Day 11: The Day I Lost Someone Important (Living or Deceased)
It was May 5th, 2011.
I did write about it in an earlier blog, so I will copy and paste certain bits, as well as reference it.
Mr. Issac "Ike" Brown
February 12, 1919-May 5, 2011
To hear the news of Grandpa’s (my Dad's) passing…
It is like a bad end to a good movie. You have a person, giving almost to a fault. Always lent a helping hand. Strong in spirit, mind, and body. One you thought still had a lot of living left to do, although he had been around for 92 years.
When I received the news, it was my fourth day on this recent assignment I got from this temp agency. I had hoped the one for the dr.’s office…the one with the indefinite time frame…would pan out, but it didn’t. And the other, because I wanted to leave my availability open, changed course about taking me on because of the switch in my availability. So it was back to square one.
When I got word Grandpa had died, everything just stopped. I couldn’t help it. I got to thinking about the what if’s.
I floated between sadness and rage the entire time.
It hurt that no one covered enough for me to get an opportunity to see him in 2009 or 2010...it sucked that the job I gave damn near 5 years drained so much life out of me. I do believe that my health would not have deteriorated as quickly had it not been for the constant 80 hours a week I was putting in. I kept thinking I could have done more…
I couldn't even fully do my assignment. I let the staffing agency know what happened. I didn't expect them to hold the assignment for me, since it was only going to be for a two month stint.
I was hoping to get a cheap flight--cheap meaning under $400. But it has been so long since I have been on a plane that I had an unrealistic expectation of what cheap in the airline industry is. The cheapest I was able to find was about $496 and that wasn't going to cut it. So I knew I was in for another long drive--a curse and a blessing at the same time.
1. I knew I would have to go alone. Since my income wasn't as stable, a lot was dependent on The Sweetie being able to take care of everything while I was away. He wouldn't have been able to do that had he gone with me. Based on the drama I experienced during my almost 3 weeks there, he told me that he should have come with me, but it wasn't economically feasible at the time.
2. The drive is very long (estimated between 18-19 and a half hours, depending on which way one goes; if done non-stop, but I split it into two days…about 12 and a half hours the first day, the remaining 6 to 6 and a half the next day).
3. I didn’t want to keep putting a lot of miles on the car (since I had gone down there in March when he was very ill but had gotten significantly better after I had visited him).
4. Trying to figure out how to get all the bills handled while I’m away
5. If I’m going to drive I have to make it worth the while….like just staying for a couple of days wasn't going to cut it, particularly since I opted to come by myself.
6. Being away from the cats for such a long period of time.
But also a blessing. The drive would give me time to think and to get all my emotions in a row before having to face my mom. I would have to be strong for my grandma.
Although the efforts by my uncle were great ones, the overall sentiment was I should be there--because for an extremely long time, all we had were each other. It was just Grandma, Grandpa, and me.
The family was spread out--visits were sometimes few and far between.
Even the ones being close by, like my Uncle, wasn't really around until close to the end. Before, he was in his own zone--dealing with his personal issues and that took up a lot of his time.
But everyone had his/her life to live, yet there was this underlying notion that if things turned the worst here, I would return.
Or for some, I never should have left, which was why I guess some of the family didn’t come around as much…because I was around and taking care of things.
Yet when I moved, all that changed.
No one really wanted to pick up that torch; sad to say, but true. It is that balance between living your life and still being there for others; some of my family members couldn't do both successfully; others didn't even make the attempt.
The only thing that mattered to me was Grandma and Grandpa understood, even if others did not.
Well, in the close to two years since my Grandfather’s passing, the thing that fits the most is that “Some things change while others remain the same.”
Grandpa wanted my mom and I to repair our relationship.
He told me that he knew that my mom was in the wrong, and she didn't seem to know how to be the bigger person—if I could try to be the bigger person for the two of us. I gave my word that I would give it a try but to understand if she kept acting like a fool, then I couldn't stand by her wrongdoings. He understood.
You would think that his death would have served as a true wake-up call for my mom to gain some “act right.”
She started acting worse than ever.
My Uncle and I are starting to interact more; I don’t think he and I will ever truly be close, but there isn't as much tension.
No relationship with any of my siblings.
It may be mean (yet truthful) to say this, but I don’t feel as if I am missing out.
Part of it is because none of them were raised around me, with the exception of Ranautta (Pooh) and she was so young when she left Mississippi, I don’t think she remembers any of it. They don’t know anything about me besides what they were told by my mom, and there’s no telling what all she said. I just know most of it wasn't good by the way some of them have acted when they were around me.
Ranutta and I haven’t spoken since the clash we had after my college graduation.
Rickanna and I interact, but mainly through Facebook. She tends to like my pictures, but I am cautious with her, since she has an on again, off again relationship with my mom. One moment, they are thick as thieves, the next moment, at each other’s throats. She’s loose with her mouth so I don’t really trust her.
Shequithia and I got a chance to meet during Grandpa’s funeral. I hadn’t seen her since she was very little. My views on her are covered best in this blog. (Since I was doing a travel journal; I did change her name but her actual name is Shequithia).
I’m starting to think my brother, Claudell, as far as his “achievements go” is a myth. Mainly because each time I do hear about him from mom, he’s supposedly “working on a rap album.” Or he’s in and out of lock up (what I hear from others besides my mom). No different than his father, I’m afraid. I haven’t seen him since he was little. I wouldn't know what he looked like as an adult.
Chaudell “Cha-Cha” is the “hell raiser”, so to speak. In and out of foster homes. Loves to fight. Extremely fast. And my mom wonder where she gets it from. Her current situation is that she is heavily involved in the street life and drugs, so she isn't fit to take care of her daughter.
Christen is the one I feel the worst for. My mom says she’s raising her, but I can tell Christen has been raising herself. My mom barely wants to even do Christen’s hair for her to go anywhere—mainly a rubber band around a little tuft of hair. She doesn’t help her with her school work. My mom would rather send her off to boarding or military school than to even deal with her. She feels like our school district is inferior to California’s school district.
Everyone feels like saying, “If you miss Cali so much you should go back there. You've done nothing but cause trouble since you moved back here.”
I know Grandpa’s sad but glad he doesn't physically have to deal with this.
(looking at my watch; we’re both wearing watches again now—smiles)
(yes, I will finish the Travel Journal; I will plow on through; I promise. I wasn't sure whether I should but I feel like it's being insisted upon)
“Always treasure time.”
I miss you, Grandpa. Every day you speak to me, though. I hear you, every day.
Day 11, that’s a wrap.