stomach flu on saturday. wasted recovery day on sunday. grandfather dies on monday. painful IUD put in, not once, but twice (“oops! i accidentally pulled the string!” says the nurse midwife) on tuesday. horrible cramping ensues. baby gets immunizations and cries much of the 3.5 hour flight to florida on friday. but wait, that’s after this text/phone exchange went down upon my arrival to the airport:
michelle (text): thanks so much again by the way :)… p.s. are your chickens supposed to be alive?
me (text): what?! are they dead?!
michelle (text): uh. oh. i don’t know. they are not moving.
me (phone call): are they out of the coop?
michelle: yeah, they’re just laying there. i’ll go outside and get closer.
[michelle walks in the backyard and goes toward the coop clucking and clapping at them]
michelle: they’re not moving.
emily: are there feathers everywhere?
michelle: sort of. [gets closer]. yes. [even closer] oh my gosh. they have no heads!
emily: how many are there? are there five?
michelle: one. two. three. four. five. five without heads.
emily: holy shit.
turns out a fox had gotten them. when it rains it pours.
florida was a nice change of pace from the craziness of my half week leading up to it. true, i was there for a funeral. but, after some time there, i realized that wasn’t the worst part of my week. my grandfather had lived a good life. he had been in pain near the end and had lost much of his ability to live life the way he enjoyed it. yet still–with the help of a few key people–he did manage to live independently in the comfort of his home. he died at home, monday afternoon, with one of his daughters and a faithful helper by his side. it makes sense that people fear death, as the unknown is a bit scary. and death is a strange, mysterious thing. but in staving off the unknown, end-of-life quality and care get forgotten. i’m thankful the doctors recommended to my grandfather that he forgo anymore testing and procedures in his old age and advanced cancer and, instead, encouraged him to go home and enjoy his remaining days with his family, his animals, and his home.
his death, ultimately, was sudden. and that week family came, planned, discussed, reminisced, memorialized, packed up, and left. the visit was quick and bittersweet. but more sweet than bitter, as my grandpa’s children and grandchildren got to get together from multiple locations and celebrate him and each other. we aren’t often all in the same place at the same time. and i have a really terrific extended family. my grandpa and grandma, both gone now, would have been so proud to see what their family has become.
and travelling is always a special time for jp and i. he is my most favorite travel partner but we don’t get to go on adventures as often as we’d like. so we extended our stay a day to go to our family’s beach house and introduce beanie to the beach. jp cooked, i made sure we were all sunscreen-ed up, and we just were for about 36 hours. that certainly doesn’t happen much at the powerdriver farm, unfortunately. oh, i relished this time w my little family. we toasted to my grandfather and to my grandmother and breathed in the fresh salty air and buried ramona in the sand and looked for seashells and tried to go swimming but i and ramona would not stand the frigid waters. it was glorious. thank you, grandma and grandpa, for sharing this space with your family.