Happy New Year 2014! Trip updates and happenings with men...
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had a fun and/or meaningful and/or relaxing NYE. I went to a family-friendly, dress up karaoke party at my friend's house, which ended up being a good time.
My few days in Oregon went well, but my dad shared some news the first day I was back that gave me, and the rest of my family, a jolt. You can skip this part if you would prefer not to hear bad news at this time.
Basically, my step-mom recently found out that she has breast cancer. While it is apparently aggressive, it seems they think it is likely isolated and can be treated with several months of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. They are doing further testing and will be able to confirm this in the next week or two, so please say a prayer for her to receive positive news (isolated tumor, very treatable, manageable) if you are willing.
My dad seems to be handling things fairly well, as far as I can tell. He has been thinking about how he can support her in this journey and talking to her about that. He is obviously afraid but seems present to what is happening and available to help her. It was moving to me to talk to him about it. As you might remember, my birth mother died from breast cancer when I was four (I have often said I believe she would have survived if diagnosed today), so this has got to be bring up a lot for him.
It does occur to me that it should bring up a lot for me, too... perhaps it is and I'm not conscious of it yet, but I do think my reaction is influenced by not having a close relationship with her, growing up or now. I love her and deeply want her to heal from this, but it's from a bit more of a distance than if we were very close, if that makes sense. In any case, it's a big thing we are going through as a family, and I appreciate your prayers.
Despite this difficult news, my visit there was a good one overall. Of course, I spent time playing with my awesome niece and nephew, and trying to play with the one-year-old niece, as well, but she is still very attached to her mom and dad. I was also able to spend time with an older cousin and her three-year-old adopted Korean son. He is a friendly little guy, and we bonded quickly, as my cousin and I reminisced and shared family secrets. Since I don't have siblings my age, it's nice to have a cousin I spent time with growing up, including on trips to Japan and Europe (we were sent on these trips by my grandparents in our teens).
Traveling with Zoey for the first time without S went remarkably well. We stopped and went on walks every couple of hours and she integrated a bit more with the family - not actually running around but being in her crate and going on walks with me and various family members. My nephew is still fearful of dogs, but I think he is slowly warming up to her and working through his fear; he was very curious and was able to go on walks with her and pet her back. My niece Jayne loved playing chase with her.
On what might be a surprising note, since returning from Oregon, I have gone on one date (a walk around the lake and coffee) and have another one scheduled for tomorrow evening. The first one won't likely lead to anything further, as the attraction wasn't really there, but it was quite pleasant. I have hopes for the second one as he is "deep" - finishing a graduate program in transpersonal counseling - and seems attractive from his pictures. I will let you know how it goes.
Nothing much to report on with S and our odd break-up... we are meeting again around the 10th to finally exchange Christmas presents. It frustrated me, as I mentioned, that he told me of that trip he was taking on his way out of town, and then it was further frustrating when he insisted on waiting until after the 10th (following his meeting with the counselor) to exchange presents... but at the same time, perhaps we both really did need space.
Honestly, I have doubts at this point that we will be able to shift our dynamic to one that works for me. Never say never, but we have been through so much and tried so hard, and something really big would need to change. These recent experiences remind me of how he thinks and communicates, which feels unpredictable and not supportive of the intimacy I desire.
Today, I am grateful for the relaxed, unplanned time. I ordered the book for my class and once it gets here - let's hope soon! - I will jump into active planning mode. My surgery is still scheduled for January 31st, but I am not sure how that will work with my class and needing to take the following week off. I wrote an email to my new supervisor giving her a heads up and asking how I might handle it. But today I am pushing all that from my mind and enjoying the free time. Hope you are, as well! :-)