Chris and I are packing up, and tomorrow morning we're flying to Saskatchewan for an unplanned trip home. Normally, I'd be thrilled about the fact that I'm getting a week and a half back home, in addition to the two weeks we'll have at Christmas. But this is a trip that none of us wanted us to have to take: we're heading home for the funeral of my little brother's beautiful, funny, wonderful wife.
This is pretty closely connected to why there's been silence at this here blog lately. Well, for the first while I was just wrapped up in research and writing, in restructuring some dissertation plans and all that. But then we found out that my sister-in-law was sick, and out of respect to the more private members of my families, I kept all that off the blog. But it was all I could really think about, and so it was easier just to maintain radio silence here.
And then suddenly she was gone, and we hardly had any time to prepare ourselves for the idea. But tomorrow, I get on an airplane, and for a week and a half I'll be able to make myself useful to my family. I'm still trying to prepare myself emotionally for being home, and for how much more real this is going to become for me. But it'll be better for me to be able to help, instead of wandering around aimlessly here, bursting into tears while holding the soup bowls she gave me for Christmas a few years ago.
So, we'll see whether I keep up any blogging while I'm home. But I thought, in the spirit of the holiday that our American friends are celebrating today, that I'd mention a few reasons why I'm thankful today. I'm thankful for my amazing friends, who have been overwhelming me with their love and very concrete support over the past few days. I'm thankful for airplanes, unlimited phone plans, and computers that make the distance between here and home seem to be not as great. I'm thankful that I have a Christopher who takes care of me every day, and has even managed to make me laugh a few times this week. I'm thankful for my amazing family. And I thankful that one beautiful girl came into our lives and changed us, even though she left us decades too soon.