You're Never Really Ready
My dad, Bobby Grinder (The Reverend Bobby G, to some of us), passed away on Wednesday, July 14. I was rolling my bike into my cubicle when my cellphone rang. It was my sister, giving me the news. Somewhat stunned, I finished up a couple things that couldn't be left sitting, got online and bought a plane ticket to Nashville, then informed my office that I was leaving and that I didn't know when I would return.
Twenty four hours later, I was on the ground in the Music City, getting in the car with my sister and her family. They were en route from their home in Pennsylvania, and managed to hit town at the same time as I. When we finally arrived in Savannah (Tennessee, not Georgia), and my mom's house, we went to the funeral home to arrange the visitation and the service.
Saturday afternoon, it was all over. The visitation had been a bit stunning. Tons of people came through, in a never-ending line, as we stood and greeted them. I think every surviving member of Daddy's high-school class came by.
Daddy was 73 years old, and had Parkinson's Disease, but had been doing pretty well until just recently, when the Parkinson's appeared to be advancing a bit. Unfortunately, he and my mom were involved in a traffic accident which left him with a broken collar bone and a shoulder injury, neither of which was diagnosed at the emergency room, about a week before he died. The specific cause of death was not apparent, but Daddy's doctor was of the opinion that the car crash was the root cause.
When you have elderly parents, especially if they are in bad health, you live with the knowledge that their time is limited. You think that you are prepared for the inevitable. At least, I thought that.
I found that I was wrong.
I am home, now, and I'll be going back to work, tomorrow. I wasn't ready to leave family behind, but I really didn't have a choice. Work is piling up, and I have responsibilities that I have to fulfill.
My sister and her family are still with my mom. We were worried about Momma being alone, too soon after Daddy's passing, so she agreed to go stay with Joy for a couple of months as sort of a decompression time before deciding what to do about the house, where to live, etc. As I left, I was glad that she wasn't going to be alone.
Yesterday morning, I woke up and realized... I was alone for the first time since Daddy died. Carol came over and kept me company for a good bit of the day, and that helped immensely.
I have not yet had the "big cry". At first, I was trying to be a support for the rest of the family, and now I am feeling a bit numb. I hope to, eventually, have that big cathartic emotional release and get it over with. In the meantime, I'll get back to the job, work on some bikes, take some rides and play the guitar; I'll live my life and remember the good times with Daddy (I figure I might as well forget any bad times).
That's the best memorial I can think of for him.