Today while I was standing in line at a department store, my mobile phone rang. It was my Mom. Crying. Because my brother and his wife are moving a half hour away from her. And because her goat ran off.
Yes, that's right. The miniature goat that she bought a few weeks ago and put in the pen with her chickens had loaded up his goat belongings and headed for the hills (or, more likely, the farm behind ours).
Despite being somewhat used to dealing with my family's brand of crazy, I was at a minor loss as to how one should console one's mother when said mother's miniature goat of less than one week goes on the lam. If I still lived in Tennessee, I would probably have immediately formulated the appropriate response. However, seeing as how I have spent the past decade outside of the magical boundaries of Bradley County, some of my Southeastern Tennessee social skills have slipped.
Soon enough, through the tears, I managed to learn that it was much less the missing goat and much more the missing Dad that was causing the drama. Now THAT I can understand. Yesterday marked sixteen weeks without him, which is an eternity for a close-knit family like my own. The hardest part is accepting the finality of it all--it isn't like missing someone who is away where you can count down the days until you see him again, like I see the military wives who live nearby doing every day.
People say, "Nothing is forever," but, well, yeah...some things are.