My daughter, Savannah, has been waiting oh so patiently for the phone call. Her 4H goat leader had a mom that was expecting any day and we were invited to attend the birth if the timing was right.
One of the coldest days of the year for us here on the Mendocino Coast came (and thankfully went) without a peep. And then it was Leap Year day, February 29th. And we got the phone call! Unfortunately the mama goat was having some problems and our friend had to take them down to the (world’s most fabulous vet, Karen Novak at the Village Vet in Mendocino) vet’s office for some assistance. We didn’t get to watch these kids being born, but we were fortunate enough to see them just a short few hours after.
What an amazing site. Little, tiny baby pygmy goats. Three of them, two white and one black. Totally and completely adorable.
Then last Friday evening at 8:30 I looked down at my phone and saw I had a missed call from my mom. Actually two of them. I was sitting at a table attending our local Sports Foundation dinner and auction when the call came in. And in fact, my live auction item of one hour of photography + cd was just about to come up, and I needed to sneak away outside anyway. So I got up, listened to the message. And listened to it again.
My grandpa had passed away.
It’s not like this was anything unexpected, because it wasn’t. He was 90 years old, full of piss and vinegar. He was so unhappy, so mean, so ornery. My grandma had passed away quite a few years before, and ever since he has been so completely unhappy…and empty.
And in fact, so have I.
I miss her more than I could ever explain. There actually isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think about her. I had such a hard time seeing her in her last year of her life, I actually didn’t. She had dementia pretty severe and it was just too hard on me. She was placed in a nursing home, and after her placement I really just stopped visiting. And then she passed away in her sleep one afternoon with my dad and uncle by her side. I said my final goodbye to her in the mortuary, holding her face with my hands and stroking her thinning, brown hair. I can still feel her cold skin.
And then my grandpa slowly become more elderly and frail to the point where my dad just couldn’t keep up. He was placed in the nursing home last year, and I have to say it was a huge burden taken off my dad’s shoulders. Although no one wants to see their parents put in a complex like a nursing home, just the relief that comes with knowing there are many more people looking after your loved one who are more capable than you if something should happen, it’s just a huge sigh of relief.
This post is starting to get long-winded, but my purpose of it all is this…
Yes, life goes by quickly. You blink and it’s 10 years later. Maybe it doesn’t feel like it to you right now because you’re 13 and getting through the week to the weekend seems to drag on and on. But then you become a wife and a mother and our weeks go by so quickly, it just sickens me sometimes.
Then you’re sitting at a table in a Chinese food restaurant with your brother and your parents, talking about who died this week. And your dad looks at you when he says ‘he was 62’.
Yes, my dad is aging. He’s not frail or weak. But he’s not 45 anymore. And I think it scares the crap out of him.
So you have parents, a sister and brother, a grandma.
Don’t take life for granted just because you think everything is going to fine, and tomorrow you’re going to wake up and nothing will be different.
Because one day it will be.
One day, you’re a little boy playing with your legos or tonka trucks, and then the next, you’re going to be standing in the front yard of your parent’s house, with your kids, your nieces, your dad and your grandfather for what, you already know, will be the last picture all of you take together.