Last Friday, as I contemplated getting out of bed, the phone rang. It was my mother-in-law. Our Uncle in Croatia was in hospital again (not too unusual) and wasn't doing well (unusual). In the next 20 minutes a lot happened. I texted Pete, he called back, he called his mum, he called me. Our Uncle had passed.
Within a few hours we found ourselves in Heathrow departure lounge waiting to board the last flight to Croatia. Monday night we were back home on our couch. We are still processing this loss. He was the first member of Pete's family I met. He approved me for the rest of the family. I never really understood a word he said (I don't speak Croatian) but his eyes and laugh spoke volumes.
That Friday morning I planned to write about the things we do for our spouse in support of their beliefs or culture. I was thinking more along the lines of giving up meat on Fridays during Lent or sporting a clown nose on Halloween, but the universe served up a slightly bigger task.
Friday, my role as housewife became crucial to our last minute trip to Croatia. Within moments of that last call, I was bouncing around the house like a pinball. My brain was flooded. While trying to process what had just happened, I was also attempting a packing list. While Pete organised our tickets and renewed our travel insurance (the last time we went to Croatia for a weekend, we were there for a week due to an unnamed volcano) I packed our bags and prepared the house for our departure.
Needless to say, it was an intense weekend all around.
I still want to talk about supporting our spouse but it is a little too raw still. We are moving back and forth between supporting each other this week. We each need to grieve, and sometimes the grief overwhelms us, but we also needed to get through the airport, to make dinner, to go back to work.