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The nature of life in reality . . .



Put on your Sunday best kids, we're going to Sears . . .

8/11/99


Itís been a rough week at the Wood-Bowien house. James' dad passed away last Thursday. He had been sick for a very long time and we all expected him to go soon. We just weren't ready for it when it did happen. He had bounced back and cheated death so many times, that his frequent hospital visits seemed routine. In the end, it was something completely unrelated to his chronic illnesses that got him. I guess no amount of medical care can prevent a blood clot.

It's been really hard on James. It's been tough on me too. The rational side of my brain, what little of it there is, tells me that his dad was "gone" by the time I got to the hospital on Wednesday. I stayed to be with James and help him deal with the eventual death and, should he choose to make the decision, the order to remove the ventilator. We were there in the intensive care unit all night. I was very tired but willing to stay. James finally decided to take me home and get some sleep around 3:00. When we got home at 4:00, we fell dead asleep and didn't wake up until almost 8:00. We didn't make it back in time.

This is one of those things that is going to eat away at me for a long time. If James hadn't been so concerned with taking me home to sleep, he would have been there when his dad died. Or he could have been in the bathroom, you never know.

The constant parade of distant relatives got to us all. It's funny how popular you become when you're dying.

We made it through the planning and the funeral. We also survived the set up and execution of my grandparents' 60th anniversary party on Sunday. We're both exhausted but we're back at work and moving on with our lives. I guess that's the best we can do. My legs and knees are very swollen still and my ankle hurts like hell. I sprained it when I took a dive a la Edina Monsoon while leaving the cemetery Saturday. Luckily I was far from any open graves and the majority of the guests had left or I would have been really embarrassed. James didnít even see it.

If anything light came out of the weekend, it was seeing James' half-brother in a suit. Ken had never been in one before, much less owned one. He looked very nice, but the absurdity of it all got to all of us I think. The whole family (mom, sister, brother, brother-in-law, nephew, fiancťe) went shopping to get clothes to wear to the funeral. My family has never been big on Sears so the experience was quite surreal for me.

At the visitation, Marilyn (the sister) leaned over the coffin and remarked on the "shit-eating grin" that her dad had on his face. Either the mortician has a twisted since of humor or dad thought it was strange to see Ken in a suit too.

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