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July 27, 2007

"It costs how much? That's more than the cost of my first 3 cars combined."

Well I'm here.

Two days of long driving alone in the car. (I'm going to be here for the next 10 days so it just made more sense to drive than fly and rent a car.) All in all things are about what I expected.

My grandmother is holding up ok. She's tired and could really use some peace and quiet but she's not had any for about the last 6 months so why should the last few days be any different. We sat down last night and talked about things a bit. She needs to start talking to her family lawyer to get things rolling, go to the bank to the safe deposit box, etc. Lots of procedurial things.

At one point last night the facade cracked and she started to break down. How do you spend 63 years, 1 month and 17 days next to someone and then have them leave your life? Hard to contemplate.

My phone has been ringing on a pretty steady basis with people's kind thoughts and wishes and that is greatly appreciated. Also many thanks to the Astronomer for his post yesterday. (My grandmother is swamped in food and flowers and I told her to give me an alternative for people to exercise.)

I slept last night at the hotel for a while which was the most sleep I've gotten in the last few days. (No one tried to rob me checking in this time.) My mind is racing with thoughts of my grandfather and everywhere I go this morning I keep thinking about him.

I'm at the local library typing this and had the most pleasant surprise: I ran into Selma! Yes indeed the Kentucky Philosopher's wife works here! We're going to spend time this week together so this means I get more of his stories to share. (His instant messenger motto is currently "Mess with one bean you get the whole burrito!")

My Mother arrives tonight. She leaves tomorrow night. 'Nuff said.

I've been playing the CD "Sam's Town" by the Killers since I got here last night in the car and it might end up being the soundtrack for this visit.

Surprise #1: Burial instead of cremation which makes no difference in the long run.

Surprise #2: Cost was less than I thought but still in the range of the above mentioned combined automobile purchase price.

Surprise #3: Tim Horton's, at least the Ashland ones, are the slowest Tim Horton's ever. (Ok. Not really a surprise.)

Surprise #4: The hotel bar is closed until further notice. *sigh*

Surprise #5: I'm not as sad as I thought I would be but it's going to hit me at some point.

Surprise #6: After spending decades of having his Sister in law, Beulah, living behind him he's going to spend the rest of eternity with Beulah eventually next to him in the mausoleum. *chuckle*

Saw my high school classmate last night at the next door neighbor's last night. (Her name is Noel. Want to guess what day she was born on?) She and their family were very kind. We agreed that next year brings the Birthday That Shall Not Be Mentioned and that is the way it should be.

The funeral home is the same one that friends of mine wound up at after the 20th reunion last year. (The daughter of the owner was in my class.) When the party was winding down they were being kicked out of the venue and, at one of the staff's urgings, took the remaining contents of the open bar back to the funeral home and sat around in one of the parlor's having a bit of a kitchen party.

The library has changed so much since I was a kid. The computer I am typing this on is a direct result of the Gates Foundation's inititive to empower libraries around the country. It's part of a bank of 12 with high speed access and everything you need to, in theory, find a job. Currently, in my field of vision, someone is looking up a trip to Disneyland and a young gentleman with a number of interesting tattoos is checking out some of his friends on Myspace. Alas, dear reader, the myspace patron's baseball cap is indeed sideways. *sigh*

Death is inevitable. I know that. You can't think that it won't come for you. I've been bracing for this for months but nothing can prepare you for the words when you hear them. What eases the pain, somewhat, is that he died smiling holding his wife's hand and that it was peaceful and easy.


Posted by Jim at July 27, 2007 08:26 AM


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