PAHO, Part III…

[Continued from Yesterday.]
While getting the lad his first meal since swallowing a play penny, my cell phone buzzed in my pocket. It was my mum this time. She was calling to tell me she and my dad were on their way to bury my granddad’s remains. He died last fall and was cremated, it has just taken some time to coordinate everyone who was to attend the burial at the family plot near Lake Berryessa.

Mum just wanted to see if in the next couple of hours I wanted to have them say a little something on my behalf out there. Well, okay. I’ll do my best with a fussy baby in my arms and a penny in my boy’s stomach. I suppose the fussy baby part was my fault for testing our alarms.

Finally, finally, finally it was nap time. I was in the middle of feeding the lass, so the lad was on his own for getting settled in. When he’s on the ball, he’s amazingly self-sufficient. Thankfully, that was the case. He got himself into bed, read for a while, then turned off his light and laid down. For all the insane stuff he does, he can be truly amazing.

Fed and happy, the little lady was passed out in my arms. The time seemed as good as any to come up with what I wanted to say to Granddad. But rather than writing down something to have read, I decided to record my own message. Here is where cell phone technology can be a wonderful thing.

I recorded my voice to be played back at the appropriate time. I simply said that I was glad that he had a chance to meet his great-grandson and I hoped he knew his great-granddaughter was on the way. And I promised that my children will love riding the rails as I do, a trait that he passed to me and that I am proud to pass to his descendants.

Admittedly, it took me a few takes to get the recording right. I kept getting somewhat choked up, particularly since I was recording all this while holding his great-grandbaby in my arms. Eventually I got it to where I wanted and sent it to my mum. I knew she could handle it since we try to send her recordings of the lass when we can.

I was really surprised at how strongly the moment struck me. It had been some time since Granddad passed, so my mourning subsided. However, I think the idea of saying goodbye orally, but not there in person, made it tougher. These are the times that make it tough to live so far from my side of the family.

Having sent my message and my children napping, I felt it would be a good idea to eat something. I warmed up some tortillas and started snacking. The peace was nice. Just me in my kitchen.

My cell buzzed again. Bad plot device, anyone? The doctor’s office was calling to schedule an appointment. Apparently after checking over the boy’s information, the doctor wanted him to come in to talk to him and check him out directly. So I cut nap time short and loaded up the kids to the doctor’s office.

We were there maybe twenty minutes. I really like our pediatrician, and I did appreciate him wanting to see us anyway, knowing our son is prone to not showing as severe symptoms as other kids would. At least we weren’t waiting around forever and the chat with the doctor was good. He was just really heavily debating whether x-rays should be taken. The concern was nice, but we decided it was unnecessary. We were all pretty certain that it was just a plastic penny that would pass.

The remainder of the day was wonderfully uneventful. My mum called again to tell me that all went well and was lovely for Granddad’s interment. She said my message came out nicely and that most people heard it. I was glad to be a part of it in some small way.

After dinner, I went to my favorite liquor store to pick up some wine. I picked a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Louis M Martini, properly grown in St Helena. I toasted to Granddad with my wife and a good glass of wine. Then I set to work on this huge post that, for the reader’s sake, I broke into three parts.

I made it through this short, yet incredibly thick muddle of my life. It sometimes amazes me that I do. Usually I am not very orderly or clean, and always feeling dangerously under-qualified for the position. And rarely, especially right now, do I have empty time enough to sit and ponder it all.

C’est la vie~