I got off work Thursday at 5pm and started the long drive to Kelowna. I started listening to a book on my phone (Siri read to me you monotone bore) “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan. I got a phone call that my brother’s father in law to be had just passed away 20 minutes ago. My brother and his fiancé were planning a small wedding in the hospice her Dad was staying in and were trying desperately to get married as soon as they could so he could be there- for the very next day. I arrived in Quesnel and there was still daylight left in the day. I got out of my filthy red truck and it smells like spring. The smell of tree buds and grass fills my little heart in the same way fallen leaves or fresh snow would.
My Mom still wanted to go to be there for my brother so we decided to make the rest of the trip. I take over driving around 11pm. I like night driving a lot and it feels like we’re on a mission. To the brother! Onward! I had a fantastic playlist on the go and the big full moon was bright. Yus slept in the backseat contentedly and my mom slept in the front seat. Around 3:30 in the morning we arrived in Kelowna. My mom woke up and acted like she hadn’t been sleeping yet asked where we were. We searched for a pet friendly hotel and finally found one. The previous night I had only slept 5 hours and it looked like I would be getting even less on this occasion. I crashed out in the room while Yus tried desperately to wake me up, she wanted to play.
I get up at 7:30am and my Mom had breakfast from the hotel ready for me to shove into my face hole. She asks me how it is and I say it tastes like she touched it with her hands, “I DID NOT!!” she exclaimed. I get up and start the process of dying my hair. Nothing like leaving things to the last second. I ruined two hotel towels in the process. After getting ready we finally got on our merry way to the hospice.. The wedding was still on. My brother’s fiancé’s father (say that ten times fast) had given them his blessing and had been apart of the planning. He would have wanted them to continue on with the wedding.
On route to the hospice my Mom rear ended a truck.
I don’t know if it was that tensions were high or just that the fact that my brother was getting married that caused the distraction. I’ve been in two accidents already this year and with this one made three. My back had hurt so much on the way down that I had the back of the chair pushed back so my back wouldn’t touch the chair. That pain was nothing to a fresh dose of whiplash. Yus hit the dash. I glared over at my Mom and in this moment it was as if time had slowed down. The look on her face was one I’ve never seen before on her face but on mine. Remorse mixed with pain. Time sped up again and anger shot through my veins. It is one thing to be in a lot of pain, but with a decent mix of exhaustion it was not my prettiest moment.
We get to the hospice and my brother is standing outside. The look on his face on seeing the car looked like it could have matched mine perfectly. It’s 20 minutes to the wedding and he’s still not dressed. I switch into big sister mode. “Where’s your suit? Is that what you’re doing with your hair? Take out your piercings you’ll regret it!” I leave him to get dressed and when I come back he’s talking to the officiator, with an air that sounded like a young man, not my little brother. In that moment I felt so very proud of him. The car had to be towed and all the sudden I had nowhere to put Yus. I let her follow me in. A lady stopped me steps from the door and thought she’d give me an earful about dogs without leashes. Wrong time to be telling me off lady. Leftover anger laced with shock and anticipation was still coursing through my veins and all I wanted to do was slap this woman and tell her off. “Look here you fake, blonde, bitch” I willed myself not to say. Instead I said,”That man there is my brother and he’s getting married here in five minutes. I was just in a car accident and the cars being towed and I have nowhere to put my dog. The wedding is outside surely the dog won’t bother anyone there.” Another woman comes up and joins her in disapproving looks and general look downary. “You can only have a dog here if it’s for a patient.” I grab my brother from the party and he lets Yus into his truck for the ceremony.
We go outside into the gardens. Iris, daffodil and ornamental cherry trees are in full bloom. As his bride walks down a little path I look back at my brother and all the sudden our whole childhood together went flashing before my eyes. My throat felt right and I couldn’t see anything anymore. I didn’t think I would be the one to cry at his wedding. I was wrong.
After the ceremony we hung out for a bit while Mother tried to organize how we were going to get home as the car had been towed minutes before the ceremony. She gets picked up to get a rental car and shows up to come get me. We head back on the road towards home. She drives for a bit through a warm spring, heavy rain. I take over just before 100 mile house. She falls asleep minutes after telling me she can’t sleep when I drive. I arrive at her house and I stay to sleep until 6:30am when I’ll make the rest of the trip home to make it in time for work.. At 10:00am. On the drive home I felt a heavy sadness. At one point I had the strongest urge to veer into a swamp. If I lived I would walk away. Just walk away down the ditch along the highway and head east. I don’t know why east popped into my head then and not my usual North. I suppose I am missing Newfoundland. I make it to work and the day feels heavy.
I went to a show after work with Layla and tried moonshine for the first time. About 6-7 hours of that night I have no recollection of. Layla kept an eye on me and said I mostly danced my heart out and ate a lot of beef stew.
I’m on day two of what feels like will be a 10 day hangover.