My Pa

I was at an AA meeting yesterday, Saturday, which is odd for me… but I was scheduled to be on a plane to Cancun today so I wanted to be sure to hit a meeting. I had left my Blackberry on vibrate as the person I was taking to Cancun had lots of questions and I wanted to be available to her. The meeting had just started, the lead was sharing his experience, strength and hope and I truly don’t remember his name or anything… but my phone vibrated and I looked at the Caller ID. It wasn’t a 715 area code which would have been my friend that was to go to Cancun with me, but a 608 area code, which meant family.

Most of you know about my family, this is the good family, the ones that were my foster parents and actually cared for me… i’m crying.

I stepped out of the meeting and checked my voice mail, it was my nephew Michael, the message simply said: call Grandma right away. I called back and my nephew Cory answered the phone and said: PaPa died this morning. I said ok, I’ll call you back, and hung up. The day was filled with me doing odd things like that. I called right back and asked when the service was and if Ma wanted to talk to me. Ma didn’t, and he said the service would be Tuesday or Wednesday. that was the end of the call.

A few weeks back my Pa told my Ma that he had been having BMs filled with blood for the last two weeks… men are stupid that’s why… and she took him immediately to the hospital where the performed a colonoscopy and found nothing, the next day they performed another (poor guy) and found a lesion which they cauterized (you medically inclined folks always want to ask me relevant questions here, but I don’t know relevant answers so just clip your toenails and read the rest of the story already… geez). Then Friday night I had called Ma, which I try to do regularly, and she told me they had done another colonoscopy and found some pollops (spelling?) which they sent off to be tested. Ma expected results to come in about 2 weeks. Because My Pa had been bleeding where the sun don’t shine, they took him off his Coumadin … that is what we think killed him, they are fairly certain he had another clot (He had had one a few years ago).

I motioned for Darren, poor guy, to come step out of the meeting. He pointed at himself and mouthed: ME? and I nodded. Darren came out and I tried to explain to him that I wasn’t leaving the meeting due to a bad lead or anything, just my Pa had died and I had to go. (I had been explaning to Darren earlier that day why I left early the week before, which was a psycho crazy person leading the meeting and I managed to hold onto my judgmental abilities… and hopefully always will). Darren, was a godsend, he escorted me outside, comforted me and wanted to walk me all the way home.

I was having moments where I wanted to just burst into tears and I had calls to make and I felt bad for having calls to make when he was right there trying to comfort me and It was a mess… change that, I was a mess. I called my Cancun guest, Brenda, as she was about to board a plane for DC and I didn’t want her to come if she didn’t want to come if I wasn’t going to be able to go. I told her to call the airline and see if she can cancel the trip. I called my business partner, Jim, and told him and we discussed me calling the travel agency and getting refunds or vouchers. I called Suzanne, Gary, Mark and Robert who were all not at their phones, and I was so mad at them for not being right there in the street to hug me… I know that’s illogical, I know that was near impossible, but I just needed them. I’m crying again.

I convinced Darren that I would be ok and I just needed to be alone. I then proceeded to walk the rest of the way up 17th street and then 16th street, crying every other block or so. I couldn’t see, I was embarassed to be crying this much. Im a silly queen with midwest macho sensibilities.

At home the people at Orbitz were very accomodating and helpful, the operator was very thoughtful. She asked me for our record locator number and inbetween fits of crying I found it for her, then I asked her if she could hold on so I could take out my contacts, I was having difficulties reading with them and the tears were not helpful. I went to my bathroom and removed my contacts, put them in their little container and came back. The operator asked me another question and I couldn’t see the words at all, it took me like three minutes to realize that I forgot to put my glasses on.

I called US Airways to attempt to get a flight, but they had no bereavement rates and the earliest they could get me to MSP was 11:30 p.m. So I called NWA, and the people were wonderful. The operator answered the phone and inbetween more fits of crying I tried to tell her what I needed, but just couldn’t stop crying. She stepped up to the plate and said, “OK, Sir, I’m going to ask the questions now, You only have to answer with one word, take your time, lets get you home.” She was great, and a comfort at that time. (I’ll send them an email later).

I had no idea I was capable of crying as hard as I did, it just wouldn’t stop coming.

Let me tell you, cats are not “comforting animals” they had no idea what that noise was that I was making and were mostly scarred there was no rubbing up against me or purring extra loudly, they just wanted me to be quiet… damn cats.They didn’t like the suitcase, they do understand what that means.

Jim and Ana wanted to come and take me to the airport, and they needed some of the paperwork for the trip which I had. So they were on their way. I took calls from Pat and Brenda, sent some posts to Facebook and some other regular sites that I regulary frequent and then started to get notes of comfort from the networked world. I called lots of people I guess, but I don’t really remember, I think I talked to Vera for a while.

My roommate, Gary came home, and that was nice… I realize now that I didn’t hug him like I had wanted to, I don’t know why. As I said I was really off kilter. He of course was concerned that I was going to be ok, and wanted to be sure I had my flight and everything else I needed. Jim and Ana arrived and I gave them what they needed and then spent time looking for a DVD for them to watch, more odd behavior.

Suzanne called while I was in the car with Jim and Ana, she sounded like she was crying, but I couldn’t talk to her, I didn’t want to cry anymore. I promised I would call her back. Yes, I know how weird I am. Jim and Ana got me to the airport with plenty of time to spare, and offered to sit in there with me, but I just wanted to be alone again. So they were off.

In the airport, in front of me were perhaps 25 WWII vets, most in wheelchairs, each with an “assistant” … this is in the security line. Most of them had pacemakers and such, and … well, it was just chaos. Then after security, NWA kept announcing the WWII vets they had there and how honored they were to have them on their planes, everyone was clapping, I was in tears. People kept looking at me, but I couldn’t stop crying again.

Suzanne and I talked on the phone. I got a hold of Mark and Robert, a friend of Roberts had died and they were at a service in PA, my condolences Robert.

I had a fairly uneventful flight, I realized that if I watched TV shows on my IPOD I was distracted and wouldn’t cry, which was my goal at this point, I didn’t want to cry on the plane. So I’m watching Season 2 of 24, terrorists, government agents, should be tear proof… but then there is a little father/son side story and I had to turn it off. I did cry a little on the plane, and I cried a little in the car ride from MSP to Chippewa, (Pat and Brenda picked me up) but not that anyone noticed. It wasn’t the heaving, sobbing kind of crying, just some tears streaming down my face.

Today I’ll drive down to Galesville and see what I can do, hug my Ma, my sister and brother and mourn with my family. I think I’ll likely pray alot to.

2 thoughts on “My Pa

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