In all fairness to my sister, she had walking pneumonia last week and it flared up again. Couple this with a broken phone and no sense of time, and well, it causes significant delays between urgent calls.
Telling her that Grandfather died was hard, and I didn’t do a very good job. I delivered somewhere in the middle though, when I elaborated on faith and the eternal promises God has generously given to each of us.
The most confusing part of this entire process is which verb to use when discussing him. In a few months, I’m certain my description of him will flow naturally, but I’ve been tripping over tenses since I learned he is gone. “He is so funny,” I’ll start, and then I quickly find myself changing that to “He was very, very funny. The funniest person on the planet. You better hope people laugh after this, because all the funny is GONE.”
With grief, I am learning, comes hyperbole.
It was hard to understand my sister given she can hardly breathe through her mouth and her nose is for decoration only at this point. There were long stretches of silence when I wasn’t sure if she was sobbing or waiting for her breath to catch up. I went into FIX IT mode, coaching her to rest as much as possible until she is cleared by the doctors to return to the classroom as a first-year teacher. I actually looked into ordering food from across the country for her, but the shipping fees were out of control. I settled for a list of basic to-do’s including the obvious-but-so-easy-to-skip-when-you’re-sick rules: shower, brush your teeth, open the blinds and so on.
I continued, “And once you’ve had soup, you’ll rest again. You’ll read a book. You won’t post any articles about rape. You won’t think about rape or post about rape.”
“It’s an epidemic,” she puffed.
I sigh. Because she’s so right.
This was an awful week to start a liquid diet. This was an awful week to feel insane stress at work. This was just an awful week. It’s not even done and I’ve totally written it off, positive it cannot make a dominant comeback. This week isn’t Serena Williams. It’s just an amateur, one that will be remembered more for its poor performance than anything else.
I don’t like the present. And I miss the past.