My re-launch into the world has not gone exactly to plan. The infection I mentioned in my last post is ugly and the two strong antibiotics I’m on have been messing me about with all kinds of side effects.
Thursday was my birthday and I spent it conference organising and then dining with a bunch of academics. Then Friday was taken up with a workshop all day and a cinema trip with two of my girlfriends. I arrived home after midnight to find my mum still awake in the living room.
I instantly knew something was wrong. My mum is always in bed by 11pm at the latest.
I unlocked the front door nervously, fear building up behind my eyes and nose. Tears were already threatening to escape. Seeing the look on my face, she immediately assured me that my grandparents were fine. I am very close to my granny and granddad. She then sat me down to tell me that Gus, our guinea-pig, was gone.
We got Gus, or Gustav, five years ago. I was in my first year of university, my brother was finding it rough being a teenager minus a father. He wanted a pet and my mum agreed that he could have a small one. And so came Gus.
I didn’t really take to him for a while. I’m not a big animal person but his wee personality won me over. He loved music and would squeak and leap about to songs he liked. Anything with a heavy bass beat, however, drove him to burrow into his hay. He became my companion as I am the one at home the most. I would chat away to him, practice my presentations to him, even turning my laptop towards his cage so he could see my powerpoint.
Because we’ve never had a pet before, we didn’t expect it to be so sad when he was gone. He was getting old and we had given him a life full of love and spoilt him rotten.
He was put own early on Friday morning and, stuck in a workshop, I had no knowledge of him even being sick. Mum considered contacting Best Friend and telling him to look after me but then decided against it. She wanted me to enjoy my time with the girls that night.
Then came the sad news that our past minister’s wife had also passed away. While we aren’t particularly fond of our last minister, seeing how he ignored us after my dad walked out and turned the church against us when divorce was mentioned, his wife was a big part of my teenage years. She taught me how to knit, how to sew, how to do things like make trifle for hundreds of people and arrange flowers as centrepieces. She was practical and motherly in that country farmyard kind of way.
My heart feels full. My lack of sleep since on the medication isn’t helping matters. I just feel so sad and helpless. Best Friend is continuing to amaze me with his support, understanding why I’m foregoing tomorrow’s meeting to go to the funeral. With so much happening this week in the run up to our big conference, I’ll be kept busy at least. In the meantime, I’m just clinging on to my faith.