Today, January 20th, was a big day in many ways.
I worked my first full day at the TSA after 3.5 years of workers' comp which amazingly enough kept me from working when I wanted to work and forced me to work when I wanted a break, followed by the short 3 months maternity leave. I returned today to a job that takes me away from my babies and pays little-to-nothing. I'm working for people I don't trust. I had to pump in a public restroom while sitting on a counter with my feet in the sink, and had to eat my lunch that way, too, while a woman had explosions in a stall just a few feet away. My lower back aches from the hard surface and uncomfortable position. It was a horrible enough day that just got worse as it progressed. Though, that wasn't the biggest event of the day.
Today was the boys' first day in their preschool. They did really well, according to the teacher. She said they were quite calm for their first day and really seemed to enjoy the company of the other babies. As big as this is, it's still not the biggest event of the day.
Barack Obama was sworn in to the office of President of the United States today, making him the first African-American ever to hold the great position of power. Heck, he's the first man of ethnic origin to hold the office. But still, not the biggest event of today.
George W. Bush ceased being our President, much to the relief of millions, but as big as that is, it still pales in comparison to the biggest event of today.
Today, Brian Halliday left this world for a far better place. He was my father-in-law and I love him very deeply and am greatly saddened by his loss. My poor husband will miss his father so much; they were very close. Brian hadn't been well these past years but he was strong of spirit and fought his battles bravely. He made it through bladder cancer, but in the end it was MRSA and esbl e. coli. At least, that's what I think it was. I'm sure I'll learn more over the next few days.
This afternoon, evening for him in the UK, he left to be with his Anne, beloved wife of over 40 years. It pleases me to think of them together again, hand in hand, laughing and enjoying the rest of eternity together. It pleases me to think that though Brian never got to meet his grandsons in person, he must have paid a visit to them today as his soul was lifted from this mortal coil.
Brian was one of the most generous and loving people ever to grace this planet. I owe him greatly for that, because I am fortunate enough to be married to his son, another of the most generous and loving people the world has ever known. Dave's sister, Claire, also deserves that honor. Claire cared for Brian during the most difficult times and I hope she knows that though we weren't there in body, we have been there in spirit all these years and greatly appreciate her tireless efforts.
I wish wish wish I could travel to Wales for the funeral. It's where my heart is right now. Dave will be leaving soon. I can't go for many reasons. This work thing is one of them and for that, it makes me hate the situation all the more. The boys don't have passports, though. Further, we just don't have the money, especially with my new job sucking us dry.
Dave is holding up pretty well, but I think he's in shock. He seems to go from numbness, to sadness, then to being okay with it all. It's hard to see your loved ones in so much pain and Brian's last years were very difficult. For all that he went through, he sure put up a very brave fight and even when he was feeling at his worst, he smiled and laughed and carried on with his generosity and famous hospitality to the end.
Yes, today was a big day for a great man. I believe the two greatest days in anyone's life would be birth and death. Today, January 20th, was the last great day of Brian Halliday's physical life as we know it, and his birth into a spiritual life where he is free from pain and free from the toils of this difficult world.
He will be greatly missed.