The aftermath

It’s so strange that dinner out and a few idle hours of blogging can be so overwhelming.

And… welcome to my not-so-subtle segue about how eleven months wasn’t actually eleven months and tonight was very strange.

So… you may have noticed that I finished the Turkey portion of the blog back in November, just after we got back from our trip. Only, it wasn’t actually November — what with our move back to the Vancouver area on January 1, 2008, my new job, my next new job and all the other chaos that came with our subsequent lives, I only finished the Turkey parts in June. Or so.

Then we went on the West Coast Trail, which was much, MUCH harder than I expected, and Steve sprained his ankle, which wasn’t in retrospect as traumatic as Kathy breaking her wrist, but they both finished the trail anyway. I suppose that’s a story for another night. I guess that’s the problem — life has been full of stories to tell but no time to write them down.

I don’t even know exactly what to write about the weirdness of today. Suffice it to say that I accidentally found reference to a Turkish restaurant while looking for information on another restaurant that might have been vaguely Turkish, and was so excited I called up Steve and demanded he stop whatever dinner he might have been making as we Had To Go to this place. Dinner was ok — like food in Istanbul, which is to say that it was adequate and Turkish, but not amazing and Turkish like the food in the smaller towns we went to. It did, however, put the official stamp on my overwhelming desire to go back… see how I almost wrote ‘home’? I am madly in love with That Place, and as much as other people who ought to know, having actually traveled to multiple places in the world, that other places will be as wonderful and profound as That Place, all I can think is that I want to go back to Turkey.

I would never leave my husband for another man. I hate to think of what would happen if he didn’t want to go back to Turkey with me.

So. Already feeling a little strange, though happily full of lamb and eggplant salad, I decided to do a little blog surfing while Steve was teaching a lesson and then out at a show. For me, I follow a certain number of blogs which I catch up on every few days. There are others which I have noted as potentially interesting, bookmarked, and then have largely forgotten about. Since I’m pretty caught up on the regulars, I decided to take a quick look at my giant messy pile of bloggy bookmarks and see what links I followed and where they led me. They led me to a site, and then another site, and then I saw what happens when a lovely, happy family has an unbelievable tragedy: Nie Nie.

In a nutshell, this Stephanie and Christian Nielson, parents of four kids, were in a small plane crash in August, 2008 and are still in hospital recovering (we hope, and I include me in that ‘we’) from very severe burns. Tonight, I’ve read Stephanie’s (Nie Nie) blog, her sister’s blog ( c jane), the bloggers who have made etsy garage sales to raise money and all kinds of online support for these lovely people and their million-dollar medical bills.

Even though idealogically, geographically, constitutionally, we’re very different — I’ve read their words. Words are powerful things, and I’ve felt very strongly for them tonight. I think that I’d have liked them –the whole family — if we’d had the opportunity to meet. I’ve never wanted so much to reach through a computer screen and two time zones to pat a stranger on the back. I look at my own life through the lens of contingency and I know (perhaps more than most, but that, too, is another story) that sometimes that viciously impartial contingency can rear up and smack you in the face just as well as it can stroke your hair gently in the night.

Good people can get in car crashes; bad, bad people can be the President of the USA.

When my beloved husband came home tonight, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. Do I pragmatically finish my entry, so long coming? Do I fall on him with kisses? Do I fall to my knees with gratitude that he made it home safely?

Maybe all of the above. Just give me a minute.

Honestly, I was hoping my first post back in such a long time would be decisive, witty — maybe even succinct. Instead, I am rambly and maybe a little maudlin. I miss Turkey. I missed Steve. I hope to everything that everyone comes home safe to their loved ones.

I’m overwhelmed with love for my husband, and fear of not having a long, happy and unscarred life with him, and if he doesn’t want to go with me to Turkey, I won’t go either.

Besides, I’m in no big hurry to get on an airplane right now…