A friend of mine died yesterday.

They were one of those online friends that my family used to scoff about and call “not a real friend.”

We met in person some years ago. They were in town on their way to visit family, and we had a very pleasant lunch. They were a real person with a real life and a real family. I felt like they could be my sibling.

We kept in touch over the years, but they fell ill. (Due to their wish for privacy, I will not disclose the illness, even though my friend is no longer alive.) At first, I was worried, but my friend seemed to be overcoming their illness and was on the way to recovery. Other problems cropped up in my life, and I lost touch. We didn’t communicate as much as we should have, and that was my fault entirely. I own it.

By chance, I found out from my friend’s partner that my friend passed away. Even though they had overcome their previous illness several times, a secondary condition caused them to rapidly decline. In less than 48 hours, my friend was gone, taken out by something unexpected as they continued to work towards a full recovery from their illness.

I’m terrible at keeping in touch, and this hurts my heart in a way I didn’t think possible. Every time I think I’m done crying for my friend, I start crying again.

This isn’t fair. They were supposed to have more time. They were supposed to have lunch with me again and marvel at my cherry blossom and meet my sunflower and my husband.

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Goodbye, Linden. I’m sorry. The world is so much dimmer without your light.


If it’s not one thing, it’s another

Well, I failed abysmally at Blogtober. In my defense, though, I had crisis after crisis after crisis to deal with, and I’m still dealing with them now.

First of all, what was supposed to be a fun excursion turned into two brutal weeks of illness that knocked us on our butts as a family. Michael and I got hit first, then the kids. We’re on the mend now, but I’ve still got a cough that pops up whenever I step out of the house (most likely due to the poor air quality from all of the vehicles on the busy street nearby).

And if that wasn’t enough, our kitchen sink stopped draining. We did what we could as unlicensed amateurs to get it working again, but we failed. After that came a fight with the property management company that owns the house we rent because they didn’t want to deal with the problem and told us to call a plumber. Trouble with that was that we’d already paid the $1235 a month in rent and didn’t have anything left over to pay a plumber, and our spidey sense told us that it wasn’t something we could fix.

A few days later, they acquiesced and sent over a maintenance guy to try and clear it, to no avail. After a weekend of more washing dishes in the bathtub and improvisational cooking (it’s a real pain in the ass to cook three meals a day without a working kitchen sink, I’m here to tell you), another maintenance guy came over with a more powerful auger and tried to clear the line…to no avail.

The head of maintenance finally called a plumber, and the person they sent over was able to clear the line, but he discovered a big problem. The pipe that runs below the basement flood was clogged with mud, which means that the line itself is broken. The line is cast iron and probably over 70 years old, so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that it has corroded to the point of letting mud in.

So now we wait and see what the property management company wants to do. They likely won’t have a copy of the report on the line until Monday, but at least I can use my kitchen sink until the next big storm causes the groundwater to force more mud into the pipe.

In the course of working on the pipe, the water and ick from it got onto the laundry that I hadn’t caught up on, causing it to look and smell awful. I’m doing my best to catch up, but it’s a massive challenge with a young toddler who gets anxious when I’m not in the room with her.

Speaking of my little sunflower, she hasn’t been getting enough sleep, and it is probably at the root of her clinginess. She’s been refusing to nap, so I’ve been putting her to bed early. She’s been getting an average of 12 hours, but everything I’ve read says she needs to be getting at least 13-14 hours a day, so I’m anxious about closing that gap.

It’s also NaNoWriMo time, and while I haven’t been able to work on my project as much as I’d like, I have been making progress as I can, and that’s something, I suppose.

And now it’s time for me to sneak into the shower while my sunflower and cherry blossom are asleep and my husband is playing his racing game. Huzzah!