Monday, October 15, 2007

I Bleed, You Read...

Oh yeah, it's going to be one of those posts.

Monday's are generally not very good for anybody - you're back at work in a suit or cubicle, whatever fits better depending on the food and drink you consumed over the weekend- and you are looking forward to tackling that mound of email and paperwork that you somehow hoped would disappear over the weekend. (Damn those lazy bastard email gremlins!)

But occasionally, Monday pulls out the big stick and hits you on the side of your head. Twice if you got laid that weekend.

Anyway, I come into the office early today with an urgent hard-on to get some stuff done when the phone rings with a call from the "803." Not good. "803" is the area code for SC.
Not good because if I get a call from SC it's usually somebody's in the hospital, somebody's going to the hospital, or somebody feels like going to the hospital. Or my alma mater wants more money.

None of those things happened. Totally skipped that step.
Somebody was at the funeral home. Specifically, my aunt died this morning.

[and yes, those of you who know me know that I wrap myself in sarcasm and dark humour when the bad shit happens. It's gotten me through many heartaches to make an off-color remark at the worst of times. This is my pain. This is how I deal since I'm no longer in the military and don't carry a gun. ]

Now I know everyone dies and all that crap that they wrap up in shiny paper and a bow and set underneath your Christmas tree only to find you opening the package and greeting death like you got tightie whities for the holiday.
I know this.
I also know that people have died in my family.
I know this.

But it's not everyday when a member of the family - my Dad's sister - dies on his birthday.


Those of you out there don't know this yet, but when your parents qualify for "geezer" status you worry. You try not to, but shit happens. Your bury that shit in the deepest, darkest tar pit that is your fear...but it is there. Like cancer.

The worry.
The "803" popping up on your Caller ID.
The "Urgent" in the subject line of an email.
The fact you can't just hop in the car and run over to see what's going on.
The fact that emergencies (and I guess this doesn't qualify because it's over and she's going to be cremated and become "million year old carbon" ) require plane trips.

So yeah, you just wrap all that worry up and put it in a blog post.
You get on the phone and try to talk to your pops.
You try to figure out how to say "Happy Birthday" to your pops, knowing that in the back of everyone's mind is that grim fucker, the Reaper saying "I got you, fucker."

I love(d) my Aunt Mary - my dad's older sister. She always smiled and had something nice to say to us kids. She snuck us things out of the kitchen at family gatherings. She ran my grandfather's plumbing business in rural Grinnell, Iowa. She laughed and loved and cried. She took care of things and people. She outlived her daughter Debbie and her husband Don (who loved science fiction and once gave me a whole stack paperbacks he had at the house). She's survived by her daughter Kathy (my cousin) and her husband and several grandkids as well as my pops (her baby brother).

Not a bad run.

I'm done.


wcdixon said...

Sorry about your loss, Bill. I first thought I was reading a Penthouse letter after lines about getting laid and hard-on's...boy was I wrong! (sorry, bad attempt at levity)

Tim said...

My condolences, Bill. Losing family, any family, is tough. When my dad passed away, a very dear old friend (who lost his mom when he was 14) uttered the only words that made sense. "Sucks, don't it?"

Not much more to say, is there?

Remember the good parts, celebrate her life and be there for your dad when he needs someone to lean on.


Roger Alford said...

So sorry, Bill. Prayers for you and your family.

jimhenshaw said...

Hey Buddy. No matter what day the news comes, it's the wrong one. This year might be a write off, but make sure that on the birthdays to come your dad knows it's a time to celebrate what's always been special about the day not what's been lost at that particular point of the calendar.

Aric Blue said...

Sorry to hear about it, man. Hope time mutes the pain fast for you and your pops.