I'm packing my suitcase.
My grandfather died yesterday. The first of my grandparents to go.
Black pants, black blouse, black shoes, conservative jewelry.
I'm not sad my grandfather is gone. He had been ill and in pain, so his death is something of a relief.
Another pair of black pants, a black sweater set, more conservative jewelry.
My grandfather was an imperfect man, as we humans are all imperfect.
I do not wear dresses or skirts, not even for funerals.
He was my grandmother's second husband, a chance for her to be happy after her disastrous first marriage. Unfortunately, my grandfather was unfaithful, as had been my grandmother's first husband. For reasons unfathomable to me, my grandmother did not divorce my grandfather for his infidelity, and they were married almost 40 years.
I put a nice black purse in the suitcase.
My grandfather alienated his children from his first marriage. He had almost no contact with them or their families. I do not know if they will attend the funeral.
I add pajamas, underwear, and casual clothes to the suitcase.
For the past few years, my grandfather had a variety of health problems. In addition, his behavior changed and he became cantankerous and difficult, more so than usual. We suspected early dementia.
It might rain tomorrow. I pack an umbrella.
My grandfather did love my grandmother, even when his actions did not show it. When my grandmother went into the nursing home last year, my grandfather visited her every single day until he got sick in August and was hospitalized.
I make lists for Pete, who will remain home with the girls.
The last time I visited my grandmother in the nursing home, I did not stop by my grandfather's room to visit him too. He had become very difficult and was hallucinating and had to be restrained. I did not want my children to see him like that.
I pack my work laptop and papers to deal with while I'm gone. I'll have time to work tonight and again in the morning. Life goes on, even when it does not.
Tomorrow I will go to my grandfather's funeral. I will forget about the bad and focus on the good. I will honor the memory of the man my grandmother fell in love with. I will remember the perfect grandfather that a pigtailed little girl used to worship.
I'm ready to go.