Jacob's dad walks into the kitchen early this morning.
Doing a little writing, Bridget?
No, just checking the news.
I don't know why I lie about the writing. They know I write (hello), they know I write daily if not hourly and that I chronicled every single day that I spent with Jacob. In some ways my writing is far too personal to even acknowledge which is ironic, knowing the mediums I use. I guess it's the journal that was/is private, began in secret. Cole was so surprised to learn of it, I've never been the one to bring it up since.
Jacob's parents are incredibly glad to see all of us, most especially the children. They are almost thrilled that nothing ever changes and the first order of business today will be to replace the window in the garage and take Lochlan in town to the dentist, since Ben and Lochlan already managed to conduct a fist fight in the side yard, complete with broken glass and teeth. God Bless Lochlan but he really needs to think before he opens his mouth because he is the smaller of the two and it's always his teeth in the grass. Ben couldn't quash an impulse under threat of death and frankly I think the whole throw down in Bridget's honor is not nearly as honorable as it once was, you know, back when we were in high school. Nevermind the fact that I didn't go to high school with Ben.
No worries, they made up five seconds later, and Ben gets to be the one to take Lochlan in town and then Lochlan gets to be the one to explain to the children why it's wrong to punch people.
Jacob's father laughed, while his mother ran to get ice in a towel, marveling exactly how little has truly changed in all these years.
I could say the same.
Jacob's parents are love. They both look well and as good as they ever will be, missing Jacob so dearly. Life remains black and white for them, and their daily routine changes little. It's nice to poke around a little and make the calls that will bring someone to fix the things that they put up with and chip away at making their lives as easy as we can. They are so proud, it isn't an easy job.
I have not gone into Jacob's room yet. The door is open, I got halfway down the hall. The kids went in and I had to send August in after them because I was afraid they might disturb things. They didn't, and Ruth and Henry were more touched then I expected them to be, to be here again. They have been back with Caleb so their last visit was without me here and maybe everyone is just backing off a little and seeing how I am doing and not pushing and it's all very gentle and quiet but the wind still blows. The relentless wind.
I'm trying not to be difficult, trying to find the good in all the little things and I've been eating the feelings as they come up, dry-swallowing the hard parts before my eyes get too stingy and my hands start to flutter. But no one is dumb. The only thing is I probably would have cracked but the fact that the boys followed me here to continue to be my knights means I now have an obligation to pull the fuck together and make it a successful visit that doesn't end with those grim looks over my head as they wonder exactly how long the road back will be this time.
I would say I'm faring a lot better than Ben and Lochlan, who will be heading up the immature end of thing this time but that's only because I waffled yesterday and basically hammered Ben into the ground and I'll atone for that when he atones for the equally unfair things he does.
Trust me when I say we are even, and forgive me when I fail to tell you why.
Sometimes I hold all the power which makes life difficult when one would prefer to fall apart. I've done that so much it hardly seems worth the fallout anymore, especially this far from home.
And so instead I sit in this kitchen which boasts so many coats of paint over the years it has lost its corners and is growing smaller, and look out over the ocean that still makes me cry and try to understand how I would have ever been enough to make Jacob change his plans of coming back home after graduate school to live in the town he grew up in and instead come chasing after me.
Bridget versus the ocean? It seems like such an easy choice.
At least to me.
I'm sure there's going to be many emotional rollercoasters to ride before we leave here on Thursday. I'm thinking that for some of them I may just wait at the bottom this time.
And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go walk on the beach before lunch. Out here, that's where he is.