I made several trips to Wisconsin this summer, but only twice was I the one driving.
My first drive was on a Saturday morning in mid-May. My father was in the hospital and I was going home to move him back to his house with hospice. On the drive, I was aware of my alone-ness. I was alone in the car. I was going to be alone in the house for a few days. Then I was going to be alone, providing his care. I was terrified. How would I handle the logistics of his care? How would I handle losing the only parent I had had for over 20 years?
My second drive was on a Sunday morning in late July. This time my son was with me. I had been away for a glorious month of semi-normal, and I hadn't wanted to leave home. I was going to Wisconsin this time to hold an estate sale. I was going to be selling the last of my father's possessions and emptying my childhood home so someone else could eventually live there. I was dreading it. If I could have left the task to someone else, I would have.
The only thing that kept me on the road heading north that Sunday morning was the thought that no matter how hard this estate sale was going to be, it would be easier than what I had already done. If I was strong enough to survive that first trip, and all the things that followed it, I was probably strong enough to survive what was ahead of me.