Alternate Title: Existential Crisis.
When I first started writing this blog, I didn't think anyone would read it, so I just wrote whatever I felt like. And then people started reading it, and I still sort of wrote whatever I felt like. It's the writing part that has been somewhat therapeutic for me, even if it's only about dancing or a movie or whatever interests me at the moment. I've always wanted to write but either felt I didn't have anything to write about or lacked the discipline. There's something about the blog format that somehow makes it easy for me to put my thoughts together in a way that is pleasing to me. The act of putting words together, moving my fingers on the keyboard and watching the typed words appear before me on the screen is satisfying in a very real way.
So I am writing this post with that in mind. That it will be somewhat therapeutic for me and will help me sort out my thoughts. So you don't have to read it. I just have to write it.
My grandpa is in the hospital. I went to see him today and he looked so completely fragile and terrible that it almost made me gasp. Apparently last night he fainted and fell over in the bathtub, and my grandma called my mom and dad and they rushed over and then called the paramedics. They took him to emergency and this morning admitted him into the hospital for a few days.
The doctor thinks he has pneumonia and right now he's hooked up to an IV and they're giving him antibiotics and a diuretic to help with the fluid that has accumulated in his body which is making it hard for him to breathe. I was in the room when the doctor came in and spoke to him, and it didn't really sound like this was going to be too much of a big deal and that my grandpa could go home in a few days.
My grandpa is 91 years old and for most of his life, I think he has been a pretty healthy person. He's a cool guy, not a real grandfatherly type, in my mind. He is to me someone you can have a fascinating conversation with about 20th century history, politics, old movies, current events. He used to work in the printing industry, and since that was what I got my college degree in, we used to talk about typesetting and printing presses. My grandpa is not one of those cuddly types; he's pretty reserved and very deliberate and thoughtful in his manner of speaking. He was an MP in the Army during WWII and landed at Normandy. I think it was Omaha Beach. I know for a fact he saw a lot of things that affected him for the rest of his life even though he refused to really talk about it. Although I don't really know what he did in France, he is a hero to me.
God. I can't stop crying right now. I am a mess. Normally when I am feeling out of sorts, I desperately want to go dancing because it's so perfect at taking me out of myself, my problems, my worries. Being close to another human being, breathing and just feeling the music. But I can't even think about that right now. I think if someone tried to dance with me, I would dissolve into a puddle of tears. I am doing that right now.
I'm trying to figure it all out. Part of my problem is that I don't believe in heaven/afterlife. Or reincarnation. I wish I did. It would make me feel so much better for my grandpa. And for me. I mean, he's lived a long life and if I could think that he would go on living it somewhere else, I'd feel better about him being sick in the hospital. I brought my deck of cards and did two little silly card tricks for him and my grandma and my dad. Something to entertain but it seemed so pathetic. He was too tired. When I left, I told him I loved him and he said, "Why would you love an old man like me?" It was so small and sad the way he said it. I made myself not cry until I got outside to the car.
I've spent years now making a concerted effort to do the things I really want to do and surround myself with interesting friends. I stopped my fantasy of having a "career" years ago when all it seemed like was that I was working myself to death to make someone else a lot of money. So now I have a job that is well below my abilities but it doesn't give me any stress. I make a decent living and can afford to buy myself the things I want, engage in activities that interest me, and travel once or twice a year. I don't want to have any regrets or think that when I'm very old, I denied myself the experiences that I wanted to have. I think about that a lot. But right now all of those things just seem like postponing the inevitable. Who am I kidding?
So that doesn't keep me from being frightened about what comes next. I've only seen one dead person in my life. It was my boyfriend Dave's mother. She had ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which is something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. When I met her, we basically were there to say goodbye to her, even though none of us said as much. She was obviously an extremely bright woman and faced her condition with what I can only say was a very enlightened outlook and a real sense of humor. She struck me as being an incredibly brave person even though by that time she had already lost most of her ability to speak and move. I remember thinking that I could never be as brave as she was. The next time I saw her was in the funeral home.
I know me very well. I know that in a few days I will feel okay again and I will move on. I always do. But right now I just had to write this all down so I don't wander around the house in circles. It feels like the only thing I can do.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008
Alternate Title: Existential Crisis.