On Friday, I wrote these words on my other blog:
I woke to the crackle of thunder, for the first time in years. It boomed me back to Oklahoma. These beating skies were my white noise in the turbulent place I call “home”.
I’m over a thousand miles from there now, in a quiet and rested place. Tom lies next to me, I could reach out and touch him but I’m frozen in place. Our bodies sink back into the mattress, slowly knowing that everything is okay. Hoping.
They talk, joke, on TV about nuclear war.
Waking up to a bomb is unnerving, but we are Americans and our ability to shake off the danger is strong.
I roll over, my heart beat slows. I fall back asleep and dream I’m standing in a wheat field. In the Great Plains, you can see ahead of you for miles. The threats in the distance dance like twisted fairies, swirling into a dizzying twister.
What I thought were just words in response to a Five Minute Friday prompt turned out to be a foreboding.
It was a wet, sticky morning, a windy and humid afternoon. I spent the day feeling restless, wanting to get out of the house. When Tom got home from work, we left with plans to eat dinner before going to meet friends for a birthday party.
On our way there, my dad called to tell me my grandpa had taken a turn for the worst: my worst fear for the past year realized. It didn’t seem real.
I called him, in case I couldn’t make it home in time, and in the shelter of the Carnegie Library I said goodbye. He passed away in his sleep later that evening. He was ready to go.
I’ve written many times about my love for this man, and in the middle of my grief I’m unable to express it properly now.
I feel a shift in perspective. It’s like when I was in first grade and my teacher caught me squinting in the back of the classroom. A few short days later, and I had my first pair of glasses.
The world looked so different, clearer and yet more ominous. I’d had no idea I was missing out on all these images and realizations until the moment I put on those glasses.
There was an adjustment period, where I accepted that what I was seeing was now my actual reality. It took a while for the cruelty to wear off, to feel safe again.
But I did, and I will again.
I’m in Oklahoma until Wednesday. Yesterday we spent the day together as a family making funeral preparations and just enjoying time spent with each other telling stories about a great man.
Before he went, he told us not to be sad, and to suck it up and move on. Tough advice from a man who was loved so much by so many, but we’re all trying to grant him his last wish and laughing as much as we cry, if not just a little bit more.