I've been avoiding you, imaginary friends. Mainly because things have kind of sucked lately. I don't think I realized how many crappy things had been going on in the past week or so until my co-worker, H, complimented me on my sparkly shoes.
"Thanks," I replied. "IneedsomesparklebecausemylifesucksandmygrandpagotmovedtohospicecareandKevandIgotjumpedintheparkonMondayandIjustNEEDEDtowearmyglitterTomstoday."
Yep, because that's how rational people respond to compliments.
Sorry, H. Thanks for being a pal. I guess I need to get it all out there.
So, anyways, things have been kind of crappy lately. A real shit sandwich. To make two long stories short, last Sunday my grandpa fell and hit his head. He hadn't been doing so hot before then, but he had to have emergency brain surgery, which he had a 30% chance of coming out of without brain damage. He was in a coma for most of last week, and things have been touch and go since. Knowing that the man who gave me my love of family, hyperbole, ice cream, storytelling, gin, and troublemaking is slowly riding the tide out is tough. It hurts really badly. I just feel like a piece of my childhood is going to. Growing up blows sometimes. Shit sandwich.
Then, this past Monday, Kev and I were cutting through the large, well-lit park at 8:45 pm during the halftime of the Bears game to walk the four blocks home from a friend's house. Laden with work bags and a grocery bag full of leftover snacks, we pass two skinny teenage boys in hoodies who are sitting on a bench together not saying a word. Weird. We walk by, then hear a flurry of footsteps. One punches Kev in the face. He staggers, then they immediately run away. Kev's nose gushes blood, we walk to the corner bar and file a police report. Terrifying. I hate that it happened in my backyard, I hate that I was scared to ride the train and take the bus home after dark (at 7 pm). Most importantly, I hate that Kev got hurt and I was helpless to do anything. Shit sandwich.
But, as with any good sandwich, the shit sandwich is not really about the filling. Which, in this case, is metaphorical poop. Any sandwich is really a good or bad middle surrounded by a soft pillow of bread. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing there is a nice cushiony bun surrounding all this nasty stuff.
My grandpa came out of his coma with no brain damage, and has recognized everyone who visited. Yesterday, when discussing his discharge options from the hospital, after they declared they can't do much for him anymore, he very clearly said "enough's enough." He over and over said he wanted to go home, he was ready for hospice, he knew these were his last days and he was ok with letting go. He gets to end his life the way he has lived it- with bluntness, dignity, and class. In the meantime, I've talked to my siblings nearly daily, a minor miracle considering two of them are in college and the other is in law school. I didn't realize how much I need more of them in my life. Kev has instinctively known what to do for me, and I've realized I can handle the crap with a helping hand.
Which leads me to the other shit- my swollen faced guy. Who immediately after the attack, while he was bleeding, asked me if I was ok and said "I'm fine. I'm just glad they didn't do anything to you." Who does that anyway? My guy. Not to mention they didn't have weapons, nobody was seriously injured, they didn't take anything AND we got the chance to warn a guy walking into the park when we were leaving. We are safe, we have a very secure home, and we learned a healthy lesson about exercising caution. Not to mention, the police called Kev back the very next day to follow up. In the middle of Chicago's most violent year in decades, they responded to our tiny incident promptly and with respect. Thanks, CPD.
So all in all, I think I need to pick my head up a bit. This is life. It is messy. But sometimes, your shit sandwich comes with really delicious bread that makes you appreciate the act of eating all the more.
Thanks for the therapy, imaginary friends.