I got a call yesterday afternoon from my father. He was calling from the emergency room and needed me to take him home. He had been in a car wreck. He got T-boned in a major intersection by a lady who ran the red light. He’s ok. Lots of back pain, bruised ribs, bruised kidney. His car is totaled though. I went and got stuff out of it at the towing place. I cleaned out the glove box and boxed up all the belongings he had. Then we went and got a prescription filled for some pain pills. Strong stuff. He’ll be passed out most of today, which is good cause he’s going to be hurtin’. I worry because back problems can stick with you and haunt you all your life. Yesterday I told him he was lucky. He just looked at me and laughed. He sure didn’t feel lucky, but he knew what I meant.
Last night me and my brother went over to my pops to celebrate a belated fathers day and an early birthday. On the way over we got in a heated yet civil argument over what a racist is. I got my dad a fishing pole case that he was really happy with. Me and my brother also fixed him steaks and potatoes (actually my brother did most of the cooking).
A few years ago, when I ordered checks (or cheques for all you brits), I had the bank print this Robert Frost quote on the bottom of each one:
“In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life: It goes on.
I went down to Colorado Springs this weekend to visit my Grandma. She turns 91 tomorrow. We brought her a lucky bamboo plant in celebration. She normally doesn’t like us to bring any gifts for her. She believes it’s a waste of money. She doesn’t want anymore material possessions. In her eyes it’s just another thing that needs to be taken care of. As a result, she doesn’t really even appreciate them. This makes my mother angry. My mom thinks it’s more important to receive gifts as a validation of people’s appreciation of you. We brought over food from Boston Chicken. She didn’t consider this a material gift and ate it right up. I like gifts but rarely expect them. I almost always accept them.
I was born 30 years ago. My mother gave birth to me at age 25. I know this because on my 25th birthday my mom told me, “you are now half my age.” This disturbed me. It also means my grandma had my mother when she was 35. I did this math in my head on Saturday night. Thirty-five is much older than I expected. I would guess this was particularly old to be having a child during the 1940’s.
My grandma still lives by herself, in a two-story house. She takes care of all the bills. She cooks her own meals. She has a hamburger and vanilla ice-cream every Sunday. She fills her own gas. She does her own laundry. She drives herself to the doctor. The idea of her driving around makes me nervous. I think she’s too old to drive. She has a “neighbor boy” mow the lawn. She thinks he charges too much money.
My grandma was really quite during our visit. I don’t think she has a lot to say. And she is generally a very quite woman. Maybe she has trouble relating to us. She is not very social and she rarely has guests. I suspect her life is very quiet normally. Our visit was probably a little chaotic for her. It was really nice to see her again. I should call her more often, in fact, I will.
It was important. But it wasn’t as difficult as she thought it would be. Not for me at least. I suppose it may have been harder for her because it was her mortality we were defining.
Last Wednesday my brother, his girlfriend, and I went over to moms for dinner. She fixed red beans and rice, my favorite meal of hers. She always fixes it for my birthday. But tonight we wouldn’t be talking about birth, but death. Mom was putting together her living will, durable power of attorney, and such. She needed to put one of our names down as the executor. Of course, both my brother and me agreed it doesn’t really matter. There is no doubt that if an event should occur, in which a decision about how to deal with any of these issues, the both of us would be involved. The person who would tell the doctor what to do was irrelevant, be it my brother or me. My name got put down not for any other reason than I volunteered.
My Mom is a simple woman. She believes in “right-to-die” or pain control or whatever the current p.c. term for minimizing suffering of both victim and survivor in the case of tragic events and during severe illness or debilitation. I’m confident my brother and me would be able to make a good decision, and more importantly, my mom is too.
It sucks thinking about this kind of stuff sometimes. And it is can actually pretty depressing if you let it be. But it’s also very necessary. And nothing we discussed actually brought me down. It was just a form of preparation – in case of the unavoidable.
A couple of minutes ago I had my first communication via email with Sabrina in a long while. It was cold, distant, unnecessary and mostly lacked real substance. But still, for some reason, it increased the speed of my heart and turned my stomach a little bit. I’m so tired right now. I got little sleep again last night. Time is going so slow this afternoon. I’m going out to dinner with pops again tonight. I’ve been spending a lot more time with family lately and it’s been really nice. My Mom, Dad and Brother have all been so supportive. I really need them right now too. My brother is inviting me out with him all the time. My mom asks me how I’m doing all the time. My dad calls me every couple of days just to see how things are going for me. A special thanks to my incredible family, I love you.
The weekend officially started off over at my brother’s new apartment. My family, (both parents even), the brothers’s girlfriend’s mom (one of the best Gumbo chefs I know), Trout’s family, and various other friends all got together to party. The function of the party was three-fold: as a housewarming for my brother and his girlfriend, as chance for everyone to get to meet each other, and to eat some of the best gumbo west of the Mississippi. In addition to the great company and excellent food, the evening included babies, dancing, beer, wine, gin & juice, drawing, impromptu jam sessions on pots, pans, air guitars, real guitars, vocal chords and any other instrument that could be found or invented, and tons of laughter. After the party we all went to the bar. This was probably not a good idea. Some of us were not allowed in the bar for various reasons – those of us that made it were kicked out in less than 15 minutes. Apparently the owner/manager of The Park doesn’t take kindly to grown men dawning some of their girlfriends accessories and acting like they are picking up on him. Getting kicked out was totally worth seeing that grumpy old man’s reaction though.
I went out to dinner with my pops last night and will be doing so again tonight. We ate at a little (only 10 or so tables, and some additional seating outside that was not an option because it was snowing) place called Jerusalem Restaurant over in the Denver University area. The Jerusalem restaurant is owned by the Wahdan family and has been in operation since 1978. Dinner was really relaxed and it was an enjoyable evening.