The week leading up to camp has always been full of little rituals and traditions. Things that made me feel prepared to start the summer. I would spend an evening assembling welcome bags for all the staff, an afternoon making warm fuzzy envelopes and many hours trying not to overpack but also not run out of clean clothes before the next laundry day rolled around. I would make sure to include a meal of three cheese pizza pops & pepsi into my camp prep, taking time to reflect on the beginnings of my camp love. And on the night before I would often craft the perfect pre-camp playlist to listen to during the drive. Instead of doing all those things I found myself navigating the complexities of palliative care.
I always had a mini-celebration when I hit the "100 Days Until Camp" day and so I had decided that I would celebrate "100 Days" of this new life, which happened to fall on May 11. I had originally planned to celebrate by drinking my very last can of Vanilla Coke (that I had been saving for when I got a year round camp job), eating chips & dip and maybe watching The Parent Trap. I ended up spending the day in one of our organization's homes, which seemed like a much more fitting celebration. Even if it didn't involve any Vanilla Coke.
On Friday morning after a full week of waiting for the inevitable, our community member passed away. Today there will be a wake and tomorrow a funeral. And amid all of those emotions I'm also trying to figure out how to navigate
summer life without camp. The combination of all of that has made me a bit of a hot mess these past few days. Saturday I did three loads of laundry and debated asking the neighbours if they had any to do. Yesterday I got groceries and tidied by apartment and watched too many episodes of Grey's Anatomy. This morning I am going to help set up for the wake and then likely spend some time at the office. Even though it's a long weekend I need to be busy and productive because otherwise I'm sure I'll find myself pacing the living room.
And maybe what I really need is to stop trying to keep myself busy and just let things settle. To give myself permission to be sort of sad but also excited about the possibilities of a summer without camp.