On Tuesday, July 5th, my mother-in-law had a stroke.

On Thursday, July 7th, she had brain surgery to stop the bleeding in there. We packed our suitcases and selves in the car and started driving to Wisconsin, not sure if she would still be there when we arrived.

My husband and I spent our anniversary finishing the drive and sitting with her and my father-in-law in the neurological intensive care unit at St. Luke’s. We were glad she made it through the surgery, but the extent of the damage remains to be seen.

We spent several days near her, taking care of a few things around the house for James’ dad, hanging on to whatever hope came along. And she seemed to improve, slowly. So we came back to Virginia on Wednesday. Went back to work on Thursday. Still waiting for more news. More hope. Life goes on. For now.

The recovery will be slow. Like, slower than slow. Mom’s always been one to take her own sweet time. Do things her way. So we’ve begun to have the conversation, like for real, about moving back. Because James is the only child. There’s that sense of obligation. That feeling that what we came here to be might not be meant to be.

I’m conflicted. I finally feel like I have pieced together a good life here. I love my friends, my job(s) are working out, and I enjoy my space and my autonomy. But I do miss my family. So does M. So does James. So we shall see.


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