Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. — John Lennon
At the end of October, I had somewhat scaled-back plans to continue the Dictionary Project. I had started looking for another (ordinary) job, and was doing some contracted editing work and really enjoying it. I was finishing up with Writer School, and feeling a combination of loss and relief about the ending of what had been an amazing year. I was looking forward to what was coming up for me.
And then my father-in-law’s health, in decline since May, took a sharpish downward turn. My husband and I flew to England to help my mother-in-law, and to spend as much time with my father-in-law as we could, before that cruelest of diseases, the stealthy thief of all things — cancer — took him away. His three-year battle came to an end on December 19, 2014. We had hoped for a last Christmas with him. We got our first Christmas without him, instead. It was sad, but not unrelievedly so, for there is relief and gladness in the end of a struggle.
The funeral was a fitting tribute to the man, and as per the one specific wish he had ever expressed about the event, the hearse carrying his coffin from church to crematorium overtook the car in front on the journey. If you knew nothing else about my father-in-law, this would tell you volumes. He loved cars. He loved fast cars. He lived conventionally, but thought and dreamed otherwise. He was well known, at work, for disregarding edicts from Head Office when they didn’t suit him, and doing things his own way. That final overtake was my father-in-law to a T. I’ll miss him.
Which is all a long way of explaining why I haven’t been around for such a long time. Only just got back to Canada late on Thursday night. Still jet-lagged enough to consider having done three loads of laundry no mean accomplishment. But now that I’m back into some degree of normalcy, I’ll see about being a bit more regular here, too.