Monday, March 24, 2008

Home again, and, oh....

I came home Sunday morning still feeling a bit anxious. The drive was pleasant enough. We listened to the rest of an audio book by Larry Niven that we had listened to last week on the way to Tyler.

I felt a bit rushed when we were packing. So I thought that maybe my husband had some plans for the day, but apparently not. He just wanted be home for a bit. He has to leave again for a couple of days, but it is no big deal.

One of my fears was that I would come home to find the place flooded. I opened the door, and there was a bit of a smell, but I didn't see anything that couldn't be explained by just the fact that I didn't clean up before I left and that I might have knocked over a few boxes as I walked out with the suitcases and such. The smell wasn't that bad, and if it was due to water coming in the house it should have gotten worse at the back of the house, but the back of the house seems fine. So either the back of the house is fine and a tiny bit of water came in the front of the house, which is highly unlikely, or the bit of smell was due to us forgetting to take out the trash last Saturday or something else that is not flood related. We lit a few candles and such and expect that to be the end of the problem.

While I was away, one of my plants died, but that's alright as it was not a big plant and can be replaced for three or four dollars. Ten of the eleven asparagus plants emerged. So I think that I will call that a success and do a bit of weeding before adding more sand and such. Next year it shouldn't need any work at all, just harvesting and eating. And I have volunteer cilantro plants, and I love cilantro. I need to do a bit of work before getting pepper and tomato plants, but I think that I'm going just going to clear out a few old beds and not do any real work on the gardening this year.

While we were away I had my brother stop by once or twice to check on the mail. There were two packages left from the company my husband works for. One of the packages was his new camera. I'm afraid all the companies are a bit daft like that. They send important packages when they know he won't be home to receive them. It doesn't appear to be rain damaged or anything, but we shall see.

So that is all a bit of a relief. After having a look through the mail we went to lunch, and then my husband took me to see my dying friend in the hospice. He doesn't really know my friend, and he doesn't really want to sit around talking to other friends that he really doesn't know either, much less the friend's family he doesn't know at all. So he said that he would read a book. And I thought that he meant he would take a book inside with him, but no, he meant that he would wait out in the car and read a book. Oh. Okay.

So I went inside and used a code that I was given to get use the side door, and I found the room easy enough. And of course my friend was asleep, which I was told to expect if I went for a visit, and that I would mostly be talking to other friends and family more so than my sick friend. So his wife and parents were there, and another friend I probably haven't seen in ten years. I remember him very well, but he only vaguely remembers me. After a while some people I didn't know who'd come from out of state came to visit. They had been here most of the week I was gone, but were planning to take a plane home later that day.

So my friend wasn't awake much, and I didn't talk to him when I arrived. I took him a silly thing. His wife wanted to decorate his room a certain way, only at this time of year she was having trouble finding the things that she wanted, and I just happened to have one of the things due to one of last semester's art projects. But then after I dropped off the silly thing and everyone had a good laugh about it, I wasn't sure what to do next. I mean, if he had been awake I would have gone in to say hi and then talked to his family a bit before leaving, but since he wasn't awake, how long should I stay? Especially with my husband waiting in the car?

I went out to the car and suggested that he go find something to do and then come back for me later. Only with it being Easter he wasn't sure that anything he would want to do in the area was going to be open. He said that he didn't mind, and I could either stay for a while or we could go home and I could drive back in my own car and stay all day if I wanted. Staying the rest of the day seemed a bit much. I don't know. I gave him the code to get in the side door and told him that he should just come and get me whenever he was tired of his book.

About an hour later he woke up for a bit. I don't even think that he opened his eyes, but his wife told him that I was there. A bunch of us just sort of wandered into the room and said hello and then wandered back out again. The doctor wanted to talk to his wife about something that they were planning to do to make him more comfortable. That's really all that they do at this place, try to make people more comfortable. Another couple of people I didn't know wanted to talk to him, so I talked to his wife a bit more and then left. I said that I didn't have school Monday so I could probably stop by then and maybe after school on Tuesday. And she said that would be good and I and went home. The way the emails we worded, I thought that they expected him to die by last Thursday or even sooner, but I guess that it could go on this way for a bit.

This morning there was another email saying that he died very early this morning.

Well, okay. Not really unexpected. But I had mentally started to divide up the week between cleaning and going to school and going to visit my friend. Scratch that. Okay, I still need to clean and go to school, but now I need to get out a suitable black dress and probably go and buy some suitable black shoes, etc.... Do I need to cook something? It seems like people always cook something. When my dad died the church brought us ham and potato salad. Is there a church that's going to bring ham and potato salad? Does the club need to do that instead? Does his wife and family even like ham and potato salad?

I'm the grown up now. I have to do funerals and such now. But I still don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing.

And is the funeral going to be in Dallas? I hate Dallas. Maybe some of us will carpool from Irving if it isn't in Irving?

Are those people who just went back home out of state going to get on a plane and come back for the funeral? I think visiting a person before they die is more important that going to a funeral, but it seems like people judge you if you don't go to the funeral. I think that the out of state people should just send flowers and stay home.

Oh. Flowers. I guess I'm supposed to get flowers too.

I'm not that upset at the moment. I was sort of the new person in the little group, and I wasn't as close to him as some of the others were. But I think that I was close enough that I'm supposed to being doing something, but I'm not sure what.


Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I agree, it is more important to visit a person before they die.

Some people believe the funeral is a chance to say a final goodbye, others find it an ordeal. You know I already planned mine, and I certainly wouldn't want people to feel obliged , and I don't want it to be a sad affair.

dmarks said...

The "bring food" thing sounds like a good idea (I just know it tends to be so appreciated), but it being right after Easter and the usual traditional ham dinners and leftovers, something other than ham might be considered.

I agree with the Dame above, on the visit being more important than the funeral (if it comes down to a choice between the two).

The Diva's Thoughts said...

I think attending the funeral and sending flowers is definitely appropriate and enough. If you decide to make a dish and bring it to the wife then that is icing on the cake. A very nice gesture.

David in DC said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Flowers and food are optional. It sounds like there are others to cover that sort of thing.

My thought would be to make a memorial contribution to the hospice that made his last days dignified. If you indicate that the contribution is made in your friend's memory, they will notify his wife.

Just a thought.