid for the trip, and missing class.
For a while this afternoon it was just like her living at home again. We swam for a little while, then I cooked the same dinner I had planned for Hubby and me, but it was more enjoyable to have an additional person at the table. (Never mind that we had to go to special efforts to clean off the place at the table that we rarely use but have no problem piling up with junk mail and other stuff.) Now it's bedtime, and she'll head south again very early tomorrow morning in an attempt to beat the traffic.
An unpleasant reason for a visit, but a pleasure to have her here no matter how briefly.