One month and a few feet deep into the Canadian winter and we finally find ourselves completely settled into the compound. The hotel is an empty memory that still costs us $950 a month and a few shivers every time we think of it. We spent the 26th & 27th packing and moving the last of my stuff out of the apartment. Well, that's only half true. May & Karloff spent the 27th moving - I was sick and spent the day sleeping in the bathtub. Not recommended.
Karloff had been going crazy over his work. It would come like a killer in the night or in the wee hours of the morning, a phone call or the beep beep of a text message from his boss...
"Oh, could you just get this one thing done for me for ummm...tomorrow morning.? Thanks. And hey, can you change this whole thing around for me for, say, tonight? Thanks. Love ya!"
So night after night he would stay up trying to get his work done until finally...it's Christmas Eve and somewhere between work, obligations to family members, quitting smoking, threats of custody battles, heartbreaking family betrayals, and general holiday madness...the phone rings. It's Karloff's boss again. Oh, did I mention Karloff's boss is May's mother? Yep. So here's the deal - Come to mass with the family tonight ("Of course Opopanax can come!") instead of having your much coveted "quiet family Christmas" (ie. one where I get to be there) ...and Karloff can have the rest of the holidays off until January 5th!!!!
And that's not all folks! You'll also receive Jesus's eternal love & snacks at Mothra's house!
So that was a good enough deal for us and after a hectic and perilously dangerous journey into the city (which almost ends in a ditch due to the road conditions) we regrouped at May's mother's house for hors d'oeuvres (snacks).
Now, that all sounds lovely, except May's family doesn't really know anything about our family...so it's actually all quite awkward. We keep finding excuses for me and my daughter to show up at family events and May's family is soo open to us (which is really awesome)...but not being able to say I love you? No physical contact whatsoever? Misleading her family as to our situation? Not to mention we're engaged and going to have children!
So a few snacks/hours later we headed home to the compound and did our own Christmas thing. We opened our presents to each other since we wouldn't be able to do so at the family gathering at May's family's place the next day. The holiday feeling was brief, merely lasting for a few precious hours...but we were together and that was enough.
Christmas morning comes around and I get the message that my grandmother has been admitted to the hospital. May rushes us to the hospital where we're able to spend some time with her while she lays there, unconscious and unaware. It taints the rest of the day with her pallor. She dies the next day while I'm packing my apartment. The preceding day is mostly a blurr of sleep and sickness. I hold my grandfather's hand at her funeral the day after.
This holiday is about rebirth. The sun is reborn and the days only grow longer from here...