My head space was so crowded with anxiety. I wanted to shut down and withdraw, but there was simply too much at stake. We put an offer in on the house but I was conflicted. Part of me wanted it all to be done quickly. Part of me was scared of how fast it was all happening and wanted it to fall through. Still, I put on a brave face.
"Don't think about it. Everyone is fine. Everything is fine. Don't think about it."
V's semester finally ended, so he and Ella made their Exodus and headed south to join me. Mimi was due back any day now. I was excited but nervous. We weren't set to close on the house until after Christmas. And that wasn't even a sure thing until we could sign on the dotted line.
I went to the airport to meet Mimi. I fantasized about a hugely dramatic reunion. She would run into my arms, squeeze me tight, and refuse to let go. I sat anxiously at the arrivals lounge. Then I saw them-- my sister and my beautiful baby girl. It had been too long. Finally she was here.
I waited for her to turn around and see me. She turned. She saw me. I waved frantically, barely able to contain my excitement. She yawned, then turned and looked the other way.
Huh? This is not how this is supposed to happen. Maybe she just didn't see me.
I ran towards her and planted a big kiss on her cheek. She screamed and clung tighter to my sister.
My heart sank.
I had underestimated how hard it would be to be away from her, but what I hadn't considered, was how hard it would be to be reunited.
I still wonder whether she had forgotten about me, or if she was just harboring resentment for leaving her with my family (I'm leaning towards the latter school of thought, knowing my Scorpio baby). Whatever the reason, it was tough.
Luckily my sister was there for a while to help with the transition, though, Mimi instantly clung to V.
Still, I soldiered on. We closed on the house with little fanfare.
It was bittersweet. Everything was all coming together but I was gone all week,every week, and I barely had time to enjoy it.
I felt a familiar weight starting to develop. The weight of guilt.
Desperate for some sense of normalcy, I threw my effort into the precious moments I shared with Mimi on weekends. #Girlstime was instituted. I was determined to rebuild our relationship. I even took her on a weekend vacation back to Trinidad to solidify our bond.
"Don't think about it. Everyone is fine. Everything is fine. Don't think about it." Except it wasn't fine. This wasn't fine. I had to make a change for the sake of my family; for the sake of my sanity.
LUCKILY the change came without having to leave my company, and I was able to lateral into a new position which afforded me the ability to lead a somewhat "normal" life.
My family was whole again. My family was home again.
It only took us a year.