I’m going to wrap up this story today, and, to be honest, I’m a little nervous that you’re all expecting a big, dramatic ending.
Spoiler alert: there isn’t one.
My father-in-law was released from the hospital and they checked into the extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks. During that time, they spent a LOT of time over at our apartment, which was honestly pretty nice. We played a lot of cards and I spent a lot of time researching recipes that were good for someone who was both diabetic (a new diagnosis he had received) and dealing with triglycerides that were off the chart.
I cooked a lot of new things and shopped for ingredients that, at that point in my life, I had never even seen. The one that I remember very clearly is jicama. Don’t even ask me how I pronounced it at the time– ha! But I was young. A newlywed, yet. We’ll just say the whole thing was quite the learning experience.
Toward the end of their stay, my husband starting getting called in as a “floater” for the bank. In case you can’t tell by the name, a floater is someone who goes wherever they’re needed to fill in. Honestly, it would be a nightmare of a job for someone like me, because I don’t like having to drive new places. But, for him? It worked out.
As it turns out, the health revelations that were uncovered during their spontaneous visit to Virginia would later spiral into even more. I went from truly believing that my father-in-law while, yes, a few pounds overweight, was totally healthy, to finding out that all sorts of problems lurked under the surface.
This entire story took place in the Fall of 2002. Within two and a half more years, we would have an infant, move halfway across the country again, be expecting our second child, and lose his dad.
Of course, we didn’t know any of that back then.
We settled in to our work routines, made friends (really, that was– and always has been– my job ), and fell in love with our little apartment. We were approaching our one year wedding anniversary and I was super excited. To celebrate that occasion, we went to see a Ravens game and then stayed in a super fancy-pants hotel in Baltimore.
When I tell people the story of our move to Virginia, they are usually staggered by how very much went wrong so very quickly. I mean– who expects to have so much go awry in the span of a week or two?
Honestly, it was a lot to handle at the time. Even though we had no children yet and really didn’t have a lot of the stresses that many people face, we were very young and still newly married. We optimistically and fearlessly moved thousands of miles from our families and didn’t flinch– but trouble found us and problems creeped in.
What all of this taught me, however, and at a relatively young age, is that problems truly are all relative. It’s amazing how you can lose your debit card and feel like that is a total crisis and be feeling overwhelmed and annoyed– and then you’re in a fender bender. And, all of a sudden, closing and reordering a card seems like small potatoes as you deal with all the hoopla of filing insurance and getting repairs done. Then, just as you feel like pulling your hair out over the car problem, you learn that a family member is seriously ill…
and it all pales.
This is how it is. For better or for worse, everything is relative. This is why some (admittedly annoying) people will always point out that, no matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse. It’s true. There’s no getting around it– it’s true.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to feel sad or frustrated or annoyed about your (smaller) problems. They’re real. Our car not being delivered? Legitimate problem. My husband not having the promised position? Pain in the rear. My car being messed up in a hit and run? Seriously, something to get irked about. But they became more insignificant when my father-in-law fell ill.
Still, I learned early on to never ever ever ask, “What more could go wrong?”
Because you’ll find out.
(This concludes the “move to VA” story! In cased you missed any of, all the preceding posts can be found here: **a special thanks to Jessie for pointing out my inadvertent omission last week**)
Part 1: Itchy Feet
Part 2: Looking Northward
Part 3: Picking a Town
Part 4: The Job “Search”
Part 5: Selling Our First Home (at 25)
Part 6: Sold!
Part 7: Virginia or bust!
Part 8: Car Trouble & a Surprise
Part 9: Waiting and Waiting
Part 10: Disconnected
Part 11: Wreath of Wrath