My dad died one month ago today. That's seems silly to even put into text.
Kyle and I have gotten much taken care of in the last month. I've slowly worked a bit in Dad's house (Grandpa's house, now), but this week I've gotten a lot done. Grandpa wants to stay there and he has been doing very well there alone since Dad went into the hospital more than a month ago. I'm so grateful for that. Of course, he gets lonely, but Kyle & I are there as much as we can be and he sees at least one of us every day. My Uncle Matt has decided that he is not moving down here to be with Grandpa, so we have adjusted our outlook on things accordingly. It is my goal to keep as much of the house (and Grandpa's life) the same as possible, since I believe that is best for Grandpa. Of course, there is much that can be gone through, sorted and cleared out. Grandpa may be fine to live in that house alone for 10 more years, but, as we know too well, things can change quickly and there's no sense in leaving a house full of stuff to deal with when the time comes. I also went to Dad's storage unit earlier this week. I only found out that it existed a few months ago when I was helping Dad pay his bills and I had never seen what was in it. I worked in there for several hours on Monday (it was a beautiful day, so it wasn't a hardship) and made a bit of progress. Then I found out yesterday that Courtney (Kathy's daughter) is flying in from California this afternoon to spend a few days getting her mother's things. Hopefully she and I can go through things tomorrow so that on Friday or Saturday Kyle can help us clear the whole thing out. There's no sense in paying for a storage unit after the few important things have been removed. I'm not going to lie, I'm not particularly looking forward to it, but it will surely be nice to have that completed and marked off the list.
Aside from the logistics of clearing out Dad's things and taking care of Grandpa, there's is an emotional aspect (of course) of Dad having been gone for a month. There was the shock and now that that has worn off there is a more somber realization that he's really not here. I definitely have moments that I pick up my phone and then realize that he won't be on the other end... or when I walk into the house and he isn't sitting in his chair. It's weird.
It's also weird that this is so different from losing my Grandma 6 years ago, Emma almost 3 years ago or Alex 1 year ago. It's just completely strange... all around. I've been getting some of my own house work done this afternoon and I was just in the living room folding clothes. I really dislike folding clothes. (evident by the fact that there are three loads of unfolded clean clothes to tend to) As I was folding, I picked up a wash cloth and my first reaction was to hand it to Alex. She was my laundry helper and she would work her little heart out to lay the wash cloth flat, fold it over and then fold it over again (and finish with the biggest smile you have ever seen). She took such pride in accomplishing that task and somehow that made my task of laundry a bit more manageable. That hasn't happened in a while, but I guess it is maybe an example of something that could continue my entire earthly life.
In other Alex news... Drew and I put off ordering Alex's headstone for months. It just seemed like the very last thing that we would ever do for her and we didn't want to do it. Several months ago we got it ordered and last weekend we stopped at the cemetery to see that it was installed. She now has a headstone that matches Emma's and I'm glad that it's there. The headstone makes no difference in anything, but for some reason is does make things seems quite final. It's beautiful and I'm glad that it's there, but I don't like anything about having to do such a thing.