This has been a month of intense communications.
My parents have a wide circle of friends dating back from school, university, and "bachelor pad" days. Somehow, all these close friends have become extra aunts and uncles; collectively known as "the little family". They all turn up to every wedding, every christening, every silver and ruby wedding anniversary party. They are all godparents to each other's children.
So, I have grown up knowing them all, but not really knowing them well. Now, with my mother in hospital, I have been in touch with so many of them on a somehow more personal, more adult level.
I find myself emailing or writing letters to people I have never met, only heard about. I makes lists, keep a diary record of who rang when, who needs to be written to or rung back. This is not a burden or a weary duty, as I feel as though I am accumulating a treasure hoard of people who love and care for my family! The contact with all these caring, concerned people makes me feel loved and cared for as well.
I suppose it helps that the news is, after the first major shock, on the whole, good. "She's making steady progress, it will be a long haul, your card arrived yesterday and she loved the picture, that you so much for your news".
With all this going on, it is slightly harder to carve out time for meeting up with my own friends. I've bailed out of going to church for two Sundays in a row - last Sunday I needed the time to sleep and do domestic stuff - this Sunday, my family have decreed that we are abandoning the current reality to spend the day at a big Victorian Christmas Market/Event in another city.
I had a birthday letter from a friend, full of great news about her family, and made a "thank-you and catch-up" telephone to another friend which was overdue by several months. I've several "we must get together for a coffee sometime" dates to book in...
For now, I need to put my socks on, brush my teeth and hair and get to work. Ukuleles, samba and djembe classes await me - at least, decibellically speaking, it will be a fairly gentle start!