Tuesday, May 10, 2005

An Eventful Day...

I hadn't thought today would be so eventful... first item, I finished grades and got them all turned in. I honestly thought it would take me til Wednesday, but I managed to plow through by working on it til 10pm last night, and so I was able to finish by about noon today. Grades are in, and I am free (moderately).

But I got the phone call from my parents today that I have been expecting all week. My grandfather is close to death. He has been inching closer for months, with congestive heart failure, but he entered the final stages last night, beginning to hallucinate from the lack of oxygen getting to his brain (admittedly, I have only a rudimentary understanding of congestive heart failure).

I have mixed emotions. I have never been THAT close to this grandfather, in spite of living right next door to him (and for a while, in the same house as him) for my entire childhood. I love him, but he has always been remote and distant. Unemotional unless angry. He never seemed to care about anything unless it ticked him off. So it's hard to have close feelings for that kind of person.

But my mom is in pain, and I am sad for her and sad because I love my grandfather and will miss him. I will miss knowing he is there. I will miss my kids getting to know him, as he's been much kinder and gentler in his last years than he ever was in my childhood.

And, in large part, I think I am reacting to the fact that my last living grandparent will soon be gone. It is that feeling of getting older and moving ever closer to the loss I actually worry about -- when my own parents die. That worries me a lot, because I feel that's when my 'in case of emergency' fallback for everything will be gone. My parents have just always been there, and not having them there will just be... I don't know... just hard to fathom. No one to call to tell me how to fix this or that. No one to help out with those big ticket items you just can't afford on your own (my dad mowed my lawn here once in the August heat and decided I needed a ride on mower -- that's the kind of stuff that will be gone).

It's not the financial benefits parents often provide -- it's knowing that the people who always have your back in case of deep need just aren't there anymore.

I don't look forward to that day.

I'll post an update when I hear more about Grandpa J.


At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Chuck said...

I heard about this from your brother, but I've been working non-stop. I'm very sorry to hear about your grandfather and hope your family is doing okay.


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