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07/05/2005: "the fireworks will remind us"

On one hand, I got to see not only Canada Day fireworks, but Independence Day fireworks as well. Sadly, it took my mother-in-law's death to get me down to California to see the latter.

Things seem to be progressing here, although I'm decidedly out of the loop. It's frustrating for me, being yanked from my regular work routine and shoved into childcare duty. Don't get me wrong, I know that it's what I have to do and need to do for all involved, but I really feel like I'm not contributing in the ways that I could be if allowed to do so... cook, do laundry, vacuum, that sort of thing. It's not glamourous, but it's something that needs to be done. Ah well... there are worse things than being forced to spend time with my kids.

There is still no set date for a funeral home service, and from what I gather there might not even be one. The few of us that are here might simply go to say goodbye before she's cremated, after which she'll be sprinkled into the Pacific from my in-law's sailboat. After that, there will be memorial services for her in both Vancouver (for her family) and Toronto (the rest of the family, and many friends as well). So we'll be in memorial mode for a while.

Cause of death? That's always the question when it's someone so relatively young. I had assumed it was alcohol-related, but I was wrong. From what I gather (again, I'm not being directly kept in the loop) she had a stroke: a large blood clot appeared from somewhere - likely an old injury - and lodged in her brain, eventually shutting her body down one system at a time. I guess a fairly peaceful way to go, all in all, but totally unpreventable.

I don't expect that my family's life will become normal anytime soon. My wife and kids will more than likely be staying down here at least two weeks. I'm hoping that I'll be able to come back by the weekend. I'm really not feeling needed down here, and I honestly can't afford taking more than a week off.

Sigh. As inevitable as it is, death sucks. Especially when it hits so close, so unexpectedly, and so early. But such is life, I suppose.

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