For those of you who fall in the "might not know but may still care" category....
My brother in law passed away October 11 rather suddenly at the age of 60. He was found slumped in his chair looking asleep in his home. Supposedly something burst in his stomach - I don't know what the official cause of death was. I feel guilt because he and I weren't on great terms at the time of his passing, and I said some not nice things to him the last time I saw him. He was a very extremely talented artist, a Viet Nam vet, and Louie's best friend. I learned that he enlisted at the tender age of 16, was a paratrooper, volunteered for three tours, and earned two purple hearts and a bronze star among other things. He was finished at age 19 and broken, both physically and mentally. He never recovered from the war. I hope he's found peace now.
My grandfather passed away this Sunday. He was very old. He fell asleep Sunday afternoon and didn't wake up. I loved him tons, and although I'm going to miss him, I'm glad he passed quietly without some long drawn-out horribly painful ordeal. My kids remember him dressing up as a clown each Halloween to hand out candy. He went to Clown School (yes there is one) after he retired to learn how to clown correctly. They remember the little tune he sang out of joy when he got a new-fangled cell phone last Christmas. I remember that he always made me feel like I was a blood relative, even though I wasn't. I remember that he always called me my whole entire name (even when I wasn't in trouble) when no one else did. I remember that he came to my college graduation, which meant so much to me. I remember his tomato garden, his turtles (to keep the bugs off the tomatoes) and his affinity for fixing old manual typewriters. I remember his office, where my brother and I used to spin around in that old chair until we were very near to barfage, and that he had an envelope moistener that looked like the Rolling Stones lips and tongue. I remember his disgust about how such fertile farmland near our Peralta home was divided and developed into single family housing. I remember that old southern drawl and how it took him nine years to tell a story. I remember that he always wore a dapper hat when he went visiting. I remember my mom telling me how he wouldn't let her eat the food at the fair because of all the flies, and how badly he felt for her after she broke her last bottle when she was little. I also remember the story of how he and my Meemaw met - he came to look at a sick cow on their farm.
I'll miss him.
Bad stuff always happens in threes. I'm not sure why I'm like this, but now I'm waiting for the some other bad third thing. I find myself obsessing over it. I wish it would just happen so I could handle it and move on. Louie laid something marriage-busting on me in July, was that the first thing? Or are we on number 4 now?
I swear I don't know why I feel the need to count these things. I guess its part of my OCD thing - I've mentioned before about my need to always have things in even numbers, as if having an odd number will bring negative energy or something. I think of it more as a balance concept - you always need at least two of something. Much like accounting, with its debits and credits...Its a zen thing.