Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Revolutions: Preface

My father's Dad - my Grandpa of "pick it up and set it down" Ironman fame, he who braved the day with me, he is well, strong as an ox, all is as it should be. Important you know who I mean when I say "grandpa".

My mother's Dad - Grandpa Wally, who I think I've mentioned only once in this blog and don't have time or energy right now to find the link (but that once does not indicate a somehow lesser meaning to my life, obviously, but by nature of our relationship and proximity, I have not had cause to mention him in context of triathlon) - I haven't told you but he's been battling for his life since July 23rd. Friday I got the call: come home. I drove all night. 15 hours, back to the western-most edge of Dakota. I stopped for a few hours sleep. I crossed 3 states to be among his family, who he adored ("I'm proud of you Christopher") at his bedside. He has been unresponsive since Thursday. Still, I told him my girl's name. I brought him a coin from the collection he and my Dad used to enjoy together. I brought him the medal from my last race, which I ran in his honor. I told him what I needed to say, and I hoped in the ether he heard me. He passed away Sunday afternoon. The universe cracked, and another star in my constellation faded away. Even knowing he was going, even feeling its inevitability, it still hit me like a car wreck. I shook, I wept so hard.

Monday, we sit in the stupid throes of grief, so familiar and sickening from when my Dad died, in the same town, also on a Sunday. Then: Amy calls after a doctor's appointment. She's over 4cm dilated. Almost completely effaced. This is pregnant-speak for "the time is nigh". "Tell Chris he'd better come home," her doctor said. So the coin flips, and with shuddering suddenness it is time to tend to the living. To my mother and grandmother and aunts and uncles and brother and sister and cousins - I have to go now, I love you all, and they almost cheer me out the door as I swim in this surreality of emotions, on a pilgrimage now to the opposite end of the funereal. "Dad and Grandpa go with you," mother said.

And I drive all night. 15 hours. I stopped for a few hours sleep. The second time in days that I'm flying across the interstate, hoping I get there in time. Please God let me get there in time.

I did. Get here in time, I mean. Amy's beginning to have some significant contractions, but there is still time, and we're trying to get some rest (mostly for my sake) before we start walking around, seeing if we can't unlock the gates a bit. I'm so weary I feel sick, but I have this damned caffeine buzz from the Caribou stimulants that kept me behind the wheel. So I'm waiting for it to subside, and have this moment to tell you: life is underway over here. We don't know if it's days, or more days than that, or what kind of timeline baby has us on. Only that things are in motion, whatever that means.

I will, of course, keep you posted.

And then: my friends got engaged.

Revolutions indeed. What a sublime life.

7 comments:

marathon2tri said...

Simply put, our thoughts are with you. God speed both souls.

Team Brazo said...

Our thoughts are with you...

Lisa said...

Wow Chris..no wonder I haven't heard from you in a while.. an IronMan! I am SO proud of you! (yeah, I googled you) and now a baby... Yipee, I hope to meet him/her soon. Please tell Amy congrats. They will be blessed to have you for parents! I am sorry to hear about Grandpa. I was just back in "town" 2 weeks ago for my grandmothers passing. Please touch base when you have time. I miss you!

Lisa

Lisa said...

Wow Chris..no wonder I haven't heard from you in a while.. an IronMan! I am SO proud of you! (yeah, I googled you) and now a baby... Yipee, I hope to meet him/her soon. Please tell Amy congrats. They will be blessed to have you for parents! I am sorry to hear about Grandpa. I was just back in "town" 2 weeks ago for my grandmothers passing. Please touch base when you have time. I miss you!

Lisa

TriSaraTops said...

Sending hugs and prayers for you and your family.

Bittersweet...my deepest sympathy and also my heartfelt excitement for you and Amy.

T-Storms said...

I'm so sorry for your loss - but wonderful memories and stories to tell your children, will be with you forever.....
my thoughts & prayers are with you.

RunBubbaRun said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.. Glad you were able to talk to him in some way before he passed..

Well wishes to the rest of the family.. another 'X' in the house soon..Yeah, try to get some extra sleep now.