It’s been a while, so I figured I’d just do one decent length blog to catch the masses up on what I’m doing. I’m still not sure who all reads this blog, besides my mom. Hi Mom!
At the moment, I’m sitting in my apartment, which is trashed, in a pair of sweats, ball cap, and tennis shoes. I just got back from picking up supplies at the am/pm on the corner. I have been subsisting on juice, Gatorade, and soup since Sunday evening. I got home from a trip (more on that further down) and found that I had a temperature of 101. My temperature has been fluctuating ever since. I keep thinking the fever is behind me, but then it’s up to 100 again. Although, it hasn’t gotten as high as 101 since Sunday, which is good, because that was miserable. This morning while I was asleep, I got a good sweat going, so that I woke up doing the backstroke in a woman made pond.
The past three weeks, it seems, I’ve spent as much time traveling as I have at home. First was a quick business trip to New York. It was so quick that I didn’t have much time to do any running around on my own. It was also bitterly cold. Luckily I was able to pick up a nice warm pair of boots, which will come back into this tail shortly. I was out of New York before I really knew I was there, and back to Oakland.
However, before I left New York, I spoke to my second oldest sister. She told me that she would be in Bakersfield the following weekend for a funeral on her mother’s side of the family. We are half sisters, with different mothers, so this was not a funeral for anyone related to me. Since it’s only a four hour drive down to Bakersfield, and I hadn’t seen my sister in a few years, I suggested that I could come down, and we could share a hotel together. She agreed, and so before I left for home on Friday, I knew that the next Friday I’d be on the road again.
The reason that I got in touch with my sister that Friday was that I had received an email from our oldest sister earlier that day. It’s always nice to have a second opinion on the goings on within a family, let alone a fragmented one. My oldest sister wrote to tell me that she had been to a new doctor, and they had confirmed that there was nothing to be done about her cancer. She was the one who inspired me to donate my hair. Also in the letter, she said that herself, her oldest son, and my step-brother would be making a trip out to California in a couple of weeks. I was very glad that I would have another opportunity to see her, as the last time I had was when I was still a toddler. Yeah, fragmented.
The following Friday, I drove down to Bakersfield to spend a weekend in a hotel with my sister. I also intended to stop by the cemetery while I was in town to place some flowers on my grandparents’ graves. We were sitting around that first night, drinking beer that we’d gotten from the gas station nearby, when my sisters’ mother called. My oldest sister had passed away about an hour earlier.
It was quite a shock, and I’m very glad that I had been with my other sister when I got the news. I would have hated to have been alone when I found out.
The really sad part is the weirdness of it. My oldest sister and I were not close. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a life time. Sisterhood is rumored to be one of the strongest bonds, and yet, we never really worked it out. The fact that there was a sixteen year age gap and that we were never raised under the same roof, combined with the lack of much in common kept us apart. We were young, though, and I always thought there would be time to work it out. I thought she’d be here in a couple of weeks, and I’d at least have the chance to say goodbye. What I’m mourning seems to be the loss of an opportunity, really.
Before the end of that weekend, my sister and I had booked plane tickets to Missouri, where the funeral would be held. We were going to fly into the same airport together, meet up, rent a car, drive down to the town where our sister had lived, and share a hotel. The oldest of my sister’s boys was going to come with her. I felt it was important to go to the funeral because of our sister’s three children, who are all grown, but I figured would still need some support. I’ve grown pretty close with her oldest via MySpace, especially when he was in Iraq last year.
Thursday morning I headed out, and got into Missouri in the afternoon. It was a four hour drive from the airport down to our destination. We got in and the first thing we did was try to get on the internet. My sister is enrolled in online classes, so it was vital that we had internet access over the weekend. Well, we both could see and connect to the wireless router, but neither of us could get onto the internet. It never worked the entire weekend, and I was feeling with-drawl symptoms.
The next morning we went in search of breakfast and/or an internet cafe. No go. Being from Oakland, I suppose I am quite spoiled. There are no less than four cafes within a few blocks of my apartment where I could order a coffee and a sandwich and sit down with my laptop to do some writing.
Friday evening was the viewing. I’m not a big fan of open casket. I don’t think there’s anything left of the person in the body left behind, and so I didn’t take a very good look. There were many people at the viewing.
Saturday there was a grave side service. The service was pretty nice. They played some very tear jerking country songs that I had never heard. It was just damn cold. This is where those warm boots from the New York trip came in handy, however my feet were still freezing. I woke up that morning already feeling yucky, and I think that the fever started that day.
I was very glad that I got to attend the funeral, and that I got to meet some new family. Hopefully I’ll get to stay home and stay well for a few weeks now.