Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

When family can’t cope either

SATURDAY, May 29 – A change of plans. Grandma is not coming to visit this summer, after all. Pete saved the announcement until after the party and chose his words carefully. I fully understand her decision. Apparently, she is close to a nervous breakdown, her blood pressure regularly shoots up and the mere thought of setting foot in Amsterdam, where her daughter died, sends her into a state of panic.

The original plan was that she would arrive in early July, spend a week here during the final school days, celebrate Eamonn’s birthday, and then fly back to the States with the boys. Everything was settled: the flight was booked in consultation with the brothers-in-law and I’d made plans for the two weeks that I’d be alone in Amsterdam. But now she must beg off.  It’s rotten luck, but it was to be expected. I call to tell her that I fully understand. Relief on the other end of the line.

Normally, I would have made a real fuss about a setback like this. Now I can muster the self-control to deal with such a last-minute change. I’m able to let it all sink in, and then accept that somehow things will work out for the best. How? I haven’t a clue. We’ll think of something. If necessary, the boys can fly to the States on their own. In any case, they’re going. ‘We want to go home,’ said Eamonn, speaking for his brother as well.

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