Author Topic: bidding farewell  (Read 11549 times)

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Offline franksolich

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bidding farewell
« on: June 05, 2010, 08:37:55 PM »
Not to conservativecave. of course.

Earlier this week took place the funeral of a relative in northeastern Pennsylvania; she had been my mother’s youngest sister, and my favorite aunt.

When driving around the area (we are talking about Pennsylvania a little bit south of Wilkes-Barre), I became aware this was probably the last time in my life I will see it, given that there is no longer anyone or anything there to hold me to it.

I had spent many summers and Christmases as a child and then a teenager, there.

But there is nothing there any more, not even memories; memories are sharper the further one is away.

Just as I had bid farewell to northwestern Pennsylvania (the Warren-down-to-Clarion are) about ten years ago, after a cousin of my father had died.

It is the people who hold me to an area, not the things in it.

Once the people are gone, a place is just another place.

I left the Sandhills town where I had been an adolescent at the age of 17 years, going to college, and while my mother and brothers and sisters were still in this world, the place still had a hold on me, but that hold was lost a long time ago.  I have been there off-and-on the past several years, but any more—even the house or the school or the playground or the railway trestle—it’s just another place, nothing more.

I’ve been away from this place for a couple of months now, but I’ll be back—my mission in life after all is make life miserable for Democrats, liberals, and primitives (as if they need any help on that)—however, that all depends upon whenever I can get my own house into order; unlike many people, I do not have a parent or spouse or children to take care of things—I have to take care of everything myself, and sometimes get behind.

The last two months, I’ve been saying “farewell” of a different nature, as a distant relative very close to my family (especially my parents) has been fading away. 

It struck me two months that this is the last person who knows certain things; and once he is gone, history dies.

Upon learning of his condition, I felt some urgency.  Over the past years, decades, I had asked him questions here and there, inquiries about which he was either mum or ambiguous.  But now he is suddenly responding to my questions, in clarity and thoroughness, explaining things to me.

“Why did my father do that?”  “Was my mother really like that when upset?”  “What did my younger brother ever say about this?”  “Where was my oldest sister when that happened?”  “Why did my second-oldest brother take so long?”  “Where did my grandmother stay when she came to visit us?”  “Who is this person?”  “Who is that person?”  “Who were those two gentlemen from Chicago who always took my younger brother and me to the soda fountain at the drugstore—and which local drugstore was it?”  “How many times did my oldest brother fall off scaffolding when he was working on construction in high school and college?”  “Who was this woman?”  “Why did the parents choose to ‘mainstream’ me, rather than specially-educating me?”  “Why did the family have only female, and never male, pet dogs?”  “How much did my oldest sister earn as the receptionist at the doctor’s office?”  “Why was this brother, a notorious peacenik, in ROTC in college?”  “Why were physicians so hesitant to treat my younger brother’s condition?” 

Those sorts of questions, whose answers I myself do not know because of they were people and things that happened before my own time, or because of my extreme youth, and more generally, simply because of deafness.

Accompanied of course by photographs and letters.

Fortunately, I am skilled with the talents of a KGB interrogator, vigorously relentless in asking questions.

I’ve been really obsessed with this; I’ve seen a great many things in life, but without understanding them.
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Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 09:09:05 PM »
That brings back some thoughts an feelings I'm not sure I wanted to bring back.

Welcome Back Frank


Offline MrsSmith

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 07:41:39 AM »

It struck me two months that this is the last person who knows certain things; and once he is gone, history dies.


Yeah.  We lost a lot of history when we lost my grandmother and both parents in the same year.  Ask those questions, frank!!
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Offline DumbAss Tanker

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2010, 10:18:17 AM »
You're a man of intense enthusiasms, woe betide the vile Democrats in this fight.  And you undoubtedly now have information it will take you years to digest.

I know this feeling of walking around a place, or seeing relatives, with the emergent realization growing that you will likely never return.  It's a melancholy thing, yet it both tempers and sweetens the experience. 

Go and tell the Spartans, O traveler passing by
That here, obedient to their law, we lie.

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Offline DixieBelle

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2010, 12:09:25 PM »
Well said DAT. Frank I wish I was able to be as persistent as you in obtaining the family history. I have one living grandparent and she's a thousand miles away from me and it's hard to capture so much of what she knows in the short visits and letters we exchange.

Good to see you!
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Offline Thor

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2010, 02:46:11 PM »
I guess that I'm a little "hardened" when it comes to people dying. My mom died when I was 17, my grandma when I was 18, my grandfather passed long before I was able to know him. I was only 6 months old at the time. My mom left my father when I was 2½ and the relationship between him and I was non-existent until I was 23. After that, it was tenuous, at best. My step-dad died in 1992, but I was USN for most of our relationship, so I was always gone from home.
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Offline mamacags

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 08:59:04 PM »
Frank I wish I would have known you were in the area!  I bet you passed just miles from my house!  We could have gone out to eat or something.  Dang it.  I doubt I will be in Nebraska anytime in the next decade or so.
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Offline BlueStateSaint

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 08:20:42 AM »
I'm resurrecting this one, because this morning, as I was out getting some things at the supermarket (and talking to the young music teacher who helped me through cantoring, who just happened to be there at the same time), my MIL was calling my wife, and informing her that my MIL's mother, who is supposed to hit 99 next week, has blood coming from somewhere it shouldn't be.  She's got either colon cancer, or a twisted bowel.  If it's the former, it could be some months before the end comes; if it's the latter, because of the surgery that would be needed to fix the problem, the end will come in three days or so.  My wife is probably going to go out there to see her grandmother either today or tomorrow.

So, she'll be doing this same thing, but to someone who was a big part of her life.   :(  God always calls us Home.
"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

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Offline soleil

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 06:48:58 PM »
I'm resurrecting this one, because this morning, as I was out getting some things at the supermarket (and talking to the young music teacher who helped me through cantoring, who just happened to be there at the same time), my MIL was calling my wife, and informing her that my MIL's mother, who is supposed to hit 99 next week, has blood coming from somewhere it shouldn't be.  She's got either colon cancer, or a twisted bowel.  If it's the former, it could be some months before the end comes; if it's the latter, because of the surgery that would be needed to fix the problem, the end will come in three days or so.  My wife is probably going to go out there to see her grandmother either today or tomorrow.

So, she'll be doing this same thing, but to someone who was a big part of her life.   :(  God always calls us Home.

I'm sorry. Hopefully her final time on earth is pain free. Best wishes, thoughts, and prayers.

Offline BlueStateSaint

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 06:52:15 PM »
I'm sorry. Hopefully her final time on earth is pain free. Best wishes, thoughts, and prayers.

Thank you.  As it turned out, she was just constipated . . . but she had a urinary catheter put in her, and a quart of urine removed.  Her body functions are shutting down.  It won't be long.
"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

"All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it - walk!" -Ayn Rand
 
"Those that trust God with their safety must yet use proper means for their safety, otherwise they tempt Him, and do not trust Him.  God will provide, but so must we also." - Matthew Henry, Commentary on 2 Chronicles 32, from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

"These anti-gun fools are more dangerous to liberty than street criminals or foreign spies."--Theodore Haas, Dachau Survivor

Chase her.
Chase her even when she's yours.
That's the only way you'll be assured to never lose her.

Offline soleil

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 07:05:48 PM »
Thank you.  As it turned out, she was just constipated . . . but she had a urinary catheter put in her, and a quart of urine removed.  Her body functions are shutting down.  It won't be long.

You know, a woman I know who was 96 finally decided to go. She died in her sleep. Peacefully and pain free. I hope the same for all my loved ones. I hope when she does go, she goes peacefully.

Offline BlueStateSaint

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 10:21:39 AM »
You know, a woman I know who was 96 finally decided to go. She died in her sleep. Peacefully and pain free. I hope the same for all my loved ones. I hope when she does go, she goes peacefully.

Thing is . . . I talked to my MIL not ten minutes after I posted last.  She said that her mother is awake, alert, and sitting up in bed.  Vitals are stable.  Bodily functions are, too.  I joked to my MIL that she'd have her mother for another two years, at the least.
"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

"All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it - walk!" -Ayn Rand
 
"Those that trust God with their safety must yet use proper means for their safety, otherwise they tempt Him, and do not trust Him.  God will provide, but so must we also." - Matthew Henry, Commentary on 2 Chronicles 32, from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

"These anti-gun fools are more dangerous to liberty than street criminals or foreign spies."--Theodore Haas, Dachau Survivor

Chase her.
Chase her even when she's yours.
That's the only way you'll be assured to never lose her.

Offline soleil

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Re: bidding farewell
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 11:33:34 AM »
Thing is . . . I talked to my MIL not ten minutes after I posted last.  She said that her mother is awake, alert, and sitting up in bed.  Vitals are stable.  Bodily functions are, too.  I joked to my MIL that she'd have her mother for another two years, at the least.

That's great. I am sure she'll go when she's ready. Good to hear.