Man of the Hour

The second funeral is coming… my grandfather is dying.

And it isn’t fast. It won’t take years, no, but, being the only family member on this side of town other than my grandmother (who doesn’t really leave the house any more), it falls to me, and sometimes Liza, to sit with him in the ER and visit him in the hospital. That makes the time go by slower when it’s just you staring at this man who was once larger than life collapsing in upon himself. He’s like a star that can no longer sustain itself and now is lashing out violently in its death throes, consuming itself even faster.

His lungs are filling up with fluid, oxygen is not making it to his brain, so he is confused and delusional. It’s not an easy sight to take in.

No, this isn’t the slow death that takes years. I suspect it will only be a matter of days now, if not less. It will just feel like years to me. It feels selfish for me to write it in those terms, but that’s how I’m feeling.

I keep coming back to Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, especially “Man Of The Hour”and, to a lesser extent, “Come Back.” I would like to think the sentiments in the songs would fit the relationship I’ve had with my father, but they don’t. However, it’s interesting to see how these fit the one with my grandfather.

He and I were not immensely close. It was always difficult to find things to relate to him with. I didn’t like the sports he liked, I outgrew my interest in trains at a young age (but kept the Star Wars interest… who woulda thunk?), I read books he had no interest in… that must have been difficult for him as I was his only grandson. The girls… my sister, my eldest cousin, my youngest cousin… it had to have been harder for him to relate to them. It’s amazingly difficult for them to have anything to talk about, and he can be a stubborn man when he doesn’t want to think about something.

I was able to say good-bye to him, however. And I have a sinking feeling that I may be the only one in the family that may be able to do so. I hope I am wrong about that.