The Bake Sale Nazi is on a rampage and my mother-in-law is dying.
The neighbor tells me her children, "cried from Biloxi to Hattiesburg. They didn't understand why we couldn't stay. They ran from room to room touching the two by fours. This is my room. This is Mama's."
I never understood what people meant by life goes on. I'd heard it said by many people, in many ways.
"I lost my job but life goes on. I've got to keep going and not look back."
"The dog got run over by a tractor. Hunting season is comin' up soon. Better get me a new dog. Life goes on, ya know."
"My mother is dying. Isn't it funny how life goes on?"
The sun keeps shining, the children keep playing, the deadlines don't go away, the Bake Sale Nazi insists you be at the Bake Sale the entire 12 hours that it is going on.
Your children must go to school. You must make money to pay the rent. You have to get out of bed.
"Call me tonight," she calls out to me as her car rolls by in the carpool line. "You need to add the times we need help to the Bake Sale reminder handout."
"Could she make it more difficult," I say under my breath. I want to scream, "They can bring booger muffins for all I care." But I don't, because it is not her fault.
"Park over there, Daddy!" I hear her yell from 6 cars back. Daddy is half deaf, pointing the munchkin to the bathroom when she asks for an apple, the first time I went over to discuss the bake sale.
Daddy helps her into her wheelchair, she leans so far forward, as he pushes her towards me at my post, that I hope she doesn't fall out in the middle of the carpool lane.
"That bake sale is in one week," she tells me, pointing her finger, somewhere around my upper thigh. "And I haven't heard a thing from you."
I listen, committing to nothing.
"Gotta love the bake sale lady. She sure has definite ideas." The school secretary informed me a week earlier.
"We need signage, new tablecloths. Fred's has some cute ones that are cheap. Labels for the baked goods. You'll probably have to be there all day Wednesday as well to receive the stuff."
I know what she meant now.
How do I tell her that explaining, why the man on the bicycle is wearing a neon orange shirt and pants, with his gut hanging out in between, feels like too much right now.
Three school parties and a beginner violin concert on Friday.
A bake sale on Thursday.
Life goes on and my mother-in-law is dying.