Saturday, September 11, 2010


My mom's annual vaca is the beginning of September.  Last year she was out here helping us unpack our very first home!  This year she came out just to spend some time with me and Bill and the kids.  I had a couple of things planned: A trip down to the Garden of the Gods, maybe a tour of the Molly Brown house, a bit of shopping, the usual. 

We started our awesome week of vacation with an unofficial not-really-a-block-party get together Sunday evening.  A few of our neighbors came over to hang out and grill and talk and eat and talk and make s'mores and maybe have a glass of wine or three.  After taking our sweet time to get out of bed the next morning we loaded the car up and traveled 45 minutes south to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  We'd never been before and didn't really know what to expect.  The adults had a great time learning about the area and hiking the trails to look at these natural phenomenons.  The kids however, well, were kids.  "I'm hooooot.  I'm booooored.  I can't walk anymoooore.  My legs are tiiiiired.  Carry meeeee."  So, we didn't spend nearly as much time exploring as we'd like but at least we can say we've been.

The next day the kids were back in school and my mom and I got some good girl time.  We hit the outlet mall and got some Christmas shopping done.  Yes, you may hate me now.  We were spent, literally and figuratively so we had Bill take us out for dinner. 

By Thursday we were doing pretty well with our shopping, dining out routine.  We hit a local restaurant with Bill during his lunch break.  For some reason as we were walking out to the parking lot I brought up this phase that Trey is in asking if my mom will still be alive when he reaches adulthood.  That led into a conversation about how young my own grandma was when she passed away and how Trey still thinks she'd be 62 today since that's the age she was when she died.  My mom and I talked about how she's "timeless" even though she'd be the same age as my grandpa who is 82 now.   We went about our day after Bill left to go back to his office.  We hit a scrapbooking store and the obligatory Target run for some essentials.  While we were perusing the book shelves for reading material for Trey, my mom's cell phone rang.  I watched her face drop and listened to her repeat "Oh my god" over and over again.  Something has obviously gone wrong.

My uncle had called from California to inform us that my very healthy, able bodied, strong willed an strong muscled grandpa had just died.  Complete shock.  My mom had just spent the weekend with he and his wife at Pageant of the Masters in Laguna.  He'd just gone to the L.A. County fair the day prior.  I just saw him in July while I was home.  While I was home he told me that he'd been to the doctor and the doctor was in disbelief that 1) he wasn't on any medication and 2) he was as healthy as he was at 82.  My grandpa was still getting up in the morning and going around the house repairing things, fixing shingles on the roof, replacing brakes on my aunts car and a number of other things men half his age couldn't do.  What happened?  We don't know yet.  It's still to be determined.  It's been twenty years since I've been affected by a death on my side of the family.  Right now, it seems surreal, a bit bizarre and very somber.  I'll be flying home to be with my family.  The family that I will usually see to celebrate a holiday or a birthday.  Unfortunately this time it will be to get together to say goodbye to our patriarch.

God Bless my grandpa.  1928-2010