Since November I have been furiously trying to get everything done. I've started the Epic Year of Querying (and I do plan on getting some of that done, I just have to finish editing first) I've joined a contest, and I've been taking this blog seriously, rather than something I thought I should do because everyone else was doing it. In other words, I've become a writer.
Just like in writing, I have plans for my life. I planned, for instance, that I would get my editing done for critique group this weekend. And that I would be hanging out with my friends. I was living my life the way I thought I should.
That was when disaster struck. You see, life never lets you do exactly what you want it to. Sometimes there are things in life that makes you drop everything you're doing. Things that usually come to you in a single phone call and you realize that your life is about to change again.
On friday, at about 5 pm, I got just such a phone call. It was from my mother, and we knew it was bad because she was crying. Though I've seen my mom cry before, she always tries to play things down for us. When she was getting an angiogram last year she told us it was 'just a test, and I'm fine.' So when we answered that phone, we knew that something was seriously wrong.
My grandfather died on friday.
We didn't spend weeks visiting him in the hospital while he drifted further and further away. We weren't mentally prepared for this to happen. He had been having some heart problems, and he even had surgery in 2010, from which he never quite recovered fully from, but his death was still a shock. He died after getting morphine for some pain. They never diagnosed what, exactly happened. All we know is that he fell asleep and his heart stopped.
My grandfather never lived near me, and yet so many of my childhood memories include him. He used to be in the marines, you know the type. Tattoos all down his arms, all of them obviously made while on a boat in the middle of God-knows-where. He handed out presents at christmas - unless he was just getting off a night shift and needed sleep. He had an argument with us when we were kids about The Lion King, because lions don't talk! He was my Papa, and I loved him.
Getting that phone call meant that all of those plans that I had got ripped apart and thrown out the window. I always imagined having kids and coming down to visit my grandma and grandpa. I never, for a second, thought that I would have to get married without him, and yet I'm not even engaged yet. Even this weekend, one that I thought would be spent with friends and having fun, I'm instead at my grandmother's house preparing to go to a funeral home.
Life has it's own plans. And these kinds of things are what makes us who we are. How do we deal with the deal of a beloved grandfather? Do we just deny it and go on with our lives? Do we let it stop us dead in our tracks? He may not have always been there, but I always knew that he was somewhere out there. Somewhere that I could go to anytime I wanted to hear some awesome stories from when he was in the marines. Or how he was trying to learn Manderin.
He's gone now, and I'm dedicating this blog post to him. I'll also be dedicating my first book to both him and my cousin. The Bryans in my life that are gone now. (Another plan that has changed.)
Papa, we love you, and we'll miss you. I hope that one day I get to see you again. Until that day, look over us and keep us safe and together. Just know that we'll remember you. Always.