Friday, April 28, 2006

Freaky Friday

You ever have one of those days where everything seems just a little off, strange? Today I’ve been feeling a little introverted, reflective. I don’t really like to get too deep and personal here on this blog, so bear with me if I’m being a little inscrutable. It’s a little hard to describe.

Like many of you I’ve been following the spell-binding drama over on Kiki’s blog. (in case you’ve been missing out start here and read forward). And the blogs and e-mails of other friends (IIF and real-life) have been a little heavy on the doom and gloom today. You know, terminal illness, job loss…*sigh*

Today is the birthday of one of my co-workers in my department. He’s retiring this year. We took him out to a very nice lunch, and at some point someone at the table asked him to share some sage advice from his 65 years of life. He started talking about his friend (10 years older than him) who had triple bi-pass surgery, and when you get older and see your health and the health of those close to you start to decline, you realize what a gift each day is. It sounds really corny, but you could tell he was quite passionate and sincere about this, a side of him I’d never seen. Then he started talking about retirement and how it’s really a different phase in life, etc. I don’t know, the whole conversation just got me thinking.

I am really bad at dealing with illness and death. Well, not so much bad at dealing with as just not dealing with. I live far from my family and see them rarely. When my great aunt Gladys passed last summer, I was able to just show up for 2 days to attend the funeral and then fly back to “normal” life. When my grandmother had a stroke three months ago, I just sat and heard the news over the phone. It didn’t really register, it wasn’t really real. I’ve called my grandma at the nursing home she’s been moved into, but our conversations never last long, I have no idea what to say. Half of her body is paralyzed. It’s so weird to even think about that. I don’t think I’ll even really believe that until I see her again, maybe then it will sink in. And then I feel like I might have done something wrong by not rushing to go see her. But what could I do? She has my mom, my sisters, my cousins, she is far from alone. And I really can’t afford the time away from work or the extra expense of travel what with the weddings and travel I have planned already this year. God, I feel like I sound so selfish when I say it like that. See, that’s me, not dealing. Denial, if I act like it’s not that big of a deal and someone else is taking care of it, than I can move merrily along with my life. This behavior goes back a long way. When my aunt passed unexpectedly the summer after my freshman year in college I was home for the funeral, sulked and avoided people for most of it, and went right back to campus for summer courses a couple of days later. You know, I might have been a little more supportive of my mom, my grandma, my cousin. But the whole death thing just makes me so damned uncomfortable that I would just assume let someone else deal with it. I’ll be over here in my bubble. Hell, even when my other grandmother passed when I was 8 and my grandfather when I was 10, all I have are memories of strange detachment. My mom’s cousin’s funeral was the first I ever attended. I was 7. I was pretty good friends with her daughters at the time, but I remember feeling strange seeing them at the funeral. What do you say to someone who’s mother is in a box?

To add to the strangeness of today, someone at my place of work just sent out a cryptic e-mail to all staff entitled “Goodbye”. The message simply read “Thank you all for the wonderful times that I work and interact with you. May God Bless You!” This guy has been here for a very long time, maybe 10 years? He’s the kind of guy who works really hard, doesn’t say much, but always has a smile and hello for you. If you need anything, he’s right on it. Everyone is pretty fond of him, thus far our reconnaissance mission to find out what happened has yielded nothing. Maybe we’ll dig up some dirt on Monday.

Sorry to get all heavy and morose and shit on you. I told you, it’s been a weird day…


Blogger tabitha jane said...

here's what i've learned. life is relationships. in the end that is all that matters. all that was really worth anything.

6:13 PM  
Blogger KleoPatra said...


11:53 PM  
Blogger star firstbaseman said...

So what happened?!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Shananigans said...

No one knows what happened to our sweet mild mannered co-worker. It is all very hush hush, we’ve tried to get it out of the people we think would know but they ain’t talking. There is a theory about immigration status, but since he'd been traveling back and forth to his home country and working for this place for so long I don't see how that could happen if he weren't legal? It's just bizarre. He is missed :(

9:39 AM  

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