You’re blahgging about a *mouse* on a day like today?

I guess there are probably a few people who are wondering about that. It was exactly a year ago that my dad, aka “Grandroobly” to his granddaughters, died. Don’t think for a minute that thoughts about that last week and the six weeks preceding it haven’t been right up at the top of my consciousness. It’s just that, when it comes right down to it, I can’t quite exactly think what to write. So I’ll just dive in. Excuse my rambling train of thought, please!

Last year, on this day, I got the news as I was headed up to Sault Ste. Siberia for the second time in four days. Boomerang Woman. It was not a surprise, even though he was just about the toughest old coot in the whole world. I think I even called him that in my blahg a year ago. And he was. As the year 2006 began, he was going on 87 and about the only thing seriously wrong with his health was an irregular heartbeat. I figure if you’ve reached that age and that’s the only major thing wrong with you and it doesn’t keep you from doing your daily activities, you’re doing pretty okay.

Although the old coot had been limiting his activities for a while, one of the things he was still doing was walking. And I don’t mean slowly shuffling around the block holding on to a walker for dear life. His main walking route was down the escarpment to the post office and back up. A tall, skinny old coot wearing gazillion-year-old clothing that served well to masquerade his former existence as a bank executive. He did carry one of those new-fangled walking sticks but its intended use was to deal with any vicious aminals he might encounter. I dunno, when Liz and I were at Point Reyes, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a whole bunch of people who were obviously taking a *class* in how to take a walk with a walking stick. I can just hear what Grandroobly would’ve had to say about *that*. Sheesh.

If I could wish for anything different for the last seven weeks of my old octogenarian coot’s life, it would be that his irregular heartbeat would’ve kicked into full-tilt boogie mode and felled him quickly. In his sleep, walking to the post office, or wherever. But that wasn’t to be. His old ticker kept going through a fall on ice (or whatever), air ambulance to the Henry Ford Hoosegow, two lengthy surgeries, 23 days in the Hoosegow including 11 in the ICU, a ground ambulance ride back to Siberia, and a few weeks in a rehab place. In the end, it was an out-of-control bedsore that killed him.

I am convinced that he was ready to go. I don’t think he wanted any part of living on a planet where the only way he could be transported anywhere was by ambulance. I think he knew right from the first day at the Hoosegow that there was a good chance he wouldn’t make it. He had no appetite from that first day and he wasn’t particularly interested in doing anything to keep his mind active. By the time that bedsore became infected, his body had deteriorated to the point where it couldn’t even begin to fight the infection. There are a lot of people who apparently have a hard time deciding when to let go of someone they love and I think there are times when it *is* terribly hard. But when we were faced with the decision of whether to put in a feeding tube or not, there was only one answer. We knew he didn’t want to stick around for the excruciatingly hard road ahead of him and we knew it was right to let him go. His death was not a tragedy. He had a good, long, active life up until the day he fell. The last seven weeks were hell on wheels. Wherever he is, it’s a better place. (Actually, I think it’s Jamaica at the moment. ;-))

I wrote the mouse entry for my own little mouse because I knew she’d like it but the truth is that the old coot would’ve liked my stupid little mouse story too. He loved aminals and for some odd reason, he always liked to hear about all the stupid little adventures I have with them when I do my urban hiking. Like when I used to chase Wilma’s runaway dog for her and the time I pulled a dog out of traffic on the N. Maple Raceway to safety and held it until its frantic owner could get to it.

I don’t know if any of this made any sense or not but I am definitely remembering my dad. I just can’t be all that sad about it. Since I lost both my brother and my dad, the other side just doesn’t seem that far away. Not that I am in any way ready to go there, mind you! I still have a lot to do here! Ciao!

One Response to “You’re blahgging about a *mouse* on a day like today?”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    I seem to recall a Certain Mouse referring to a Certain Old Coot as a “big rat with a hairless tail” or something similar… that same Old Coot “stubbing a stob” while walking the beach and – even when we pointed out to him he’d left a bloody trail all over the cabin’s floor, did NOT want to let Jim take him to the ER (imagine the air turning bright blue) – because it “did not hurt” (make that TOUGH Old Coot)…then the incident where the Milk Bone Marro-Treats were mistaken for Combos (and henceforth became known as “Jack Snax”).

    Picturing 3 generations of Talking Binoculars lined up on chairs competing to be the first to correctly identify freighters…. scanner practically hard-wired to the Sault Control for all the ship call-ins… “Bring BOOZE!” … cookies for lunch … giving ol’ Sam much appreciated ear-rubs … coming back from an errand with Fran to find out that he had a *nasty* diaper to change (back in the days of babies 😉 ) … etc….

    Love to you, Ol’ Coot! Lots of smile-causing memories!