Random comunication as transpired yesterday in the family of phaedre:
Aunt #1: Dad is slipping away. You should probably get here soon.
Uncle #1: DON'T LET HIM GO BEFORE I GET THERE!
Aunt #2: I'll bring the hoagies!
Mom: Let's do a shot.
Hospice Nurse: Amen to that.
Mom (in a garbled voicemail to me): Grandpa's on his way, you can go over if you want to, call your sister.
Me (on my way out of work, retrieving voicemail): ....buh?
Mom (later): Yes, it was very nice, we all got together and just ate a lot of food.
Me: Oh yeah? Where? who's all there?
Mom: Aunt #1's. Everybody stopped by, Uncle #1's been here all day. They've taken him already. Pat brought soup.
Me: yeah, it sounds nice. What are we talking about?
Mom: ....oh, I didn't ever say, did I.
When I first moved to PA with my mom, the two of us would go over to my grandparent's house for dinner every Tuesday. It made us feel supported and loved and like a family again. Then, in high school, I walked there every day after school, where he made me some sort of sammich. This was usually served with great flourish, complete with pickles and chips and a soda on ice, and all arranged attractively by my Grandpa.
Yesterday, my grandpa was 73 and seven months. He outlived my Grandma by a little over five years. He's had cancer for about four of them; you know, that vague, spreading kind of cancer that old people get that they want to talk about all the time, and you know it's going to be the end of them eventually?
It was peaceful enough, I suppose. A lot better than my Grandma's emphysema-lung-cancer-pain-riddled death. (cigarrettes are bad, m'kay?) So I'll end this entry with his favorite toast:
A man may kiss his wife goodbye,
A rose may kiss a butterfly,
Sparkling wine may kiss a glass,
And you, my friend.....