Monday, September 24, 2007

what a long strange trip it's been

There were several parts to my recent trip home to CA.

hospital visit
This is the whole reason for the trip - to see Craig's grandpa, who did not have much time left. It's hard to see a once strong and vigorous man lying frail like a skeleton in a hospital bed. It's even harder to hear the following conversations:

Sister, while crying hysterically: I love you big brother! You're the best big brother anyone could ever have! I know that soon you'll be with Mom and Dad and (other siblings). Goodbye, my brother.

or even harder to hear:

grandpa: Help me! help me! Shirley, help me!
Shirley, his wife of over 60 years: I want to but there's nothing I can do. (sobs hysterically)
2 year old great-granddaughter: Help him!

That's when I had to leave, and I figured the baby should leave with me. Come on baby, we're going for a walk.
On subsequent visits, I hovered near the edge of the room and felt really out of place.

Craig's cousin (other side of the family) got married while we were there. We were invited but hadn't thought we were going... until 2 days prior. Even then it was still a maybe. But some of us needed a break from the hospital, and this was a nice distraction.
The pastor was actually the worst I'd ever heard. He kept making a wedding-gym analogy that made it sound like all the couple did was work out. While I'm sure they did go to the gym together, I'm fairly certain that it was not their whole life, as the ceremony made it seem. He even used the line "Jesus is your personal trainer." Craig and I kept making faces at each other signifying our slow tortuous deaths.

It was definitely not as fun as this wedding, that my SIL had been to:

At one point it became clear that we needed to extend our stay. This was my first funeral, and despite being a funeral, it was very nice. The graveside service featured a lone Navy bugler playing Amazing Grace and Taps, and a flag-folding by the CA Highway Patrol. Think "CHiPs" but more formal and less Estrada. Can you guess what grandpa did with his life? And I've discovered that a bugle can make me really cry.

Craig was an honorary pallbearer (honorary because they don't actually carry the casket) and I was one of the gals who put a red rose on top of the casket. That made me feel special to be included with the granddaughters and g-daughters in law. Afterward was the church service, which involved the kids sharing memories, most of which made the large gathering laugh. I only cried once during that service, when the oldest daughter read her speech. All the other kids had the pastor read theirs. And, the 2-year old was asleep during that, so it was a lot quieter.

baby interaction
The 2 year old is C's niece. She doesn't remember me because she hasn't seen me in a long time. But we got along fine. It was my unofficial duty to help watch her, play with her, and remove her fro situations like the hospital room. She was pretty funny, coming from a girl who spends no time at all with children. But, she has a little sister due in a few months and from what I saw when she misbehaved, Mom and Dad are going to have quite the handful because the 2 year old does not like to "share."

C and I have picked up some of her mannerisms and speech though because we think it's really funny.

old friends
Since I haven't been to Fresno in 2 years, I tried to see some old friends. I did see a few, but I missed out on some because funeral preparations (open casket viewing!) left me not feeling like going out for a night of (most likely) drinking and reminiscing. So I had to cancel. But I did get to see other friends, and one friend drove 3 hours to come see me after the funeral. I got to show her Fresno and she remained unimpressed. As did I. But friends are always good, especially when you need to get your mind off something sad.

lost wallet
Approximately 1 hour before we were to leave for the airport, I noticed my wallet was gone. I tore up the room, unpacked all our luggage, dug through the trash, and frantically called the friend we had seen the night before. Of course, he was sleeping because it was like 6am. (Sorry Dave.) There was no way I was going to get on our flight, what with that whole "needing an ID for security" thing, so I called the airline and because United rocks hard they were able to get C and I on the next flight out, buying us about 4 hours.

I called my credit card company to make sure no charges had gone on, and the rep I talked to seemed to think it was a good time to joke around. "Oh well there's a strange note in your account. It says to call this phone number to get your ID and other things." That means someone found my wallet! Who was it? "It says here, oh wait I can't tell you because I don't know if you're really desiree." I had to jump through the phone and strangle him because when someone is as stressed as I was, they are in no mood for jokes.

But I got the person's name and number, which she had left, and went to get my wallet. I thanked her profusely for being so honest and smart, and I gave her the $2 I had. (Didn't I have more?) On the way home, I checked through and everything of importance was there, ie ID, credit card, whatever. Everything had been taken out of the pockets and disorganized, but about $25 in cash was missing, and they didn't even take all of it. All of my change was gone, and a few sentimental things were missing. My guess is that some drunk guy or kid found my wallet, rifled through and took a few random things, then got interrupted and took off. Then this girl found it, took it home, and called my credit card company. So it actually turned out a lot better than it could have. Sure I'm short a few bucks, but I was going to give the 20 to the chick anyway because good deeds should be rewarded.

The irony is that I've been complaining about my broken purse for months, and on the day I buy velcro to fix it, that's the day something falls out.

So that was my very eventful trip. I think I'm settled back in to life now. Back to unpacking, cleaning, and at some point I have to go find a job.


flutter said...

Oh des ((you))

mar said...

thanks for the recap. sorry for (your &) c's loss. very eventful past few weeks for you.
what a complete f#$%-up is the guy at the credit card company? he's gotta know that someone calling in about their card being missing is not a time to joke around.

jessabean said...

Wow, you've been through hell and back, it seems! Hugs to you and Craig.

Bugles make me cry too.

Anonymous said...

Goodness, Des...from crying about the hospital scene to laughing myself silly at the wedding dance...

I so much needed that today! :-)

Suzanne said...

Wow, what an emotional trip. Welcome home, and I hope you get some time to rest up and recover.

MsLittlePea said... sincere condolences to you and Craig. I know what it's like to lose a Grandpa :O( This made me think of my own Papa in the hospital and his military funeral.

I loved that video.

So glad everything turned out well with your lost wallet. It must be good to be home. Good luck with the job search.

super des said...

Tanks everybody !

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