It started with a Facebook status.
Not mine, but a family member’s.
Well, not my family, but my ex’s family. They used to be my family.
Well, technically, they’re still my family (divorce in progress).
But I hadn’t received the phone call. I wasn’t in the loop. And it hurt.
I was in a movie theater with the lil one and her psychic friend (that’s another blog for another time) when I started to doze off. So I decided to quickly check Facebook from my Blackberry.
The Facebook status said my father-in-law had suffered a stroke and they were asking for prayers.
I feared the worst.
I made my way from the middle of our row, stepped on a few feet and banged a few folks with my big purse (they were pissed!).
Finally outside the theater doors, I started dialing. No one answered. Panic started to set in.
Why wasn’t anyone answering?
Was he in critical condition?
Should I pull the lil one and the psychic child out of the theater and head for the hospital?
I finally reached my mother-in-law.
“He’s OK,” she assured me. “They’re keeping him overnight and running tests, but he’s OK. I’ll keep you posted.”
And she did.
Two hours later she updated me via text.
Still feels a little numbness… Neurologist is coming… MRI is next.
She ended her text with this: We luv u and the girls so much.
I’ve known my father-in-law since I was 15. That’s when I met my ex. High school sweethearts.
My father-in-law is not a perfect man, but I can tell you that he’s been more of a father to me than my real father.
He helped pay for our wedding. He helped us install ceramic tile in our first house. He fixed our car.
OK, he tried to fix our car then we took it a shop.
The point is, this man has been in my life for over 20 years. He’s the only grandfather my girls have ever known.
Reading that Facebook status suddenly made him mortal. And it hurt.
I wanted to rush to the hospital to be by his side and be with the family. But I’m divorcing his son. So where does that leave me? I love him, too.
After talking to my mother-in-law, I paced the lobby and thought, “This is just great, another part of divorce that really sucks. Bonus pain.”
It also left me wondering…
“What is my place now?”
“What should I do?”
“What is the protocol for the soon-to-be-ex-daughter-in-law?”
Hours later, I’m still wondering… and it still hurts.