I hate getting calls at abnormal times. If my phone goes off too early, too late or at unexpected times in the afternoon, my stomach tightens up. At this age, relatives are sick, my parents are growing older and becoming caretakers to grandparents who are older still. When my phone rings at a time that catches me off guard, it's usually bad news. So was the case today.
If you could pinpoint a single event that encouraged me to move from San Diego to Chicago, it was the death of my grandfather. Losing someone so close and being so far away was one of the most miserable, and helpless, feelings I've experienced. Being removed does not make it easier, it creates a large gap that just keeps filling up with emotion that has no place to go, and recycles until you're down right exhausted from it. There comes a point, and that was it, when we give way to the need for adventure, for being accessible to home and those that make it so.
The older I get, the more I'm aware of that suffocating sense of mortality. I see everyone aging around me and it's terrifying, terrifying to realize that there will come a day when I'll have to live without the people I, well, can't live without.
Today was one of those reminders. My great Aunt Lil had a hell of a sense of humor. Each Christmas, she'd buy intentionally tacky sippy cups from the dollar store that came in holiday shapes such as Santa or Rudolph, and fill it with Whiskey for my dad, because he'd playfully whine that no one loved him when only the kids got gifts. There's certainly a firecracker gene alive in our family, and she was part of it.
So this year, we'll have Christmas in July for Aunt Lil and toast to those that have gone before... with our sippy cups. Because the only way to mourn, is to take the bad with the good.
Filed under: Uncategorized