There are so many things that I could write about. There are more than one blog posts which I started but never finished. I could write about my dad unexpectedly passing away of a cardiac arrest while at a simple doctor’s appointment. I could write about how this type of event firmly places you in the adult camp while at the same time making you feel like a two year old. I could write about how important it is to have a do not resuscitate order in place so your family knows what to do. I could write about the awful things that people say when someone dies about the deceased’s stuff and their property. I could write about how people I did not know took pictures of my dad at the wake. What is that all about? There are one million things that I could write about but what I really want to write about is how much my family was there for me when I went back to NY. And how much I love them. And how much it meant to me.
First of all, there is my Aunt Beverly and her husband Uncle Andy. She is not really my aunt. I think we are cousined in some way but I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that I haven’t seen her in a really, really long time. It turns out that she is co-executor of my dad’s will. Apparently this title also turns you into superwoman. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to this role. And I think it is really mostly because she is a kind and generous person and not because she has this role. I also really appreciate the fact that I feel like I can say anything to her and she does not judge me. Things like, “why do we have to buy $500 funeral flowers”? I actually said that and she didn’t hang up on me. I have so much love in my heart for her and Uncle Andy that it is difficult to express. Plus, she pours really, really large glasses of wine.
Then there is my cousin Holly. I only have two first cousins. My dad was an only child and my mom has one sister. I always think of Holly as the wild child. She is the kind of person who, if she is on your side, will fight like hell for you. She turned up at the second viewing for my dad and then the next morning for the full church service, time at the cemetery and back to my Aunt’s house. When we were leaving the funeral home they told us to pull on the side of the road and when the hearse pulled out, we would follow. Holly was in her car behind my Aunt and Uncle and when the hearse pulled out, a woman almost pulled behind it. We saw Holly yelling out her window and pointedly giving her a talking too while waving her finger at the woman. It was awesome. She also managed to drive out to my mom’s house and met us, with her husband, to do some wine tasting before I left to come back. Her spirit is indefatigable. And I love her to pieces for it (and a shout out to her mom and dad too, my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Al, because they are awesome. And supportive. And I love them to pieces too).
My two best friends, Joe and Mary, who put up with my neurosis. Who drove in for the wake. Who wine tasted and ate pizza. Who let me lie on their couch and watch Doctor Who and cooked dinner and fed me cheese. Who drove me to the hotel in dreadful traffic. Who was brave enough to come to my Aunt’s house and eat pizza (although it was actually a great evening and not scary at all). Who let me stay at their house. Who were just there. Because that is what I needed.
And then my mom. I ended up staying at her house three nights while I was there. I usually stay at Joe’s house but his work schedule had him gone from very early in the morning to late at night on numerous occasions and I just didn’t want to be alone. So I was there, in my mom’s bed, with her and the dogs because that’s how small the house is. I have derided this arrangement. Dreaded it. Swore that I would never do it again. And I volunteered to do it. Three times. My mom was ecstatic that I was staying at her house. And, it was not nearly as bad as I remembered. Maybe it was because I just needed to not be alone. Or maybe it was because I just needed my mom.
I can’t lie. The reason for being at home was dreadful. It was a difficult time. But without the love and support that I had while I was there, it would have been ten times worse. So, during this Thanksgiving week, I am feeling very thankful for the love that I experienced at home. Old connections and new connections. I can still feel them trailing behind me, that long, long distance between Hawaii and New York. And it makes it, not so far.