I got home from LA Sunday evening with time to only unpack before heading to bed. I had a busy week ahead but was happy to be facing some normal life. I had a Husker Cats meeting after work Monday and then had to bake a pie for book club after work Tuesday. Once I was done with physical therapy after work Wednesday, I was looking forward to some down time and had a list of chores and such to catch up on. Then I got the call – Connie’s husband Mark had died after a relatively brief battle with cancer. Thoughts of down time went out the window.
I headed to Connie’s first thing Thursday morning just to help out. Mark’s family had been in town all week but Connie was preparing for the onslaught of her family the following day. Her brother Rick, whom I had met the summer Connie and I rented the beach house in RI, had already flown in from NYC so the two of us got busy. We neatized the entire house, cleared boxes from the porch to create extra seating space, then did some cleaning – sweeping, vacuuming, etc. Rick, who is like an energizer bunny, went outside to do yard work and I sat down. I spent the rest of the day visiting, meeting Mark’s family for the first time, helping cook, playing scrabble, etc. I had brought clothes to sleep over if Connie wanted but decided at 9:00 to head home, figuring we’d both sleep better since by then there were so many people staying over that I was going to have to share Connie’s bed. I got home at 10:30 (she lives 100 miles from me) and collapsed into bed.
The rest of the week went by in a blur. Connie was having a party in Mark’s honor at the Temple theatre on campus Saturday afternoon, taking advantage of the fact that Mark’s family was still in town. I had offered to help cook for the party so went straight from work Friday to the market then to the restaurant where Connie’s daughter Mikael used to work because they’d offered the use of their kitchen. Mikael and I were there till 9:00, making prosciutto wrapped melon, ham/pickle roll ups, brownie bites, cheese trays, etc. I got up early Saturday to make turkey salad cups and dip and headed to Lincoln for 1:00 to help set up.
The party was nicely done and lots of people came – lots of actors who had worked with Mark. I stayed to help clean up and left Lincoln at 4:00 to finally head home for my down time. I was exhausted and some vegging was well earned but I did manage to get quite a bit of my to do list done on Sunday. Even chores felt good after the week I’d had. I went to bed hoping that the next week would finally bring some “normal.”