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September 15, 2007


It's one of those months. And it's so one of those months that I look back at all the other months and think they were one of those months too, all the way back to my move to Ithaca. Seemed like a good idea at the time and I've been quite successful here, but back home it's been nothing but trouble. Three years gone by last July and everything falling apart back home.

What a crappy time in life. For some people this time comes earlier than it has come for me and I don't know if that's better or worse, I'm just wrapped up in me at the moment. I'm talking about the time when your grandparents start passing away. All too often these terrible events occur in rapid succession and it would appear this is going to be the case with my family.

My mother was young when she had me so I think that's why I made it to my 30s with both my grandparents on my mother's side. But I haven't made it far into my 30s; at 30 my grandmother passed away and now we're on deathwatch for my grandfather. I'm sitting by the phone moment to moment expecting the worst. It's a constant pity party for me.

I've always been a lone wolf, shielded and closed, never really bothered by physical loneliness, but now with my grandfather ailing, I feel alone. Hank Williams has some experience in this matter and I'm breaking from tradition and including the whole song.

Im a rollin' stone all alone and lost
For a life of sin I have paid the cost
When I pass by all the people say
Just another guy on the lost highway

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a womans lies makes a life like mine
O the day we met, I went astray
I started rolling down that lost highway

I was just a lad, nearly 22
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you
And now I'm lost, too late to pray
Lord I take a cost, o the lost highway

Now boys don't start to ramblin' round
On this road of sin are you sorrow bound
Take my advice or you'll curse the day
You started rollin' down that lost highway

Here's a brief summary of recent events. Christmas was bad, but looking back now it was a great time and I'm happy Anna and I could be there. I went home again in April and everything was better, everyone felt good and they were getting around great. I fixed the AC and thought about this coming Christmas, but then in August things went downhill. It all started on Father's day when I called for our usual Sunday chat and he had gone to the hospital. Lots of hospital visits in July led to full time home care and I went to Texas to sort things out and support the family. I'm no good as a nurse, preferring computers and mechanical things to human infirm. Still it was good for me and Dixie to be there while we could.

Eventually we had to get back to New York and I had work. Anna started school, but things back home kept getting worse. I did get one phone call on a Sunday. How many Sundays had I gotten that call? 100s of Sundays, nearly every Sunday for almost 15 years, but this one was amazing. I could hear the strain in his voice, but he conscious, aware and, I hoped, on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, the improvement ended and another hospital trip in late August led to further shifting in status and more home care. The nurses tell us this is the final couple weeks and there's nothing we can do. Hence the full-time pity party. It's a stressful time and its reverberations spread out onto all elements of my life.