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(recorded 9/12/07 @ 12:07:23 AM)
Over the years, this date has remained burned into our memories but it no longer hovers in the surface of my thoughts like it used to in the year 2001.
One of my very good friends turned 27 today.
Today is a Tuesday, which I'm just now remembering that September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday... strange. I don't know. Anyway. Tuesday. I'm normally off on Tuesdays, it's the beginning of my "weekend", if you will. I work Friday-Monday and have Tuesday through Thursday off. However, this week I agreed to take another tech's days, so this morning I was trekking across town to meet this high maintenance, pain in the ass vet that I'm working with today when I get a text from Teri.
Grandparents in bad car accident. Going to phoenix.
It's never good when you get a text like that. I didn't know what to think, I was nervous for Teri and her family, I was upset that I couldn't be there for her if she needed me... but I put it in the back of my mind and started my workday. While we were getting gas in the truck, I get another text.
My grandma died.
Maybe it's the wonder of text messaging or maybe it's just the fact that my girlfriend is straightforward, but I wasn't expecting to see those words. I was expecting something more like, "My grandparents are in the hospital but they're okay. Their hybrid car saved them."
My great grandmother died when I was in high school and it was hard for me, but perhaps only because I felt guilt for never having gotten to know her. I loved her very very much but hadn't spoken to her very often as I grew older and my family moved to Arizona. I have family that I'm close to and I have family that I'm not so close to. I love them all because that's what you do, but what happens when someone in your family that you're not so close to dies?
I suppose what I'm confused about here is that I'm full of this strange feeling of struggle. I'm struggling to find it in me to really get worked up about the whole thing. I know Teri is upset about it, and understandably so. Her mother is one of the most fantastic people I know, and the grandparents that got into the car accident today produced her, and she produced my Teri so they should mean something, right?
I know it's different to lose a family member who you love but wouldn't necessarily be friends with if they weren't related than to be with someone who lost someone in their family that you mildly were disinterested in. I realize this.
I just want to know what I can do for Teri. I want to know what she needs from me. Part of me is thinking that she should want to be expressing her feelings but let's face it, she was raised by engineers and I don't know that she is terribly interested in expressing her feelings. I cry at just about everything, and she never cries. I got choked up when I called my mom today to tell her that I loved her, Teri was talking about her grandma's death and she didn't have any issue with getting choked up. Maybe she's been upset all day and doesn't have the energy anymore. That happens to me.
Oh who knows. She didn't seem fine and dandy, that's for sure. She's had a long, hard, frustrating, emotional day. I can't blame her for appearing a little "off".
Death is such a strange thing. Life is so fragile and we all take it for granted. I could die tomorrow and what would happen to the people in my life who cared for me? What would happen if Teri or my parents or my family or my friends died? It throws everyone else's lives into such tailspins.
The only thing I come back to is this: that we should just all be more prepared for our own deaths so our loved ones don't have more work than is necessary. And that is a very strange thought indeed.
I wonder, if Teri's grandmother had known this morning would be her last morning, would she have done anything differently? Do people have life-altering bursts of brilliancy that entirely change the way they go about their day? I like to believe that they do. Unfortunately, I don't think Teri's grandma had one of those today.
Maybe I'll have one tomorrow. Maybe.
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