When You Don’t Know What to Do: SoCS

It’s no surprise that things don’t always go according to plan, but some things tug at the decision-making process than others. That was the case this morning, when we awoke to a telephone message from back in the States. Dave’s mother had passed away. Even though she had been in a nursing home for several months, there had been no specific warning that this was coming. But apparently, once they got her ready for breakfast this morning, they went to get her tray and when they returned she was gone.

So what to do? Do we get a ticket and send him back for the funeral? There are so many complications. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday–external pressure from somewhere–not sure where. Even if we put Dave on a flight tomorrow, he would get there just in time for the funeral. As it takes close to 20 hours to make that trip. Then there’s the fact that our resources are very limited right now. Then there’s the fact his sister, Cathy, the one who has been the caregiver for Mom all these years, has already had two bouts with cancer and is being watched for another recurrence. Dave returned to the US last year to help her through one of those times, with surgery and chemo. So the real issue is that if he goes now, there won’t be resources to go again before our final return to the US in the summer of 2015. There are no guarantees about anything, of course, but there are certainly none that suggest that Cathy may not need Dave before our return.

Too many factors, too little time, too little money. The options weigh heavily. Luckily, though, there is no heavy expectation that he return. It’s just his siblings are asking in case he does want to try to make it because it would then make sense to delay the funeral to make it less of a tight fit in the schedule.

Then, of course, there’s the idea of separation again. Dave and I spent the first two years of my Taiwanese adventure across the ocean from each other, and then have spent our summers visiting respective families. We had already decided not to travel this summer, when this surprise came along.

Emotionally, my preference is to not have to deal with it. If he wanted to go, if we had the resources for it to happen easily, I would somehow manage. I have before. But I don’t want to. I selfishly want to keep him near me as I work through the second half of this crazy semester, with textbook deadlines looming repeatedly in the distance–the disadvantage of having so many left to do and a tight timeline if I want to leave for the States by summer of 2015.

Luckily, Dave seems to be ok with the way things appear to be lining up. He wants to stay with me. He wants to believe that things will be good with this sister until 2015 and beyond, but he clearly wants to have the option to go to her if she needs him. And going now would eliminate that possibility. There is no way we could do this twice.

What to do? Not quite sure, but it looks like the dust is starting to settle. In the meantime, the other things that need to be done don’t seem all that important.

RIP Dorothy. We will remember you fondly.

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This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-514/

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7 comments on “When You Don’t Know What to Do: SoCS

  1. I am sorry she passed away while you are so far away. That always complicates matters, especially if money is tight. Perhaps someone can take pictures of the memorial service and/or record the speeches so he can still get a feeling of how it was?

  2. So sorry to hear about this. These types of events do make our day-to-day struggles recede, don’t they? I hope you end up in a place that you are comfortable with.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s a tough decision when our loved ones are so far away. To be there for the family is important, and yet limitations are what they are. All the best to you both, and to your family.

  4. I will be saying a Prayer for you as this is never easy. Not to be able to say good bye to his mom would be hard but then not being there if his sister needs him is also hard. This is a choice only the two of you can make. But together you will do what is right I am sure of it.

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