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Lots of news.

I got through the weekend that was supposed to be my wedding. I did a girls' weekend instead. We went for a 5-hour hike in the woods, trying to find a homestead that's rumoured to be haunted. We didn't find it, but that's fine. We had chickpea curry with naan bread for dinner, pigged out on candy and alcohol, then passed out early. The next morning, we ate the rest of the zucchini bread that I had baked and brought over the day before. Not much cream was left in the fridge, so I got dibs on it for my coffee, me being the guest of honor and all. It was a good time.

The holiday Monday wasn't such a great time. I went out of town that day with my parents to visit my grandmother in the hospital. I knew she wasn't doing well, but I didn't realize just how ill she was. Her once-orangey hair, normally curled carefully around her face, was now a frizzy, grey-ish-white mass that stood up on end. The rest of her looked thin and frail, hardly taking up any room in the bed. She reminded me of a dandelion turned to seed. As we entered the room, she recognized my mother, who went to her side. My father and I hung back. I'm not sure if she was aware of our presence. She was on painkillers. My father went to the waiting room, saying there was nothing he could do. I asked my mother if I should stay. A long pause. "Yes." So I stayed.

My grandmother was too weak to say much. Her voice was raspy, and she had to keep closing her eyes. I watched my mother feed her two spoonfuls of pudding, help her drink water from a straw. Feeling awkward, I put the pink orchid I'd bought for her on the side table and stood by the wall. My mother applied chapstick on my grandmother's lips, dabbed moisturizer on her face. Her face cream was thick and white and came from a small glass jar that was probably expensive. I felt a renewed respect for my mother. This was the first time in ages I had seen her focus completely on another person. It must have been difficult for her to see her mother like this, but she didn't let it show. Meanwhile, I'm standing there trying not to cry. In 20 years' time, will my own mother be the one laying in a hospital bed? Will it then be my turn to care for her and wonder if she'll survive the night? 

I eventually joined my father in the waiting room. He looked tired and unhappy. I wondered if he was remembering when his own parents were ill and never got better. I bought a snack pack of hummus and crackers from the hospital cafe and sat down to read my Asimov's magazine. It must have been 10 or 15 minutes later when my mother came out and asked us to drive to Walmart to get one of those U-shaped neck pillows. My grandmother's neck hurt no matter how the nurses arranged the pillows. My father wasn't too keen on the idea, muttering that it wouldn't help, but he obliged. I went with him. When we got back, he waited in the car for us while I ran inside to drop off the pillow. My grandmother was more lucid by this point. I felt bad that we had to leave. I held her hand and told her I hope she feels better soon. She asked me to pray for her. I'm not a religious person, but I told her I would. 

Typing this out, I don't feel so bad anymore about my ex-fiancee mailing me a set of keys to a storage unit. I just got the package today. A brief, impersonal note accompanied the keys, explaining that he'd rented a storage unit in my town for one month and put my stuff in it. I don't even remember how much I left at his place. I know it won't all fit in the storage unit I'm already renting. It's going to be a real pain in the ass to sort through it. I didn't bother to drive out to it today. I just stayed home and cried for a while. I wish he had thrown my stuff out. I don't care about my stuff. I care about the fact that he's avoiding me. He drove 4 hours to my town to drop stuff off without even texting or calling me to say he was here, and then he left . . . and mailed the keys to me. I mean, really? Am I really so horrible to be around that he can't even look at me or speak to me?

I know it's not really about me. It's about him and his inability to handle his emotions. He's not mature enough to be in a relationship. Still, I can't help blaming myself.

Feeling this shitty makes me feel motivated in a weird way. I went online about an hour ago and made another lump sum payment towards my student loan. I'm practically broke now, but oh well. I just want this thing gone. It'll be a huge accomplishment. I'm hoping that getting it off my back will help me feel more free.

Not much else to report. Training at work is going well. I haven't made the zombies for Halloween yet, but I do have three styrofoam heads in the backseat of my car. I have the house to myself for the next week, so I'm happy about that. I need a break from my mother. She might have impressed me last week, but she still drives me up the wall. There's not much left in the garden but parsley and parsnips, and I'll be harvesting those soon. I'll be going to sleep early tonight. I ran three days in a row, and my body is super tired. I'm trying to get my run time down to 5km in 30 minutes. I have a virtual race coming up, and I'd like to be in the top 50th percentile. Maybe next year I can aim a bit higher. I don't know how to deal with my life, so I just run. Yep.

Thanks for reading.