Only 90 days?

>> 2.09.2010

This has been the longest 90 days ever. It doesn't help that it's the middle of winter and my office is the warmest place I've been (nary a beach in sight).

So my grandfather passed away 90 days ago. Then we rolled into the holiday season with my father-in-law moving regularly between the hospital and nursing home. The child had a birthday that inconveniently fell on Thanksgiving this year, and it bascially got lost in all the other madness from in-laws visiting town and the patriarch being not at the turkey table for the first time ever.

Then we canceled our annual hosting of Christmas Eve dinner to spend time with the father-in-law (since no one was in town for Christmas). It was a quiet, simple Christmas, I'll give you that. There was the ill-fated attempt to spring him from the nursing home one last time, in a cold Christmas Day rain. He ended up with a tour of the city in the car, and it confused and agitated him more than anything else.

And though my father-in-law had no idea what time of year it was anymore, he somehow waited to pass away at the most convenient time possible: the week after the holiday travel season ended, and the week before the college kids resumed classes. That enabled the ENTIRE immediate family (I'm counting 36 people in the group photo) to come to town for the funeral. We're the only ones living in town, near my mother-in-law.

The winter lengthened as we coordinated the travel schedules for about three dozen people, all the while planning a funeral for a well-known man in the community. My grandfather's funeral was simple. This one (because of the number of people involved from the family and his firm and his church) ended up being like planning a wedding in a week.

Sorry if the comparison offends, but think about it: We communicated with about 200 people to invite them to the service, planned the service, then I designed the program and had it printed. Flowers were coordinated. Group hotel rates were obtained. We had a country-club reception for 100 people, complete with open bar. Every combination of family photo was taken. We compiled digital slide shows and a video. We got haircuts. We had a rehearsal dinner (literally) in which the family took over an entire restaurant.

And you wonder why I didn't blog in January? It took us a month to not be tired anymore, and I'm not even discussing the grieving process (too busy to stop and think).

At the end of January we burned some frequent flier miles and headed to Dallas. The child and I were flying south! (The husband had to work.) We'd escape winter and visit my sister for her birthday! Ha!

We were supposed to drive to Oklahoma City after a day in Dallas. Well, make that two days in Dallas. During a big ice storm in Oklahoma. The greater Dallas/Fort Worth area was a cloudy and windy 32 degrees.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving is lovely this time of year. Standing on the grassy knoll is not. The child was confused by blooming flowers in the ground and the snowflakes in the air.

We made it to OKC, learning first-hand what the traffic people mean when they say bridges and overpasses ice before roadways. We spent a few days on ice, literally. With family, mind you, but still on ice.

Saw the tourist attractions covered in snow, which apparently is a novel concept for people who don't own shovels or plows.

I'm ready for winter to end (for more reasons than the weather). I think many others are too, except maybe this guy.


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