On Mortality and an Empty Nest

19 August, 2011 Ken Family & Personal

Jeff’s Granfather died 13 days after his grandmother.  Anne and Tony were wonderful people who I wish I had known better.  Tony was a WWII Navy veteran who invented a Moog synthesizer guitar that earned him a place in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.  I worked with Anne at Hill’s Department Store in Depew — I was there the day she quit from being badly treated and she talked me out of walking out with her.  And my first camping experience was with Jeff at their traler spot in Indian Falls (Corfu, NY), something we still joke about.  From one of the lawn chairs ending up in the fire, to trying to microwave eggs, my first “roughing it” adventure had indoor running water and was punctuated by Christmas lights strung over the tent.  Odd, but good times.  Jeff handled everything well these last few weeks, considering, but I could tell wasn’t as close with his huge family as most, and seemed grateful I was there.  Merry just wished she could have gotten out of work.

The experience had a strong effect on me personally.  I broke down pretty hard after talking to his grandpa at the first funeral, telling me how blessed he was to be married to such a beautiful, wonderful woman for nearly 65 years.  It rteminded me too much of Merry and I and the very though is too muc hto bear.  When he pretty much willed himself to be with his wife two weeks later, it was hard for me not to think it was the best way that could possibly happen.  And for whatever reason, I am having trouble processing death.  I made peace with it early in life and braved many, many funerals back in the early 90s, leaving almost no living relatives nearby.  But when Ladybug died, I lost it.  Ever since then, mortality is a weight on my shoulders.  Worse, I am embarassed for it — it seems unbecoming a spiritually evolved being to have such attachments.  Some may call it lack of faith, another thing I am not certainly not known for.

And now I’m not sure how I feel about Christina taking her bedframe to her first apartment.  I’ve been slowly letting her go for six years now, and it’s not a big step at all since she already dorms and doesn’t really live here much anyway.  But this, along with my dear other-daughter figure Michelle moving to Rochester to finish seminary and probably get married in the next year or two … well, it’s kinda like an empty nest in my heart, even if not in my home.


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