Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's Been Going on

In the last month I have experienced a lot of new things.  On the morning of April 28, I saw what an E4 tornado can do to a town.  On May 13 I saw the fruition of 22 years, my son graduating from college.  I spoke at my first writer's conference (and second) on May 7 and 21. 

The last three days would add to that list.  On Saturday afternoon my mother called to say she was at the hospital with my brother, who had been in terrible pain.  She had called the ambulance.  She had been there longer than she should have without calling me, but in my family we tend to go it alone.  My son and I were there as soon as possible.  The ER doctor called in a surgeon; the news was not good.  My brother would probably not get through the surgery, and if he did, would probably not get through the night.  The surgery was done, he went to ICU, and never was aware again.  At 4:30 or so Sunday morning the ICU called my mother and we were there in 15 minutes.  We watched him die within a half an hour, peacefully, but hooked up to everything I could imagine.

Yesterday we made the funeral arrangements; that was a first for me as well.  Very educational, to say the least.  I can say that to be clinical.  I realized yesterday that it is probably best a grieving loved one has to make all these decisions and keep busy because it helps not to focus on what you are looking at after the burial.  It is harder to die, paperwork wise, than be born.  In my mother's case, she is strong, but she will be living by herself now, but I will ensure someone is there for a while, a long while.  My husband, son, or I will stay there with her.  She has my brother's little dog for company, too. 

My brother and I were close in some ways, but not in others.  We were very different, but that often happens in families.  My family has its quirks, to say the least--we are independent, hornery, stubborn, given to autism, ocd, anxiety, and Aspergers, afflicted with heart disease and "bigness" (a nice word for just plain stout and fat).   But we are family, like most.  We don't not speak to each other.    I am thankful, at least, that I am not teaching right now and have three more weeks off before my summer school session.

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