Boy, there are days when I wonder what I am going to blog about and then there are days when I realize that I don’t have time to blog about everything that I should, could or would say.
Today was one hell of a day and I mean that in every sense of the word. As I sit down at the computer for the first time I realize that I am not quite sure how to tell this story or how much to tell. I don’t know where to begin. Am I in the beginning, middle or the end, I really don’t know.
So I’ll do what I always do and just start from the first place that occurs to me. To paraphrase the Beatles In my life there are places and people that I remember. I was in 8th grade the first time I remember hearing that one of my peers had died. She was a 7th grader who had a seizure in the tub and ended up drowning.
Every year of high school there were at least a couple of kids from my school who died courtesy of drunk drivers and unexplainable car accidents. In college and afterwards I lost a number of friends to cancer. I don’t mean one or two, the number is closer to six. There also were deaths of older family and friends which while painful were easier to understand.
But when I think about when I really started to become an adult I can look back to the events of 1994. I wrote a little about that year here. That post also covers some of the events of 2004 with my father’s brush with death. I provided a more complete rundown about that time in a post I called Putting it All In Perspective. And if you are really curious about my life you can read about my thoughts about aging grandparents in this post. Can you tell that I use this as a journal to read about my life.
In any case the events of the last 11 years made me grow up. It is not that I think that I was all that immature, but I had been fortunate not to have had experiences that really tested me. That is no longer the case, I have been through the fires and come out the other side. Don’t get me wrong, there are others who have undergone much worse and there are others who have not. We all have our shit to deal with me and it just so happens that mine seems to stink more to me than others. Go figure.
As I watch my parents deal with the challenges of helping their aging parents manage I realize that I haven’t totally lost the fear of losing my father. All of the docs told us that they expected that he would die, including my friends. They tried to present an optimistic front, but after so many years of friendship they couldn’t bullshit me and I knew that things were dire. So I was more than pleased with his survival, recovery and return.
You would think that this would be enough for me, but the reality is that I am worried. I am worried because I see the wear and tear upon him. I see the toll taking care of his father is taking upon him and I think that this is impacting his health, mental and physical.
I see the signs of the impact of all of this upon my mother. It is eating away at her just as it is my father. All of the children are doing what we can to help support them. We are all working to help our grandparents because that is what family is for, but at the same time we all have our own families to look out for. At times I just shake my head and go about my business all you can do is live and other times I just smile because we always pull through. It is just what we do.
Today marked another crazy chapter in this crazy life of mine. I am going to try and tell this succintly as possible because it is too complicated to go into any length.
My parents have a handyman who until a couple of months ago was living with them. He is a character, a good guy but a character who unfortunately as the saying goes “doesn’t have a pot to piss in.” The handyman has a girlfriend of similar limited finances.
The girlfriend has been earning some money by helping my grandfather. Several days a week she comes over and helps him with simple tasks, does some cooking and cleaning and helps to provide him with some companionship.
She and the handyman are in the process of moving into a new apartment with. They had four cats. I say had because today in what can only be termed the worst of luck, they lost the cats in a car fire. It was the girlfriend’s car. She had stopped by my parents house to pick up something and while she was inside the house the car spontaneously burst into flames.
The fire department arrived within minutes but the blaze was so hot it destroyed the car and sadly the cats died of smoke inhalation. I saw the car and I saw the cats. It wasn’t a pretty scene. Not to be graphic, but there was very little evidence of their having been burnt which is why I am certain that the smoke got them. That is probably best because it would have been relatively painless or so I would think.
The girlfriend was hysterical about the car and the cats. We all spent time trying to console her. Things happened so quickly there was no way that anyone could have rescued them without being seriously injured.
And there you have a very small and limited snapshot of my day. Life sure does have its moments.