Home again

Sep. 17th, 2006 11:45 pm
mishaday: (Default)
Tuesday night my grandfather passed away, just 5 days short of his 92nd birthday. Dad had pretty much anticipated it, and so Wednesday I was on the plane to Albuquerque at just a little past noon.

Any time with my family has its moments of drama, but they're minor and pass quickly enough - this past week was a nice little vacation, really, low key and just time spent with my parents. And my brother toodled on down on Saturday for yesterday and today, so we got bonus time together - played WoW on my parents' iMacs while they were at church this morning, for instance.

I'm tired, and I'll get to bed soon... as soon as Hobbes is over his orgy of nuzzling, purring and kneading (prefaced by incessant meowing until I picked him up) Then it's Laurier's turn. Heh.

To ashes

Sep. 9th, 2006 04:39 pm
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Dad called while I was out getting kitty litter and groceries after this morning's raid.

Grandpa's not doing well. They're transferring him to the hospice care at the hospital. He stopped eating days ago.

He managed a year past my grandmother's death, but how much of that was living? It's hard to mourn someone wasting away because you start missing the person they were before they die.
mishaday: (Default)
After the big crowd and one of the admirals had gone, some 20-30 of us transfered to a lovely Italian restaurant for dinner. There was a big U-shaped table set up in a private room, with all the chairs along the outside. Dad and I were along one side, next to his cousin Marinda and her daughter, only 14. E's a bit on the shy and geeky side, but I'm sufficiently quirky it seems, to entertain her.

Dinner was delightful, even with E's vegetarian horror over the veal in one of the courses.

Dad was on my left, and beyond him a handful of Uncle Graham's students. That particular cluster, in addition to being sailors, were also parents of high school and college age students. And so, at one point, the conversation fell to college admissions and SAT scores. Specific scores were, of course, mentioned (and none of them as high as my own - I am, of course, secure in my own genius.) Instead of joining in the one-upmanship and bragging, Dad, when he notices my attention has been grabbed, leans over to me and tells me he doesn't need to boast to be proud of me. That quiet comment was worth more than any hundred 'my honor student can beat up your honor student' boasts. I love my Dad.
mishaday: (Default)
I went to New York this past weekend for my uncle's memorial service. I got a little iffy about it when grandpa broke his leg and it looked like Dad wasn't going to be able to make it, but when I called Dad to have him talk me into going, grandpa was doing well enough for him to leave. And so away we went.

I'm so glad I did. Not just to be there for Dad and for my cousins, but I learned so much more about my uncle. He was on the opposite coast during most of my youth, so I saw him very irregularly until he moved out to Long Beach in the 90's to coach the America3 America's Cup team. I always knew he was a sailor first and foremost, but I didn't really realize how much until Saturday. I knew he was a coach, but I didn't know how many lives he'd touched.

And then two Naval flag officers showed up in their uniforms. And the guy whose book was on the coffee table. And a hundred other people, who filled the room to standing. It was heartwarming, solemn and uplifting at once.

Man down

Mar. 13th, 2006 12:45 am
mishaday: (Default)
Months ago, my brother warned my Dad and the rest of the family that grandpa's greatest danger was that of falling and breaking something. This point was further demonstrated by said grandfather when he would demonstrate (not remembering that his knee/leg was a problem longstanding (or rather not so much with the standing around) and thinking instead it was something recent) by showing us how unsteady he was without his walker. Gah. It was like watching a toddler poke a rabid weasel with a stick.

Anyway, he fell today. And he broke his leg - close enough to the hip (yeah, the big bone - owie) that it's damn serious. Dad's not coming to NY next weekend for uncle Graham's memorial, but I've just bought my plane ticket, so I'm off without him, and just when I was hoping to spend at least a little time with him.

When you're dealing with a 92-year old, 'I've fallen and I can't get up' is pretty damn serious shit.

Onward

Sep. 6th, 2005 07:51 pm
mishaday: (Default)
Just had a nice long chat with Dad - he's doing pretty well, immersed in getting all the family trust crap sorted out - his brother was the primary trustee, so now all the banks need to see that death certificate, and then they need to see Grandma's death certificate, and add to that, he's using some of the trust money to buy a house down there in Albuquerque, so there's more thick stacks of paper to wade through and wait on bank and bureaucracy to grind their way towards a signature.

But we got off money when I told him he's not allowed to die so that I can get my inheritance, though I wouldn't say no to the odd cash gift. He got the spare 512MB chip from my new iMac, and he's thinking about finally upgrading his piece of crap PC for another iMac (Mom's got one already) He was sort of puzzling over the scarf I sent in the same package, but a little sputtering of 'It's not for you! It's for Mom!' he got the clue that I just wanted to send a nice scarf with turtles to my mommy.

The closing might be a bit delayed, but it's a nice house, and there might even be room for both of my grandfathers, Mom's art and Dad's office. There's a fenced yard, and it's close to walk-space, so they're talking and I'm hoping they'll get a dog soon, too. I'm all for more animal companionship (I say this with a giant lump of fur pressing his forehead into my elbow) and Dad (and Mom) could use an excuse for exercise.
mishaday: (Default)
My father called just a few minutes ago, while I was logged into WoW. Mid-kill and I'm being told my grandmother has passed away.

To say I didn't know this was coming would be a lie - the last time I saw her, she was so very frail. Like my uncle, it was only a matter of time before Death caught up with her and gave her that gentle tap on the shoulder, and yet, it's a kick in the stomach when it does happen.

Again, I want to give Dad a hug, and we're separated by a thousand miles and then some. He lost his brother last month, and his mother today, and now he not only has to deal with the family trust and all the arrangements, but the majority of my grandparents' income was in my grandmother's name - her teacher's pension and the annuities in her name were what enabled them to afford the home they were/are in.

My brain is stuck between practicalities and sorrow, wallowing somewhere in the middle.

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Misha Day

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