The unexpected goodbye

It’s late, and I’m going only on about a couple of hours of sleep. I just didn’t sleep much last night. It was just one of those nights. Tonight, I had hoped to get to bed early and get some much-needed sleep, after doing a little writing, of course. Life, however, intervened.

A little more than an hour ago, my ex-wife sent me a text informing me that her grandmother had passed away. At first I was stunned by the unexpected news and I didn’t know what to feel, or even if I was allowed to feel anything at all. It was a rather curious sensation, and not one I ever want to feel again. If I feel this way, I can’t imagine the trauma the family suffered, and are continuing to suffer, at losing the matriarch of the family. I can scarcely imagine.

My ex called me, once she got home, and as one would imagine, she’s taking it hard. My step-daughter is also taking the news hard. To have someone ripped from your life so suddenly is a life experience you can never prepare for. It’s one I’ve been fortunate enough not to have faced. I feel for my ex-wife, my step-daughter, and the family as a whole, though I’m estranged from them.

I’m struggling, I’ll admit, to figure out what I’m supposed to be feeling. It’s all a jumble at the moment. I’m saddened, naturally, that someone I knew has passed away. She took me and my wife in at a low point in my life, right after I lost my job. She let me stay for several months after me and my wife split. She forced me to move out, which I was upset for at first, but was really a necessary step at the time, for me to reclaim my independence.

I feel guilty that I lost touch with her, especially after the death of her husband about three years ago. I should have tried to stay in touch with her. I should have kept a line of communication with her since she always treated me with love and respect even though I was no longer a part of the family.

I want to cry, but there are no tears for me to shed. I few sobs have escaped my lips, but they were fleeting. I wonder if the news will hit me in the morning, and if I will break down then. I don’t know. I’m too exhausted at the moment to deal with the news, and other than to offer my condolences to the family, and to offer up a pray for the repose of her soul, my body begs me to lay down and drift off to sleep.

For now, all I can do is wait to hear from my ex-wife so she can tell me when the funeral will be. I need to talk to my manager at work and try to work something out so I can attend the funeral. She might not be family any more, but I feel it would be disrespectful for me not to go. I just pray that the family finds a measure of peace in knowing her struggles have ended, though I know there’s no consolation to be had. I just have to say good-bye, and may God welcome you home.

Change of plans

This was my plan for yesterday. I worked from six in the morning until three. I had planned to get home, take a short reinvigorating nap, and then start working on Jasmine. It was supposed to be a nice, quite evening at home.

Instead, on the way home I got a text from my brother. What time you getting home me and Julian are going to see Nadi play. do you want to go with us. My response? Yea.

Instead of a nice night at home, I spent the evening outside in subfreezing temperatures watching my niece play junior varsity soccer. It was cold. Really cold. I wore four layers, which helped, but my legs were icicles. I wish I had thermal underwear or tights or pantyhose or anything to keep my legs from feeling cold. Luckily the game consisted only of two 25 minute halves, with a 5 minute halftime. An hour later, we sat in a McCalister’s Deli to thaw out, ate supper, and probably talked and joked for at least an hour, probably more.

I got no writing done, not even to update my blog, which I’ve been trying to do daily this month, but that’s okay. It was nice to break the monotony of everyday life and go out, even if it was cold. Sometimes writing can wait. Life, however, waits for no one.

The long week ahead

Today is Friday, and this is my last day off until next Saturday. I hate working long stretches. Hell, I hate working, period. No, let’s be positive. I have a job. It pays me a pathetic wage, but at least it’s in a currency that (still) has some intrinsic value attached to it. Tomorrow I’ll get off at a reasonable time, and I’m positive I hate working, period.

See? Who says I’m always negative? Silly people. Joking aside, I will have to work seven days, but then when I get off next Friday, I’ll be leaving immediately to Corpus Christi, a  mere 654 miles (1052 km) away. That’s in no way exhausting. I think I need a nap.

Next Saturday, the family is getting together to celebrate my Grandmother’s birthday, so in spite of my whining, it’s actually worth it. She’s my last grandparent still alive. It would be nice to see her while I still have the opportunity.

I think we take family for granted, especially when they are involved with our lives. We get used to their being there, stalwart and true, the rock upon which a family is founded. Once they pass, it’s amazing how quickly the family goes their separate ways, each becoming the patriarchs and matriarchs of their respective clans.

Just think about the history they have, our grandparents, and great-grandparents, if you are lucky enough to still have any yet living. What have they witnessed? What were their lives like before they settled down? What family history do they know that will go to the grave once they pass?

I don’t want to come across as depressed, but it’s just a thought that crossed my mind. It’s scary how fast time flies by, and it seems to speed up with each passing year. I swear, I still feel like I should be in my twenties, but that old man staring back at me in the mirror likes to remind me that I’m not. I hate you, old man!

No point worrying about what will happen. Instead, come next Saturday, we will celebrate what we still have. Yes, we have suffered heartbreaks, losing members of our family. It’s both a joy and a curse to belong to a large family. My grandmother had fourteen children, and has lived to bury three. It’s sad, but we have to continue living in the present.