Phone dropped in a puddle, perhaps the only such puddle to be found in all of Marshall, Texas. Zapped. Gone. Broken beyond words and left in an unstable and increasingly useless state.
Replaced, said phone, but not yet setup properly.
This morning, to my terror, two calls from the family farm. Both from last night. One pronouncing death.
My father’s mother, my grandmother, died yesterday. No surprise, I admit, yet we can never truly be “prepared” for such a thing. Informed, perhaps, and somewhat expectant even, but never prepared.
Her condition had declined for quite a while, worsening these past few weeks to the point of certainty: she would die in a matter of weeks, not months, and perhaps in no more than a few days. It took barely that long.
Meanwhile, more pressing health matters worsened, grew colder and more menacing.
Three stricken. One ailing, spiraling out of control, rapidly jaunting down a path we all must follow. Another wounded, debilitated, left aching. The last gone, passed away, fallen to that illness called life that eventually takes us all.
I stand, ponder, worry, suffer an emotional breakdown at work that leaves me unable to function.
But it’s not about me.
Yet those left behind cannot help but feel as much, feel betrayed, feel stabbed in our souls as we search for what’s left behind.
And as we look toward the future with uncertainty, with a knowing gaze that falls upon the next emergency, the next horror that dwells in future’s shadow, that lurks just beyond the next bend.
Finally left feeling that which seems all too familiar, that which curses the living with thoughts of the dead.
I’ve been down this road before. I’ll travel this road again. I hate this journey.