Thanks to all of you for your kind notes regarding my dad. I still swing back and forth between bafflement and denial --- even when you know it’s coming, or suspect it’s coming, I don’t suppose anyone is ever ready to lose a parent. He never walked on the moon, or discovered the cure for cancer, or made a million dollars ….. but he DID honor his roles as loving husband, public servant, and devoted father and grandfather. If all men could do such things, this world would be a better place indeed.
Brayden and Kellen are taking the news well. I’m not sure if that’s because they never lived close to him, so haven’t quite realized what exactly this means, or because they’re the most egocentric kids on the planet. Which, given their ages, might be perfectly normal, or might be a sign we’re raising sociopaths.
Kendrie, on the other hand, is devastated. Again, perfectly normal, or maybe she has a greater empathy due to her cancer journey …. Who knows? She was inconsolable upon hearing, and the only thing that seemed to help was the suggestion she (and all the grandkids) draw a picture, or write a note, or find some small thing, to put in the casket with him. She immediately grabbed a ceramic angel that she had made with the intention of giving him this Christmas. She drew a picture and rolled it up inside the statue, and carried it around non-stop until I suggested she put it on a table to keep it from being dropped and broken.
Fast forward to late-yesterday afternoon. I have a cold, and had taken an antihistamine …. and being the lightweight I am, had gone to bed to sleep it off. I was laying there, in that just-before-you-drift-off-to-sleep stage, when from the other room I heard a CRASH, and then a blood-curdling scream. Frightened someone had hurt themselves, I sat straight up in bed, flung the covers off, and was half-way out the door when I heard Blaine yelling, “I can fix it …. Kendrie, I can fix it!”
Yep, you guessed it, the angel got knocked off the table and broken. I confess, I just couldn’t face the tears, and left Blaine to deal with it on his own. And we are now the much-more-careful owners of a cracked, glued, and fragile angel … but one which will be making the trip with us to OKC tomorrow.
Thanks, especially, to those of you that are keeping my mom in your thoughts. In the span of eight weeks, she lost her dog, her dad, and now her husband. The jury is still out on which one she’ll miss the most.
(In the event you found that to be a totally inappropriate comment, let me assure you that my dad would have laughed if he heard it. And if you still think it was inappropriate, I’ll just claim mental instability due to grief. But trust me, he totally would have laughed. And probably put his money on the dog.)
And so, under the “Bad Things Happen in Three’s” Umbrella, we are declaring a moratorium on crappy things happening to both our immediate and extended family for the rest of the year. Nobody else dies, nobody else gets cancer, nobody else gets trampled while trying to feed a circus elephant. (OK, so that last thing hasn’t happened, but the way things seem to be going for us, doesn’t it seem like it might???)
And lest any of you think we really, truly ARE shit-magnets, let me remind you of all the wonderful things that have happened to us this year:
Kendrie has been off-treatment for six months with no problems whatsoever!!! She had her bloodwork done again this week and everything looks fine. She’s swimming like a fish, and is reaching the point of desperately needing a haircut.
Blaine made it through his radiation treatments. Yeah, they pretty much SUCKED, but he did it while managing to avoid a feeding tube, and only losing fifteen pounds. He’s back at work half-days already and while I won’t deny there are days he feels like total dog shit, for the most part, he has done fantastic!
We got to be a part of welcoming Baby-Nicolas into the world less than two months ago …. A true blessing, for those hard-hearts who don’t think there are happy endings.
Our family might be dented and dinged a little around the edges, but we are intact and we’ll muddle our way through this as well.
In the meantime, think of us while we’re flying home. I swear I’ll have a breakdown if I meet up with Mr. Seat 17C again.
Best wishes to all of you as well.