Archive for October, 2011

Thanks ‘T’ – This One Is For You

// October 7th, 2011 // 3 Comments » // life

The past 5 weeks I’ve been in Charleston with family for work, vacation, my father in law getting ill then my grandmother passing away. We came home on Tuesday and we weren’t home 24 hours before we got the call that Renee’s dad (who I call ‘T’) may not have much time with us in this life. I took her to the airport immediately. The kids and I came down earlier today (Thursday).  After dealing with Nanny’s death last week I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with another one-  Especially with Emma and Emerson,  they are smart, they both realize something is going on but obviously at that age they are still figuring out death- heck, they are at the beginning of figuring out life ( I’ll argue that we never figure out life, I haven’t- I live, I love and I do it with all my heart and soul).

I now sit in ‘T’s’ computer room, listening to him struggle to breathe a bit.  He’s taking morphine to relax but the bottom line is that his heart, lungs and other organs are slowly but surely beginning to fail.  Tonight we sat around and joked a bit, watched some football and then the ending of Road House.  Not intentionally but it was on.  I realize he is on morphine but I know he knew I was there-  I got the occasional, “where’s Emma and Emerson”.  I’m not so sure he’ll make it till the morning… so here I sit- more thoughts online.

I remember the first time I met Renee’s dad- I’m pretty sure he had no clue what the heck his daughter had just brought home. I was rough around the edges then- maybe I still am or like to come off that I am. Renee had always dated the preppy, clean cut dudes and she had a stable job. Me? The first time I met ‘T’ I had 5 ear rings, hair 1/2 way down my back, ripped jeans a tesla t-shirt on and I don’t even remember if I had a job. He made me nervous no doubt. He was retired military and in general came off as a hard-ass (which I can say is false- he’s a man who cares and loved a lot… just not a man of many words). Can you imagine his shock six weeks later when we told him we were getting married! I’m pretty sure he mumbled under his breath something to the effect of ‘not gonna happen’.

A few weeks later when I finally pawned enough stuff to buy a wedding ring I think he knew it was real. At Christmas he gave me my first handshake and 1/2 man hug with the traditional whisper in the ear “you hurt her and I’m coming for you”. Duly Noted. It wasn’t long before ‘T’ decided he liked me. There was no defining moment that we became friends, it may have been the 300th time that he told me to take my hat off during dinner. Can’t remember.  Eventually I could wear a hat and he never said a word.

‘T’ has raised 3 daughters-  I was the first to come into the family as a “son”.  So maybe there is some special forces at work there but no doubt we had a good time together.  Camping, NASCAR races, golf, cigars, antique sitting (this is where you sit and wait on your wives to antique shop- and we were the best) are just a few of the past times we enjoyed together for the past 20 years.  There is no doubt in my mind that ‘T’ loves his family and that includes me.  He told me many times, he called me son often.  I’ve been honored to know him and to have become a part of his family.  ’T', Know that I’ll take care of them just as you have… and yes, I still know that if I hurt ‘em you’ll come and get me.

Much love to you ‘T’.  You will be missed.


Waiting For Death

// October 1st, 2011 // Comments Off // life

***I wrote this late Friday night, in the process of proofreading Nanny passed away.  It was approx 11:45pm.  I’m thankful that she is at peace and in a much better place.  Thanks for the amazing support and outpouring of love-  we’re blessed to have amazing friends****

Have you ever waited on death? I haven’t until this past week. I don’t like it. I’m not saying I like for people to die suddenly but the waiting and not knowing part of death can seriously take a toll on your mind. It’s hard to focus. It’s hard to hear the phone ring. It’s hard to have conversations about when “it” will happen. No one knows.

This is another mind dump. Before I begin, my family and I really appreciate the comments and support that we’ve read and seen both here and on Facebook (my dad drove so much traffic here the other day I figured he has some good friends) on my previous post.

My grandmother, ‘nanny’, that I wrote the previously blog post is the catalyst behind a lot of thoughts lately but September in general has been a rough month for sickness and health issues for friends.

At dinner the other night my dad said, “I guess there is a down side to having close friends…” – How true! Having people in your life that you care about and do life with eventually makes us realize the pain of sickness and death. Getting older has something to do with it as well. Here’s what I’ve heard/seen/experienced the past two weeks (no exaggerations):

  • Nanny is given a few days to live.
  • My father-in-law is put in ICU, released and then back in the hospital
  • A best friend finds out his mom has cancer
  • A twitter friend had a punctured bowel and is septic (emergency surgery saved her life)
  • A friend in a fist fight with throat cancer, his second round

And I can guarantee you we could all add 100+ more people to that list right now. It’s too much. The part that really bothers me is that I can’t do anything about any of this. Not a thing. I’m what many people would call a ‘yes’ man or a ‘fixer’. I would do anything for my friends and their family. My heart hurts with them at the same time.

We’ve officially been told that nanny has 24-48 hours to live. It was evident in visiting with her today that they are right. She may not be here when I wake up. A part of me will be glad that its over. The last two days have been rough seeing her like this. I want her to be pain free and on to the golden gate bridge in the sky… Or is that golden roads? (the humor defense mechanism kicked in).

I will be sad that she is gone and no longer physically part of our lives, however I had an amazing insight while visiting her today. Who she was as a great-grandmother, nanny, mom, wife and friend will continue to live within her family and friends. As I watched her laying peacefully in the bed the silence was broken by the laughter of my kids and niece… It may sound corny but it was a joyful and sad moment at the same time. Life and death mixing… as one life is ending others are just beginning. Thanks for all the notes, comments and support. Its amazing to know just how many people my nanny knew and touched.