I’ve been sitting on this post for a little bit now. Amusingly, I sat on my tidbit about Zaide for a week too.
Much like with Gram in 2013, we all squished into the car (one seat per person is NOT enough room when traveling for more than 3 hours) and drove north for a funeral.
I hope it is the last one for a very, very long time.
Two Sundays ago, we took two cars, because we didn’t have the SUV that day, and went to visit Zaide. We visited him in his bedroom, an oddity to be sure, because he was not in his chair in the sitting room watching baseball. He wasn’t watching baseball in his room either.
I’ve done this before.
They moved a couple of chairs in the sitting room to make room for a bed. The bed never had to be delivered. I am getting ahead of myself.
I’ve still done this before.
We had a nice visit, as those sorts of visits go. My brother and sister and I rambled at Zaide for a bit. We held hands. It was nice. We left the bedroom and chatted with Aunt & Uncle for a bit. I listened to the hospice nurse chat with another nurse (or whoever) on the phone about making arrangements for this and that. I looked at that open area in the sitting room. I went back into the bedroom and sat with Zaide some more.
I don’t want to do this ever again.
BrotherMine went out to get some soft serve. Zaide needed something soft. He likes ice cream. So we got ice cream. My brother and my kids had ice cream with their (great) grandfather one last time.
I am still emotionally exhausted from doing this.
We stuck around a while. I went back in to the bedroom and said point blank “this isn’t today, yah?” (more of a statement than a question) and the nurse agreed it wasn’t today. So we left. I didn’t want to leave. I couldn’t bear to do this again. She said a few days. So we left.
Monday I got a call. I wasn’t expecting Monday. So we started making plans to get in the car and go. And we went.
Shut up and drink your beer.
Sorry, but I’m talking about Zaide, and I have memories of my brother toddling around telling people this, because Zaide said that to him that every time we went to visit. I did this with my mother ten years ago. But I think she may have started with Shut Up and Drink Your Beer as well. Could be wrong, but crass is as crass does.
In trying to write something for the funeral (which I am stealing from myself and re-writing here), I realized how much we all quote Zaide. Every time I want to complain about my problems, I remember him telling me a story about everyone taking their problems out and putting them up on a line, and looking at everyone else’s problems, and then going home with their own anyway. A story I had already blogged about here. There was a story for everything. I’m kind of heartbroken that his stories are over, and I am kind of worried I can’t tell them to my kids in the same way. And then I open my mouth, and another tidbit comes out, another “gem of wisdom” pops up. Lazarus would have my head. Aphorisms. One of the cousins has compiled them into a blog. Go take a peek. He was a smart man.
I’m stealing from my sister a little. No more newspaper clippings in the mail. No more cards from Gram and ZZZZZZZ. No more weekend visits. I’ve lived around the corner (around the corner being relative, but at the most it was a 30 minute drive, at the least it was a 10 minute bike ride) from them pretty much my entire life. I’m not sure how I feel now that they aren’t there. I am tired of losing constants.
I was lucky to have my great-grandparents for so long, and my grandparents well into my adult years. I was pretty sure Zaide would live forever, because I can’t imagine him not being there. I am feeling so happy we were able to see him. I am infinitely sad we will not be able to go see him next week, or any week after. I am endlessly relieved he is not in pain, and he is not suffering.
So here’s to Zaide, who always loved me no matter what, who always told me he was proud of me, and who always, always gave me beer money.
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