February 16, 2010

*sigh*...killing time...

So, here it is, a quarter after midnight. I'm up. Why? Because I'm waiting for D to get home. He's finally getting home again after, umm...5 & 1/2 weeks? Roughly that, anyway. I don't know exactly, I just know he's been gone and I've been missing the hell out of him and he's almost here. He's so close I can almost taste him (hmmm...that didn't quite come out the way I intended, so please clean up your mind so that you'll see how innocently I meant that!).

The boys are in bed, sound asleep. Well...one's in bed sound asleep, one's on the floor sound asleep. Don't ask me. They both started the night in the bed. Somehow, they migrated. In their sleep, no less. Didn't even wake up. Just somehow...slithered to the floor. They were both on the floor at one point, but then one had to potty and got back in the bed. And...you really didn't want to know about their potty habits, did you? Sorry, it's late, and I'm tired, and missing D and excited and well...I tend to overshare a bit when you combine all those things.

I talked to my grandmother today. My will-be-80-next-month grandma. I love her to death. She and my grandpa have been married for 61 years. Talk about inspiration. We talked about a bunch of different things, but one thing was said that scared me. And it's not so much what she said but how she sounded when she said it. Her brother has cancer. It's been determined to be Agent Orange related, meaning the VA is covering it. It started out in his lungs, he had surgery and chemo and went into remission. Now it's back. And it's spreading. Now, about 5 years ago or so, her other brother died of colon cancer.

I was working as a phlebotomist in the hospital he was in. My grandma asked me to go see him on my lunch break, and I naturally agreed. When I got to work the next morning, I saw his paperwork on the board. The night shift had had difficulty drawing him, so though I was new and rather inexperienced, I decided to go give it a shot, and see him. I still intended to go see him at lunch, but figured I'd go above and beyond.

There are a lot of things I've done in my life that I was later glad I did. But this, by far, is the one thing I am most glad that I did. He was dying when I went in. He had no idea who I was, who my dad was, or even my grandma, his sister. Less than an hour after I left his room, he was gone.

I was the last member of our family to see him alive. I was the one who had to inform my parents of his passing, which was the hardest thing I've ever done.

So, in talking about Uncle David (the brother who currently has cancer), thoughts of Uncle Dick (the one who already died) often come into everyone's minds. When she mentioned David today, she said "Things aren't looking good."

Now, this news was not a shock to me. She'd called yesterday and talked to my dad, and he'd told us the cancer was spreading and things don't look too hopeful for him at this point (although we are all still hoping for the best). But it was her voice when she said it. Her voice shook. Not old-lady shook. Shook like absolute fear shook.

My grandma is afraid. What scares me is not knowing what she's afraid of. Is she afraid David will die, leaving her as the only member of her original family? Is she afraid of her own future death? My great-grandmother, her mother, was 79 when she died. 52 days before her 80th birthday, according to my grandma today, a fact which my Uncle Mark shared with her. In his quest to make her feel better, he pointed out that she'd already passed that 52 day mark. This did not seem to make her feel better. Thanks, Uncle Mark. I love you, but right now I could shake you.

I hate thinking that my grandparents will be gone one day. I was fortunate enough to have my great-grandmother (my grandpa's mom) until she was 98 years old, although she did have alzhiemers and was pretty much blind AND deaf toward the end, so she really wasn't herself anymore. My grandparents are both pushing 80. I'm in my 30s, and the majority of my friends lost their grandparents not much later than high school.

I'm veyr much aware of how lucky I am to have had my grandparents this long, and that I am very lucky to get whatever time they have left. But that doesn't mean I don't wish that it could be put off indefinitely.

And wow...this was so totally not the direction I intended this to go tonight. Again, that whole tired, excited, missing, blah blah overshare thing. Sorry about that.

Ok, only another half hour or so till D calls and tells me he's on his way here. How to kill another half hour? I'll find something. Even if it is sitting here and bouncing until the phone rings.

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