This Spring, and the Summer so far have been incredibly tiring. Not in the old fashioned, work outside in the fresh air until you drop sense, although there has been plenty of that as well. The course of the year since February or March has taken a toll on our whole family and community.
I've started to call this "The Summer of Eternal Call," since JP has been the only provider at his 3 provider clinic since the beginning of May, and has been on call EVERY DAY since then. He has been working more hours than normal all summer, but the last 3 weeks have been the worst...he has been gone for 11-12 hours a day. That is wearing on me since I am dealing with 2 kids without schoolwork for that long on my own, plus managing the "Farm". He is exhausted too, which makes him more short tempered and less fun to be around when he does get home.
Add this to the saga which I've mentioned previously, of 3 of our good friends being dismissed or not having their contracts renewed at the University. That has caused a good deal of heartbreak and turmoil in our community. Our good sized circle of close friends is shrinking rapidly, since these folks are headed to other areas. They have been like family to our family for the past 7 or 8 years, with our children calling them "Aunt" and "Uncle", and being best buddies with their children. Because of this sadness, I have had a lot of sleepless or extremely late nights. Last night was one of them.
The family with girls are leaving in a week, so we had a farewell pot luck in the park with everyone last night, trying to work this in around vacations, etc. (This was a weekly summer ritual of our peeps - the pot luck in the park.) The reality of the situation finally hit L on the way home. She and E have been buddies since they first met at age 6 months or so. Their birthdays are just one week apart, and they have been tight for 6 years...her whole life! She wept the whole way home, mourning missed opportunities and the end of the way things have been.
Their decision to leave this summer happened just a few weeks ago, and I am feeling the way I did when my friend passed away last year: why didn't I drop every thing and spend more time with my friend? What made whatever I was doing at the time so all encompassingly important? And most of all, why didn't I learn last time? Of course, this time it isn't permanent. We'll still be able to talk, and carry on our friendship long distance. We just won't, as L put it last night, "be able to go to their house and see Aunt K smiling and so happy to see us." At least not as often.
Soon, I will face the same situation with another one of my friends, who is the most creative, amazing woman. She helps me figure out how to fix things or arrange things or make things. It was her idea, at her boys' Birthday party last week, to take pictures with this frame...so much fun and so cute!
So, with the lack of sleep, and a very heavy heart to boot, I am dragging through this summer. I just realized yesterday that JP only has another week and a half until this Summer of Eternal Call should be over. In addition, he was just mandated by the CEO to take a vacation, just at the same time as we were given an opportunity to join family at the beach. It would be good to get away, to dodge reality for awhile, to sleep.
7 months ago