Saturday, October 6, 2007

Two days of making family history

I've been at my daughter's house in Santa Cruz for two days and I'm already too pooped to pop. Most of it has to do with sleeping arrangements and two little boys who don't sleep the night. The rest has to do with a family in the process of saying goodbye to the family patriarch.

I'm sleeping in the older boy's (age 4) , with the younger boy (age 19 months) in the bedroom. The older boy is sleeping with his mom. The first night, the little one woke up at 3:30 and I finally got him back to sleep at 4:30, but then when I tried to put him in his crib, he woke up. Mom came and took him and I went back for another fitful two hours before the older boy came and asked me to get him some breakfast at 7 AM.

We drove 150 miles north to the family home of my son-in-law's grandparents, sister and uncle. His grandfather has congestive heart failure, and has stopped eating. He received the last rites on Thursday, and thought that he would die immediately. Well... no. He's still lucid, but is not sleeping much, and really wants to pass away. His wife is tending to him 24 hours, which makes her a basket case also. Family friends are coming by, and all of the family in town comes every day to say goodbye again. I doubt if he will die for several more days. They won't move him to a care facility at this point.

I slept at the sister's house next door with the older boy in the room. He woke up at 1 AM and didn't go back to sleep until 2 AM. He wanted to go down to where his mom was in the dark. He woke up at 6:15 AM, and got his shoes on and was halfway down the hill by the time I got to the window. I went down and had breakfast, then came back to the sister's house and showered and then took a nap while she played with the boy.

We left at lunch time for home, and had lunch at a Quizno's place, then fought the traffic down US 101 to San Francisco (there was an air show on the Bay today). We stopped at the Ocean Beach and the boys and the dog (I didn't mention the dog did I - she pooped on the carpets in 3 places in 12 hours!) really enjoyed walking on the sand and running from the waves. They came home in their underwear. The little guy cried and cried most of the hour before the beach and the hour after the beach. We finally made it home by 4 PM.

I took them both for walks this afternoon with the dog, just along the path near the little house in the redwoods. It's so peaceful and quiet here. We checked out the blackberry bushes (pretty bare right now) and watched the dog follow her nose. At dinner tonight, the older boy said "I don't like broccoli" and I responded automatically "Come on, eat it, it will put hair on your chest." He immediately said "No, I have a diesel train on my chest" (on his shirt). That's the highlight of the weekend so far.

Needless to say, it's not been a fun weekend yet. But family history is being made. I know the older boy will remember his great-grandfather, and playing with his aunt, and the beach visit. We'll remember the maudlin scene and saying goodbye to a fine man, and the broccoli comment.

The above explains why I haven't posted much the last two days. The postings will be sparse until the time available increases.

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