My grandpa, who was 90 years of age, passed away today.
That means he was 60 when I was born and he knew me for a third of his lifespan. Although the evidence that was laid out before us on the cafeteria table proved that I did not know him well at all.
There before us, were the contents of his wallet. We had disassembled it carefully to find all the necessary items, a bright collage of medical contacts, credit cards, and photographs. Among all this was a piece of cardboard containing a small notch cut out, a space big enough so that his failing eyes and fingers could write his name out in a contained fashion. My uncle decided to take these for his own ailing writing abilities.
No one cared to claim the carefully folded 5 and 1 dollar bills.
I took the opportunity to investigate the card of a woman with an area telephone code that had changed long ago. She was no longer the contact but more than likely the one who sold him the Simplicity Plan: cremation, all paid in advance, although no memorial service arrangements, which will be discussed tomorrow morning upon our meeting with them. The lady I did talk to was coincidentally about to give my uncle a call. Sitting right next to me, he has never and never will use a cell phone, and so I gladly made all the connections.
After all these things were removed, and all the information extracted and parsed, mom looked at the leather container with it's empty pockets, and began one of many instances of not being able to talk.
When we had arrived at the hospital earlier, my uncle appeared in the door on the second floor and led us down the hall where I saw him for about 30 seconds, in a brightly lit room. The static of apparatuses were still filling the air but it was clear that their functions had come to an end.
And so, as it had earlier in the day, the shaking resumed it's course. Mom's heartbeat raced to an odd more desperate meter all it's own. Voices trembled, hands rumbled, eyes glistened as if they were no longer solid forms in the head but bags of liquid, taut and weak and ready to melt away.
I kept waiting for it to hit me, as it had my sister, so far away from here. As it did my uncle, the trembling giant in blue plaid. As it did my for grandpa's lady, who was not his wife, but in every sense was more so than many married couples I can recall. As it did for her, who had heard all the machines began to beep and whir, assuming the worst and causing us to think he had expired earlier in the day.
The time, of course, did not matter.
But the feeling of sadness never arrived. In it's place, where others found distress, I found solace in that perfect distillation of a moment where he lay. I was at ease to find him finally at ease.
The cold air swirling around suddenly took a gusty nose dive last evening and hasn't stopped yet.
Back to the grind, since yesterday's Tuesday felt like the new Sunday, today's Wednesday was totally the new Monday. Which means hopefully by next Saturday I'll be completely off and it'll actually be mid-July sometime. Maybe by next July I'll have the inventory straightened out at work.
It took concerted effort to write out the date correctly all day. Luckily, I learned you can split 12 into 1/2 and I can disguise an 07 as 08 with some cursive-ness, but tomorrow I must get with it or I shall be screwed.
I found a new site (thanks to eavesdropping on justinfeed and thisboyelroy) called Gyminee. I'm not sure what I expect out of working out these days, so I am hoping this will give me a little focus. Suffice to say it is a schizophrenic beast to tame and I can use all the help I can get. If anyone wants to come down here and stand on my head while I do pushups, please be my guest.
Mom seems to be fairing okay today, regardless of what she may say. She does go from complete logic to tears in an instant, but it's not out of control. No change in grandpa, but she spent the day discussing arrangements for a memorial.
Luckily for her, I am an endless source of amusement in all of my constant scatterbrained mess that I gravitate towards. I'm kind of like a malfunctioning katamari ball. My brand of clean is where the socks never match but at least they are in the same drawer. If they make it to the drawer. My room is a perfectly organized version of disorderly stacks, that occasionally fall over when they get too high or whenever someone tries to get out of bed, whichever comes first.
In fact I may need to put some more socks on right now. Meanwhile, I am on day three of onion soup because it now really is soup weather. I can only imagine if it's actually cold here what it's like for the rest of the country. Stay warm, darlings.
The weather today has finally emerged from the sluggish fog into clearer, zippy chills.
I awoke with the boyfriend and we were snugly until ten. We rarely get to sleep in together. One of us is always off to other required things; work, monkeys, moms etc. We drove around for a while and ended up at Cracker Barrel. I realize that I must be very much infatuated and agreeable with the man, because I'm not particularly fond of Cracker Barrel and we ended up in the same place last year on New Years Day. Like a proper fallen vegetarian, I got the meatloaf, potatoes and fried okra.
Afterwards he had a bug to buy some new games. I can't remember what all he got as I was concentrated on the Wii demo in the store. I haven't actually seen one in real life yet so I took the opportunity to try out Super Mario Galaxy. After feeling extremely uncoordinated and old, it then broke, which is why I suspect I never see one on demo.
We continued on to the citrus store down the street, a triumph of Florida tourism if ever there was one. Here in this warehouse, next to where actual oranges and other fruits of paradise once grew, you can see how they were washed and waxed and ready for their close-ups.
The warehouse is now populated by a display featuring shiny plastic mannequin workers with thousands of plastic orange balls which I can only assume are washed with plastic water. But only after everyone has gone home and you say the magic words "hocus pocus alimagocus!"
Today's Special is: Oranges.
After we came home, we drank tangerine juice and I kissed him goodbye for the evening.
The chill has now crept into the house so I'm eating leftover onion soup the boyfriend made yesterday. Mom is sitting here watching her slug TV, as she calls it, keeping me apprised on the status of the $76,000 kitchen and wondering if I'm going to be putting away the lonely piece of bread I left on the kitchen counter. It's what she does.
Her dad, my grandpa, is in the hospital with pneumonia. It didn't start out that way two weeks ago, but it seems to happen with a lot of elderly folks. They'll go in for some pain or another, and then "tests" stir things up. He's now down to life support with a DNR order. It's probably as it should be.
I kept wondering if he'd go last night in some moment of poetic coincidence, passing along with the year that had now expired. This morning showed no change. A new day dawning is just another day no matter the date attached. I don't know if I'll see him again as I expect it won't be long now. I do hope all is quiet for him soon.
I'll always remember that my grandpa told me, when he gave me my orange tree as a sapling, that the cold snaps are good for the oranges. I fear it's a little too late for my already ripened crop this year. The majority of them on the tree went from green straight to brownish. I did manage to gather some and they are still tasty.