"Two days before Valentine's Day, this could either be a really good Valentine's Day or a really sucky one." I didn't quite connect it until she said those words, until I was driving home, recollecting our conversation and her trying not to cry.
I've known this girl, a senior in high school, for years now. Not super well, I know her parents better, seeing them more regularly, but all having danced in my main ceili / set dance group, and Senior having danced at M's Irish step dance school until they closed the local studio after last year. Small talk at yesterday's fundraiser (for a local St. Patrick's Day parade) had Senior saying she was just too busy with other things this year to do much dancing. A few hours later, bits and pieces later, she told me why she was worrying so, simply by my asking if she had much homework due today, and being there, not judging her.
It doesn't help that one of her good friends had her stepfather die this past weekend, having to be taken off of dialysis, funeral later this week. It doesn't help that Senior's boyfriend's mother "hates" her. Senior's parents aren't fond of "eh, so'so" Boyfriend, but know enough to not forbid her, that it'd be worse that way, not that they find him a horrible kid, but, and Mom just speaks briefly about it and we chat of other things more. Boyfriend is abused by his parents, has sometimes sought shelter at Senior's home (and Senior's dad does the legal thing of calling and informing the parent's of Boyfriend).
Senior has a good heart, right now, a heavy heart, or, well, hopefully right now a thankful one. I just tried calling her and got the answering machine. Boyfriend went to court this morning. It's a big deal event, all over the local newspapers when "it" happened. "Oh, that's him?" She didn't really say until I asked a bit more just what this was for, telling me how she'd hide her head and deny when all the others at their high school would ask if, gasp, SHE was the girlfriend of HIM. Something Senior says was an accident, that the security guards and police both believe Boyfriend in that it was an accident, that he's been honest and cooperative and there's a teacher Boyfriend's worked with for 4 years was going, too, maybe as a character witness.
Senior believes boyfriend's a good kid in a screwed up homelife (which truly does sound screwed up, even parents of Senior say so.) Senior was the one called at 3:30 a.m. last weekend by her girlfriend when girlfriend's stepfather died. Senior's grades this year have been a struggle. She laughs that her boyfriend has a better chance of graduating, with homeschooling tutors three times a week, then she does. Twice I hug her. I tell her that perhaps Boyfriend's mom feels threatened by what Senior represents, the growing lack of control that mom has over her son. And, twice, I try to tell her, that after she gets through this week, she has to take care of herself. That even caretakers have to take time to take care of themselves, too. Not a lesson I needed to hear at 17 years old, learning later in life.
Two days before Valentine's Day. Oh, I have two cards for my beautiful Valentine, one from the pets, one from me, and a couple small gifts for her. 13 years ago on Valentine's Day, I had my sonogram. C didn't go with me, so after, I stopped by a store and picked up two pink roses and dropped by his work, the pink to indicate that we're having a girl. (He wasn't so excited, in general, but oh well.) Two days from now, we'll celebrate love, and that we are alive, and sick with colds, but generally healthy, and free people. St. Valentine's Day the wedding anniversary for cousin like a sister, Stephanie........
Years ago that seem too recently ago, two days before St. Valentine's Day, my late cousin like a very close brother Dougie's wife went to a dance, a singles dance purposefully without him, to celebrate the "lovers holiday." When she got back to their home, it was a bad night for both of them. For right now, we'll just write that he died. The entire thing was all over the local newspapers, front page, at least twice. Stephanie even went on the television news there, the interview shown at every hour the news was shown. If people could only know and understand the entire story, but. (Part of it is that he'd been a victim of domestic abuse, repeatedly, and not uncommon for him to show up at work with bruises and other signs, I was told at Dougie's memorial service by one of his guy coworkers, but, he's a guy, and not exactly perfect himself.)
So, yeah, two days before St. Valentine's Day. It's a bit sucky of an anniversary, really. Other than the great thing of late President Abraham Lincoln's birthday:) (I think.) I really liked him.
I hope that things went better for Senior and Boyfriend today, anyway. I'm sure it'll be on the news tonight, or at least in tomorrow's paper. I hope if it's not a snow day tomorrow, that Senior feels strong enough in school to be okay, focus on HER work.
Okay, I'm tired and I'm sick still, my neighbor says it sounds like bronchitis but it's not in my lungs, so Im' not clear how coordinated this all sounds. I'm meaning to also say, hey, if Dougie can't do it, then I have to stay living life in some part for him, for my daughter, for myself, but feel blessed that I CAN do this. I am not in jail or juvenile or whatever it's called (nor have I been in jeopardly of being in such a place), I have a home, and food, and a job, a great kid whom I actually like, too, not just love, good things, good blessings. Even if I can't help but remember Dougie, and mourn him a bit on this day. And, I really do with Senior and her Boyfriend, both, well.
Update -- Sigh. Meals on Wheels called. The delivery went fine, she hastened to relay. Just that Dad isn't quite himself today, and showed up not fully dressed (was covered but in underwear and a t-shirt, not the pants I'd bought him, any pair of pants I'd gotten him). That maybe this isn't unusual, the woman wasn't invited in which is fine (ack, yes), and only sees him once a week. WELL, I had wanted someone else to be able to touch base with him for me, as I can't all the time, and for when my routine visits can't/don't happen, such as this past weekend for me being sick. I didn't hear from him, though, so....... I guess we're stopping by tonight (already knew I'd nix my rehearsal), not go in per se to spread germs, or at least re-try calling. I got to ask her a question I had about snow closings and deliveries (announced in the media in another town oh well), and payment.
I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed:) (Reminding myself here.) Ah, and M is able to enjoy warmer weather and a riding lesson today and Daisy and will get to enjoy her again, too. I got to read some of "the" paper today, some of "Tis" last night. Life is good, I know. Even if I'm not feeling well and I sure wish some of it was easier at times. Not like I have the flu, right?! Right!