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no easy way to there from here.

C's dad died last week. It wasn't unexpected exactly but he went from bad to incredibly worse in just a matter of days. Refused to go to the hospital, said he'd rather die at home. We'd already planned to visit for Thanksgiving but this changed things up to say the least. Got the phone call from J (C's stepmom) on Sunday morning that it wasn't looking good. When C talked to his dad he asked him, carefully, "are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital?" He said "noooo, J's just overreacting" and that was that. C said he heard it in his voice. Two years of worsening health--ever since the kidney and its tumor were removed--and he was just done. Done.

That night I booked C a flight. There's no easy route from here to there and in the end it required three planes, including one C called a "Wright Brother special" that landed at an airport that looked more like a roadside truck stop. The trip was basically as long as it would take to drive (eight hours) but without the crazy rain and twisting, winding roads.

He got there Monday afternoon and his dad was still conscious and aware. But barely. He told him he loved him. C's dad said "I love you, too." The home health care nurse came, they brought a hospital bed. He died 24 hours later, C holding his hand on one side, his stepbrother and J on the other side.

Damn it.

I kept our original plans and drove halfway up Wednesday after work--one of the worst drives of my life in the inky darkness, patchy fog, rain and winding mountain roads. White-knuckled and praying. The drive Thursday was mostly better except for the pouring rain and fog and the elk suddenly in the road though I'm sure it was my father-in-law's spirit who signaled me, via the car that seemed to appear out of nowhere, hazards flashing, to slow down just in time.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner that night. The next night we had leftovers and exchanged the funniest, sweetest and craziest stories about my father-in-law--and ourselves. "Confessions time," my stepmom-in-law said. On the surface she's the primmest, most Morman of them all but that night there were stories about tattoos and getting high (recently!) and the first time she and V. met.

Saturday, a quiet graveside service and, amazingly, no rain. Then, pizza at his favorite place.

We drove home yesterday, eight hours in pouring rain listening to S-Town and sometimes just hearing the wind and water hitting the windshield.

I loved my father-in-law so much. I still do. He was more of a father to me than my own dad. A man of few words but much action.

Rest in peace, V— C and I still feel your presence. Know that you are loved.

7:17 pm - 27.11.17

sounds:
words:
i am:

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previously on ... - next time on ...

no easy way to there from here. - 27.11.17 - 7:17 pm

give me a glimmer - 08.11.17 - 9:45 am

worry, worry, worry - 31.10.17 - 7:37 pm

the things they don't teach you - 29.10.17 - 11:47 am

teachers applying lipstick in their cars in the parking lot before class - 19.10.17 - 10:56 am

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