I just finished re-reading my post Merle Roger Euler, 1916-2007. Made me cry. Again. As if I hadn't cried enough writing it, and just living through the following days. I also wanted to go back and polish it up. It really shows that I finished after 2 a.m. There are parts that feel incomplete to me, and a few problems with flow. Hardly surprising for stream-of-consciousness writing, but somewhat annoying to me. I have a fairly strict, self-enforced policy of not changing my writing after it's been posted, aside from correcting errors. If not for this policy, I would very likely spend a fair amount of time going back and 'fixing' my previous entries, which could be disastrous with the wrong changes.
As I discussed in this post, my own point of view is constantly changing. Sometimes swiftly, but usually at a glacial pace. Or so it seems, until I actually go back and read what I've written.
Anyway, back to the present. Well, the recent past.
This past Sunday was one of my rare Sundays off. We had already planned to go to church back in Leavenworth and spend some time with my parents. As it happens it was the first day on the job for their new minister, and the church was having a welcome dinner. It was a good chance to talk to many old friends. I grew up in First Christian Church Leavenworth (be sure to check their fantastic website, including pictures of Maxine at the aforementioned dinner!), which makes it feel very much like family. I found that with new churches (well, new to me) it was harder to foster those family feelings.
It was good to be in a church where everyone knew that Grandpa had died. I called a friend at our church in Lawrence and told him the news. They prayed for us in the service, and later many friends asked if we were okay. But if we had gone to church in Lawrence, I don't think I could have handled explaining it over and over, and accepting the surprised looks of sympathy from people who hadn't already known. The only other choice would have been to not bring it up, and just mope around mumbling whenever anyone asked what was wrong.
Wal-Mart was very cool about giving me time off. They allow up to three paid bereavement days. I took off Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday was already scheduled off. Tomorrow (Thursday) I have to go to work from 1 to 10. Long shift. Not looking forward to it. But one of my coworkers is on vacation. I hope she didn't have to come back because of me. [Update: she didn't, which left the other three jewelry associates a bit crunched. Sorry ladies!]
Monday I went to class, and talked to my prof about coming to his Thursday section instead of the Wednesday. He was very cool about it, so I will be going to class tomorrow from 12 to 12:50. Leaving me 10 minutes to get to work. Great. I already let my manager know I might be late. After class I came home and relaxed. Maxine was at her day care, and Horyon sewed. I went to pick up Maxine around 5, and got there just in time to keep her from breaking down. Instead she took a nap as I went to Papa Murphy's for a pizza, then home. Good stuff, Papa Murphy's. You order a pizza, they put it together, then you take it home and bake it in your own oven. Brilliant idea. Makes for the freshest pizza you could hope for, short of scraping together the ingredients and making it yourself.
Tuesday we drove to Leavenworth and had dinner at Grandma's house. She is still being flooded with food. Even with all of the family there, we barely made a dent in the piles of cold-cuts, ham, chili, chicken noodle soup, fruit, cake, brownies, chips, cheeses, and other stuff. (The next day we stopped by on our way home and picked up food to take with us. Enough ham to keep me in sandwiches for a week, and cheese, too.)
After dinner we went to the visitation. Usually these are done at Davis Chapel Funeral Home, right across the street from the church. This time it was decided to have it at the church instead. Which was a wise decision, because Davis Chapel would simply not have been big enough to handle the volume of people that came through. They were lined up down the aisle from the front of the sanctuary, through the narthex, down the stairs, and out the door. Letha and Myrna at some point herded everyone inside, so the new line went through the narthex, into the education building, and all the way down the hall. People waited for 40+ minutes to talk to Grandma. I never heard an exact count, but more than 300 people signed the guest book, not including family.
[This is where my original post left off. It's three years later, and I still mourn from time to time.]