First vacation in three years...and my brother dies on the first day.
So I'm really trying not to have a pity-party for myself - I'm not. I'm a full-time barn owner/trainer/breeder, and as any BO knows, vacations are not easy to come by. That being said, my DH and I made plans to vacay to California to the Breeder's Cup and go to the San Diego Zoo. We planned on this for several months. I have had a rough, rough year on my farm: I lost two horses to colic, including my very best lesson horse who had also been my event horse. I also had unwarranted and uninvited drama that makes most daytime soaps look like fairytales. Additionally, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Things were finally beginning to settle down - drama left and we were moving on. But it was agreed that DH and I definitely needed to get out of Dodge for a few days before I ended up in a padded room with men in white coats spoon-feeding me jell-o.
There was one more issue though: My brother (half-brother actually - Dad's son) had been estranged from our family for several months - probably longer, due to his severe alcohol and prescription drug addiction. At one time, my brother had been a millionaire but went on a downward spiral and lost literally everthing as his addiction grew worse. He had stayed with several family members, including my parents (who live next door to me) but everyone ended up kicking him out due to his behavior. He and I had a major blow-up earlier in the year due to his behavior. I have resented him for the last couple of years to due his lack of interest in his (and mine) ailing father. I have been angry that the only time he would call our father was to ask for money. I have resented him and been angry at him for a very, very long time. It is sad - when I was a kid he used to be my hero. I always wanted to be just like him and I wanted to do everything that he did. In the last couple of months, we simply didn't talk. I found out that it was possible to hate someone and love them at the same time. A couple of weeks ago he called and left me a message to call him back. I never did.
Fast-forward to last Thursday. DH and I landed in California and as soon as I turned my phone on, I was bombarded with messages from home. While we were in the air, my brother died in a car accident.
Ten minutes into my desperately-needed vacation from all of the drama that I have endured in the last year, I find out my brother died.
My DH and I stayed in CA and went to the Breeder's Cup and the Zoo and did various other things, at my family's urging. And I managed to have a good time, even though I felt like a black cloud was hanging over me. Last night we arrived home - to a TB filly who decided to re-arrange my fencing and mangle her leg in the process (she'll be fine - mostly superficial stuff and nothing serious, thank goodness.) I am super, super tired. The funny thing is that I can't sleep very well, even though I can barely function.
The family will hold a small memorial service for my brother here at the farm in a couple of weeks - his ashes are being shipped here.
So yeah. That's what I did on my vacation. It just really sucks.