Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Do you believe in signs?

I found out this morning that my grandpa had a stroke yesterday.  He was apparently in the kitchen (he lives alone in the house where my dad was born and raised).  He passed out.  Woke up about an hour later, spent about 3 hours crawling to the phone, where he called my dad (not 911).  My dad missed the call as he was going to his seat for the Brewers game, but saw the missed call a minute or two later and called my grandpa back.  My grandpa said he wasn't doing real well and my dad could barely understand him.  Unfortunately, my dad and his friend had been dropped off at the game and no one was at home, so my dad started walking toward my grandpa's house (not terribly far actually, a few miles), until my dad's friend reached their other friend who had dropped them off and he picked up my dad and took him to my grandpa's.  My grandpa then didn't want to go to the hospital, but eventually my dad convinced him and drove him himself.  The hospital isn't far away, only a mile or so to the VA (my grandpa was in WWII).  He's been there ever since.  He's apparently alert, but still hard to understand and is very weak on one side of his body.  


I'm trying to decide if I should go home.

After I talked to my dad, I had to head to work. I considered driving, but I figured running a few miles might actually help me clear my head.

I think I had to be close to a morning commute PR -- running sad apparently makes me speedier.

As I was running on the Katy Trail, just before I hit mile marker 1 of my commute, just ahead of me, I heard something in a tree and something bright and blue seemed to fall down to the ground as I was running past. I actually turned and looked because it was so weird. I was thinking it was a piece of clothing or a shoe or a stuffed animal (why on earth a stuffed animal would be in a tree, I don't know). I looked, and it was a blue jay. It was on the ground for a second and kind of looked back at me, then it flew away.

Is that a sign? My grandpa LOVES birds and bird-watching, but he actually hates blue jays. I remember him yelling at them when they were on the bird feeder. He thinks they are mean birds and they scare away the chickadees and the other little ones he likes.

Then I got to work and was pulling together my shower bag and my outfit for the day, booting up my computer and checking email in my sweaty running clothes before I went downstairs to the gym to get ready.

On Thursday morning of last week, I got to work (on foot) and my dress watch was not in the drawer where I usually keep it. My watch was a gift from my dad for Christmas a couple years ago. I love the watch because it is silver and gold, so it matches most all jewelry, and our wedding bands are white gold, rose gold and yellow gold. I looked everywhere for it, and couldn't find it, so the only conclusion I could reach was that I'd perhaps left it on my desk (I had indeed by mistake left it sitting out before instead of putting it in a drawer), and perhaps someone had taken it.

Since I'd been at work fairly late Wed. night (my accounting buddy was walking toward home with me, and we didn't leave the office until after 7), it was fairly deserted when I left.

And since I ran to work Thursday morning, I got there at about 8:20, when there weren't many people here yet. I thought the odds of anyone in our company taking it were very, very small -- the only people I could think were either building security (though I didn't know why they'd be in my office), or the cleaning crew (and I knew they'd been all over near my desk, since my shredding basket had also been emptied, besides my regular trash). So the cleaning crew was pretty much the only explanation I could find.

I reported the missing watch to our office administrator, who told me to report it to our lessor's office administrator, who would report it to building management. I did, and everyone else was as surprised as I was that it was gone. I ran into our lessor's office administrator in the restroom yesterday and she said she'd left money on her desk before and it had never been taken. I told her I'd also left my watch out by mistake a couple times, but this time it was gone. I told her I was probably going to file a police report if it didn't turn up, so I asked her to pull together a list of who had accessed our floor.

Well, this morning, pulling out my shower bag, I decided to go through the entire drawer. It's a "miscellaneous stuff" drawer -- I keep in it my shower bag, my gym clothes bag, my blanket (stolen from an airline decades ago, but frequently used since our office is kept insanely cold), a few Halloween decorations. And there was my watch. In/under my blanket. My shower bag must have tipped over when I closed the drawer and my watch must have spilled out.

Is that a sign? A watch that I got as a gift for Christmas while sitting by my grandpa was lost and now it's found?

If these things are signs, what do they mean? That he'll be okay? That he'll be back to his old funny little self before we know it? That we have more years to make memories and to hear stories of the past? I'm not ready for him to be gone. He is my last grandparent. His wife died on New Year's Eve my freshman year of high school, so 1989-1990 New Year's Eve. I want to hear more stories about the war, what it was like for him growing up, and I want to write them down or commit them to memory. But I'm also insanely busy at work and over-committed with other things right now. Do I drop it all and buy an expensive plane ticket? Or hope for the best and plan to see him when I go home over the summer?  


  1. Wow. Sorry to hear this.

    Would you ever regret going to visit him, just in case? I mean, sure you're busy and it's expensive... but it's not like a month from now when he's doing great, you'd be upset that you spent the money and took the time, right?

    I'd go.

    Thinking of you and your family and pulling for a speedy recovery.

  2. Carina, my thoughts and prayers are with your grandfather. In your questions I think you answer your own question. Let your heart guide your decision.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa, but I'm glad to hear that he's doing better (I sneaked a quick peek at your next post).

    I do believe in signs, and I think that those signs are letting you know that your grandpa is an important part of your life and that he was on your mind.