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Thursday, February 22, 2001

Whew! What a week. I was about to melt down into a puddle yesterday. I was trying to get to all of my meetings, get some documentation created, and get to my grandmother's funeral in Sacramento. Grandma lost. I just couldn't make the 6+ hour round trip in one rainy day and keep any semblance of my sanity.

Okay, backing up. It was a weird weekend first. On Thursday of last week I found out that my Grandma Mary (my father's mother) had died. On Saturday, I was headed to Sacramento anyway to go to my Grandma Scottie's (my mother's mother) birthday party. It was an odd juxtaposition. Things really happened in the right order there. Grandma Mary stopped living a long time ago and seemed to be sort of ticked of the Grim Reaper hadn't come and picked her off yet. My Grandma Scottie still plays tennis every week with women half her age and goes square dancing and plays bridge and is really active in her church and generally only sits down long enough to sleep. (In fact, watching her sit down is something of a humorous activity, because unless she's doing something active (not passive like watching tv) like talking or playing cards while she's sitting, she'll be asleep in well under five minutes. My grandpa laughs at her for it, and then does the same thing.

So we went to Sacramento and dropped Rick's car off for service at the Saturn dealership (long story). Then we ran errands for my mom all day and did the family dinner thing in the evening. Then we spent Sunday upgrading my grandparent's computer. I bought grandma a copy of the Wheel of Fortune CD-ROM game for her birthday. They're really starting to get the hang of the computer thing. They were busy clicking ahead and not waiting for Vanna's instructions at all. After it was all said and done, we headed back to Santa Clara at about midnight and got home a little before three a.m. Blah.

Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon I got word finally that Grandma Mary's funeral was the next day. Having just done the Sacto tour, I was having a hard time facing that trip again. I'm just starting this new job and I was stuck in orientation all day Tuesday, so all of my real work got put off. On Wednesday I thought maybe just maybe I can make it and miss only one meeting. About an hour into my first morning meeting, I felt like if I tried to go to Sac, everything was going to unravel. Anyway, I ended up staying here and getting on top of it all. By 7:00 when I left, I was sane again. There's this little part of me that feels bad for not going, but there's this other bigger part of me that lists all of the reasons it would be silly to have gone.

I think the final big deciding factor was that I just don't like American style funerals. We go into the somber funeral home wearing black, being sad. Everyone is quiet. Then there's a little ceremony which no one is really invested in in any way, and then we all shuffle out and go out to eat afterward. I just don't get it. Let me just say for the record right here and now that I do not want that kind of funeral. I want what Terry had. Terry O'Neil was my Irish dance teacher from the Starry Plough. He also taught other kinds of dance like Morris and so forth. Anyway, at his wake, he had the Plough filled with people drinking and telling stories of fun and tribute to the man we were all going to miss. And then we danced, because that's what Terry gave us all. That was a proper celebration of a life. I just really hope that I don't end up like my grandma, waiting to die. I want to come screaming into the home stretch, having contributed all that I could to the world around me, and having made everyone else's life richer for my existence. Yup. Anyway, I'll go say goodbye to my grandma at her gravesite in my own time and my own way. I think it's better that way.

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