18 September 2007

goodbye giddy

This morning my family of four went to Giddy's memorial service. After many weeks of slowly withering away and having virtually no appetite yet, receiving constant medication for pain, she slipped away late Saturday evening. A sadness and a relief to everyone.

Both she and Poppa had both chosen to be cremated, then to share an urn together. Honestly, I found it sweet and romantic. They were married for many, many years and while life was not always peachy by any stretch, they shared a long, abiding love that showed in their eyes when they were together. I always delighted to see them like that.

I was unable to stay for the service since several things occurred in our morning:

We live a pretty fair distance from the funeral home, and planned to leave at 9:30am; the service started at 11:00am. That would have given us way more than enough time, and essentially it was a built in buffer for running behind (an essential for our family!). In reality, we left at 10:00 sharp. It would be close, but not that bad, really (rush hour last night going to visitation made this drive an easy 1 hr 15 mins and maybe more; not so in lighter traffic).

No less than 20 minutes down the road, my son had to use the bathroom urgently. While we barely made it to the next exit, make it we did; while father and son ran into McDonald's to take care of business I circled the drive thru for an Egg McMuffin and - more importantly - coffee. I did not hold anyone up as I still waited a few more minutes for "the boys" (as Miss C and I affectionately call them) to return to the van.

On our way again, the tension mildly rising each time someone glanced at the clock, we exited one freeway onto another freeway for several miles, only to miss the next exit onto yet another freeway. Oops. Yeah, tension went up a bit more then. At last we were turned around and got off at the correct exit. I think we had to turn around once more at some point but honestly I can't remember for sure; this was not my territory and it's been a lot of years since my husband drove it reguaraly. To say my emotional, grieving husband was rattled is putting it kindly. He could barely recall the exit name he was looking for and we were now approaching from a different direction to add confusion.

We arrived at 11:00am. Maybe 11:01. I dropped our "boys" off at the door then parked (he did the driving; I only drove for the drive thru earlier and to park the car) and put Miss C in her dress (it was pressed and those of you who have children know what car seats and heat do to clothing). Apparently, my husband and son made it in after everyone was seated but before the service started. I came in after it started and planned to sit in the back row. Miss C had other ideas.

We walked into the chapel and I aimed for the nearest pew; a friend was sitting on the end and moved over for me. Miss C promptly and loudly began to fuss to find "the boys". She knew they were in here and by golly she wanted to sit with them, no two ways about it. I hauled my entertainment bag back up on my shoulder, grabbed the cute darling from the floor where she sat loud and unhappy, and left. Thank goodness I was still by the door!

We sat and colored with Color Wonder markers on a couch far from the chapel doors. (I love those things; I had no fear of her decorating the many antiques adorning the vicinity.) She sat sweetly and compliantly once I offered her a "princess" coloring book with makers. Whew.

I am sad to have missed the service, however visiting with family afterward at a luncheon was pleasant. My husband is suffering deeply this week, though. I grieve for him right now. In losing these grandparents, he feels he has lost his closest connection to many extended family that he barely scratched the surface in getting to know. We do not live near them, and while he has an aunt and uncle he sees regularly, there are so many more whose names he was still learning. Extended family he enjoyed having a connection to and seeing at family gatherings, hosted by his grandparents. Those bindings feel like they are evaporating with the deaths of Poppa and Giddy.

And his "other side" of the family has made the long, sad weekend much more difficult and miserable. This death is a deep grief for my husband. For them, it was "do we go or not go--Oh, let's ask J. and see what he thinks; let's spend hours talking to him about the pros the cons and the fact I didn't even speak to her for the past 6 years because of 'offenses'." I will stop with the emotionally distrought details here, but the anguish it caused, the intensified grief it created has left a vile taste in my mouth. Suffice it to say we are currently screening all calls and I plan to do so for a couple weeks. It's not fair to degrade family and grief like this. (To clarify, "the other side" is my father-in-law & family versus Poppa & Giddy being my mother-in-law's family.)

So long Giddy -- A lady who always welcomed me into her home and family. You left a lovely legacy of family and will be missed greatly.

**(One might wonder why my children were in attendance. However, my son is old enough and specifically wanted to go; I had no sitter available for Miss C. My parents are my choice for watching my children, and I have one friend I would trust them with, but she is out of town. I'm highly selective in who I will allow to "babysit". I know too many stories of trusted friends not being so trustworthy after all; I'd rather be choosey, not sorry.) **


kim said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Its never easy; and I'll be thinking and praying for your husband this week.

I was a little lost when you were talking about his "other side" of the family -- did I miss something?

And PS. Bless the makers of markers and those creative ideas they come up with, eh? (:

Karen said...

So sorry for your loss and for the family drama surrounding it that increases the difficulty.

No need to clarify your decision to bring take your children to a funeral. :)

Carbon said...

Oh cjoy, I'm so sorry to read this. With life's glorious ups, there are unfortunately the intense downs. At least you have some great memories of giddy.