June 11th, 2003

anime night

third in a day

My family went to a baseball game tonight. I came home from work, made myself dinner, and then took a nap (i’ve been up late, among other things helping my brother with his poetry project, and then up early to be at work at 9) and around twenty of nine the phone woke me up. My uncle Harry (brother to my grandfather) called to say that Naomi had called him and told him that my grandfather passed away, quietly, this morning.

Stomach knot since then. Thinking of how exactly to tell my mother.

Then my aunt and uncle, who are coming to Boston on Wednesday (for some reason i had been thinking it was next week) for the Early Music Festival called to square away details since they were going to stay with us Wednesday night, then stay in Boston for the remainder of the festival and come back to us Sunday night. After hearing the news about my mother’s father, Barbara emphasized that they could stay somewhere else Wednesday night.

So anyway, the people come home. My dad comes in, asks “Did Paul and Barbara call?” I hadn’t counted on the fact that my parents, being more on top of this than i am, would have been expecting Paul and Barbara to call to finalize stuff. “Yeah,” i say, in a somewhat evasive manner. My brother and his friend are the next in the door, followed by my mother, who also asks if they called. Again, “Yeah.” When we’re all three in the kitchen i say to my mother, “Uncle Harry called, too.” She looks wary and says something like “And...?” And i say, “Because Naomi called him. Your dad died this morning.” I held my mother as she cried. Daddy’ll call Paul and Barbara first thing tomorrow morning, and Mommy talked to Naomi for a long time tonight.

My mom had considered calling Naomi before she left work, but she figured, “If he’s not doing well, it’s just going to upset me,” so she was going to call Naomi when she got home tonight anyway. Naomi said that she had wanted to talk to my mother herself, rather than... have Harry call Elizabeth to tell you.... but as my mother says, everything happens for a reason, and really, it was fine. Apparently he had been in the hospital for the past couple days because he was having trouble breathing. A nurse coded him before she realized about the DNR, but Naomi said it was okay because when he came back he was coherent and she considered it a blessing because there were a lot of little serendipitous closure type things that happened after that. Naomi and Maeve (their daughter) were both with him, holding his hands, at the end. And that was almost luck. They had been called in because he was having difficulty breathing and when they got there the nurse said she had left a message telling them not to come because he was doing fine. 40 minutes later he died. One never knows. The service is going to be simple and small (grandad said, “Don’t tell them until after the funeral,” as in don’t tell anyone he had died, so they don’t all come -- he hadn’t even wanted anyone to know he was dying, but when he seemed like he really didn’t have much time left Naomi convinced him that they should really call people, so May 8 she called my mother, thinking he wouldn’t last the week) and it’s a huge trip to go out to Alaska, so that’s all up in the air.

Naomi said that every day he would ask “Did Barbara call?” (she called every day), which was really sweet. Funny thing is he rarely actually talked to my mom when she called, partly because it was hard on his body but also because he didn’t really know what to say to her. One of the times she did talk to him he said, “You should really be talking to Naomi.”

Various things are up in the air. Much will be clearer by the end of the day Wednesday i’m sure. I still really wanna hang out with Joe before i leave. I realized i’m not scheduled to work at all next week. Boo. (Though really, i need to do like all of my Oxford reading then.) I think i need at least one training session that week, though. Also wanna get as many details as possible of Oxford trip squared away by the end of next week.

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin'
Now the days go by so fast
And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven...I wish you would
The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl
And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California...I think you should
Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her
And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood
It's been so long since I've seen the ocean...I guess I should