Hectic and Sad week

Posted by barb on Dec 4, 2003 in Uncategorized |

When we arrived home from North Carolina, there were two messages from my family on the machine. I knew something had to be up, even though neither message said what had happened. I tried my Dad’s cell phone first, but there was no answer. Then I tried Dave, and got through. Wayne, my grandfather, had suffered a major stroke Thanksgiving after he and grandma had arrived home from the cities. He died Saturday afternoon. If he had pulled through, he would have been paralyzed on his right side, would not have been able to speak, and certainly would have spent the rest of his days in a nursing home. He would have hated that.

Andrew and I made travel plans Sunday to fly out Monday. The reviewal was Monday evening, so the second we got off the plane, Dad picked us up and we were off to the funeral home in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin (just across the Minnesota border). Tuesday morning was the funeral, with a lunch afterwards (put on by the ladies of the church — Grandma and Wayne lived in a very small town, and had lived there their entire married life. In fact, Wayne had lived there his whole life.) Some of the relatives came by after the lunch, but Andrew and I escaped with Dad to the nearest grocery store (about a 30 minute drive), to pick up some meatless stuff for me (it’s farm country, so of course all the casseroles that were coming in had meat of some sort).

Later Tuesday afternoon, I took Andrew for a walk around the farm. I think that was the hardest part for me. As kids, we would go to the farm for a couple weeks (or more) every summer, so its hard to believe that it’s not going to be part of the family anymore. I took a lot of pictures.

Wednesday was the burial — surprisingly, he decided to be cremated. Mom said that he recently changed his mind when he discovered that it was possible to a reviewal and open casket even with cremation. Then we went back to Grandma’s to start writing thank-you notes. I think that just about put us all over the exhaustion threshold.

Grandma seems to be doing well — as well as expected. She was there when he collapsed, and called 911. He was to the hospital within about half an hour (not bad for the country). I think she’s still in shock. My mom is staying with her until Sunday, and I’m a bit worried about how lonely the house will be after that. But then, Grandma is probably the strongest person among the entire family. She has been through more than most of us put together, and I know that she will pull through this, too.

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