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Two Funerals

Posted on 2010.03.18 at 22:55
Current Location: 67205
Current Music: Newman - Serenity
Tags: , ,

With the funeral behind us, and the dead buried, we picked up the pieces of our lives and with heavy hearts, continued living. My days had been filled with the weight decorum of respect places above and beyond responsibilities in the labor of love I volunteered myself for again and again, but it was the short nights I think, coupled with the gravity of the events which drained me. I didn't sleep as much as pass out in bed each night and the sheer number of days which have passed had taken their toll. It was time to go home.

We packed our vehicle, said our goodbyes, loaded up the kids, and slid the gear selector into "Drive." As I pulled out of the driveway I thought dreamily of my absurdly expensive mattress only six short hours South.

Then the phone rang.

All the results came back - My wife's grandmother has been given only days to live. They've moved her to hospice and put her on morphine - there's nothing to do but but make her as comfortable as possible. Her children and their children are providing around-the-clock coverage. My brother-in-law is driving down from Oregon with his entire family in tow because there were zero flights out. Another cousin had to leave her family at the airport as she found only a single seat out from Florida - at $1000.

I pulled back into the carport and wearily unloaded the bags from the car.

Amidst all this woe, there have been the occasional highlights: Making new friends, mixing drinks for the widow after the wake, and my wife's ex-husband not showing up to the funeral after he confirmed his attendance. All notable events. And were there a tag for my favorite beer store in Wichita I would surely link to it now - many of my favorite beer stories and discoveries happen right here in Kansas, and this visit was no different. I discovered Rauchbier (my photo here), the original German "Smokebeer" which, at the time of my post on Shiner Smokehaus I was unaware of. And it even comes in a weizen. Its as if I were the one who'd died and gone to Deutscheland.

Lastly, bound and determined to balance the time spent in hospitals and funeral homes, I've taken my kids on several outings in which they've been able to run and play. After today's news and subsequent unpacking, and with nothing which required my direct involvement, I loaded up everyone's kids and took them on a six-hour adventure of nature trails, playgrounds, hills, hiking and of course: McDonald's.

I haven't seen my son this happy in weeks.

There was no fighting, bitching, boredom, or attitude. We played loud hip-hop in the car, drove with the windows down (it was the first sunny day in months here), and piloted the vehicle like a Texan in the Midwest (GUILTY!) So while I'm still fucking exhausted nearly to tears and don't know how long I'm going to be here, as long as I can pull off a few days like that every once in a while, I think I'll make it. I think we all will.


CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-03-19 04:02 (UTC) (Link)
I so sorry to say again to please give Lady L a hug and my love. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
ehowton at 2010-03-19 04:18 (UTC) (Link)

I wasn't born a Shepherd

Will do, thanks. She's got the 0500-0900 shift tomorrow morning so will be getting up around four. Ugh. AM READY TO GO HOME.
panacea42 at 2010-03-19 04:49 (UTC) (Link)
I only know you through your posts, but I am so impressed by your strength, I don't think I could have coped with all of that as incredibly gracefully as you have. Loved the McDonald's anecdote, something so wonderful and pure and genuine. Wishing you & your family comfort, and all the best..
ehowton at 2010-03-20 03:50 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the kind words. Believe me, I've tried the whole "throw your arms up in the air and run around in circles screaming" as a suitable reaction, but its not very effective.

And I didn't do this one alone; I don't drink Scotch often, but I had a few friends with me this time around after I put the kids down in the evening:

Thanks again.
glodowg at 2010-03-19 14:16 (UTC) (Link)
Praying for peace and rest for you all. Your willingness to be there and the attitude and role you have taken on is an amazing GIFT you are giving her.

Again, anything I need to check on/do? I can collect and email homework next week if necessary....

Tell L, the coffee pot is ready and waiting.......
ehowton at 2010-03-20 04:18 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much. I thought I was just bitching, using words like "wearily" and "woe."

I passed along your kind offer. We were going to try and attempt to leave tomorrow morning, but it started sleeting and snowing and we've already gotten half of the eight expected inches. That may slow us down a bit :/
xx_adamo_mangie at 2010-03-19 14:58 (UTC) (Link)
You're incredibly strong and I'm sorry to hear about all the hardship that your family has to go through- but at least you have each other and the days that you dedicate to small joys and escapes from the current reality.
I really admire you and wish my father thought a little more as you did.
Beautiful picture, by the way- it's hard not to feel happy and full of hope when you see something like that. =)
ehowton at 2010-03-20 04:41 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. My own father was really wonderful and for a long time I struggled with not measuring up to how awesome a father he was to my brother and I, but now that the kids are older, and themselves awesome, its really quite easy, and I feel that I'm really fitting into the roll. Of course all this will likely change by the teen years :P

And while I appreciate your assessment of my fortitude, I would only agree were it my own family. As this is her family, its easier to stay focused on helping and being strong for everyone without *actually* grieving. But thank you! Also - and I've been meaning to post this, but it really applies to you more than anyone else because you've been UNUSUALLY PROLIFIC (hooray!) - I have been reading posts - nearly all of them (though I think I'm behind just a little) and I can't wait to sit at my own computer (and not on my wife's teeny netbook) and respond to them all. Also, you're really cool - but more of that on your own blog later!

Edited at 2010-03-20 04:43 am (UTC)
sacredyuja at 2010-03-19 19:08 (UTC) (Link)
I am so sorry for your loss - I will keep you all in my thoughts.

The picture of your children, now I think that will bring a smile to anyones face no matter how down and out they might be.

ehowton at 2010-03-20 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
Hey thanks! And I'm glad you liked the picture - I loved it. Summed up their day perfectly :)
kat_rowe at 2010-03-19 19:27 (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a fun day and much-needed. I'm sorry about you're wife's grandmother. Your whole family remains in my thoughts and prayers.
ehowton at 2010-03-20 06:02 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much. I was hoping this was going to be a happier post - and one where I bitched ceaselessly about stuff. Oh well.

I really appreciate having gotten to know you since my July 16th 2009 post.
kat_rowe at 2010-03-20 22:56 (UTC) (Link)
we have to post what's in our hearts and heads and it was a good day but not a happy time for you *hugs*

i've really enjoyed getting to know you, too (even if I still contend that anyone who doesn't think Amanda is gorgeous is not working on all thrusters)
irulan_amy at 2010-03-20 05:38 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry for your family's loss and hardships.

I am glad that you are there and strong, and it makes such a huge difference to get the kids out and active and away. Really brilliant and probably not the easiest thing to do. I would guess anyway.

I hope the world is brighter for you guys soon.
ehowton at 2010-03-20 06:08 (UTC) (Link)
heh - this post really wasn't about any strength at all - rather the difficulties of it all, yet that word keeps popping up. The kids were a BREEZE because they had their buddies and kept themselves occupied. I was just comic relief. Oh, and the driver...

thesweetestnote at 2010-03-20 15:24 (UTC) (Link)
I've been away too long and just catching up here. You and your family are in my prayers.
ehowton at 2010-03-24 03:31 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ma'am.
lindakimduong at 2010-03-23 23:39 (UTC) (Link)

kids at play

All we can ever try to do is to "cherish the moments"

At this current times, the kids I'm sitting with are playing together in harmony with the Nintendo Wii, one can only watch and smile.
ehowton at 2010-03-24 03:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: kids at play

Aye, and making those moments to cherish is a whole hell of a lot of fun sometimes.
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