Everything feels a little surreal right now.

It all started on Wednesday night when my husband and I stayed up till midnight watching The King’s Speech (one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time), and then I dreamed I was an actress—a very talented one, I might add. Royalty and British accents were involved. It was intense and fun and kind of overwhelming, this new life of fame and memorized lines.

And then yesterday some neighbor girls came over to play and that was kind of surreal because I don’t relate to plain Mennonites in everyday life and then suddenly four of them were running around barefoot in my back yard.

Besides, my mother grew up plain Mennonite so it felt like a step back in time … but a time that was before I was.

This morning there was the royal wedding, a’course. I googled for some live streaming and was immediately immersed in the magic of it all. I couldn’t help myself. When it comes down to it, humans must be programmed to crave pomp and circumstance. (Yes, I’m slow on the uptake. Disney is not.)

In the middle of all that—staring at the computer, the kids pitter-pattering downstairs, cracking eggs into a bowl for breakfast—I learned that my distant cousin (the niece and granddaughter of some very close family and friends) committed suicide on Wednesday. Her death comes as a complete surprise to the family. She was 23.

And just like that, right there in my morning kitchen, a lovely fairytale and a family’s complete pain and devastation were standing side by side.

The contrast is surreal. I feel wobbly.


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