Earlier this year I had to write about losing a grandparent, and now I’m having to do it all over again. I’ve lived 26 years and had all my grandparents alive and healthy the whole time, and was lucky enough to forge strong memories and emotional ties to all of them. I even have a step-mom who became part of the family when I was young, so that added an additional two grandparents for me to know and love all these years. I lost my paternal grandfather in March and was rocked by how sudden it came, but I lost my maternal grandmother last night and even the knowledge that it was going to be coming soon doesn’t help ease the pain of knowing she’s gone now. The hardest and most confusing part of it all is that I feel like I lost my grandmother a long time ago to Alzheimer’s. It started slowly, but over the past few years became more aggressive and I just became another face of a friendly visitor that said hello to her, and I hate that the last years of her life were lived in confusion.
I’ve been very lucky to avoid dealing with death for most of my life thus far. I had a run-in when I was 11 that I discussed in a previous blog post, and then managed to not lose any family or friends since. I attended the funeral of a friend’s grandmother, a woman who had been nothing but sweet and wonderful to me every time I saw her, but still death hadn’t quite been real to me. I was sad, but felt distanced from it all. Then two weeks ago I got a call that my paternal grandfather was dying, and that I needed to get there quick if I wanted to be able to say goodbye. That was when it became real.
Ah yes, time for the obligatory post about the past 12 months and how wonderful/awful they’ve been. It seems that everyone tries to do something like this every year as January 1st looms ever closer, but as I sit down and think about everything that’s gone on over the past year, I can see why. It’s nice to think back on everything and know that you can’t change it, so it doesn’t matter how good or bad it was, you can look at it with a unique perspective and see how the ripples of your actions have grown over time. At least one thing in life is constant, and that’s time. It moves forward at the same speed no matter what it is you’re doing, but experiences can make you perceive it differently. There were times that the days seemed to fly by faster than I could enjoy them, and days that crawled by agonizingly slowly, taunting me with each passing moment.
A little over six months ago Keith and I started looking for a new place to live. Our apartment lease was set to end in April of this year and we were considered buying a house instead of renting again. We spent some time looking at houses online, never really finding any that caught our eye. If we found one that looked nice, it either wasn’t anywhere near us or was way out of our price range. I finally found a builder that was a little outside the area we had been looking at, but was a great house for an affordable price, so we went to take a look at what would be involved to build a house instead of just buying one. Little did we know that this would start the most stressful, frustrating, and expensive 6 months of our lives.
Mar 25 2011
Having worked in the IT field for a number of years, I’ve come across the vast range of users and their comfort level with computers. There’s the person who knows exactly what they’re doing and came across a genuine glitch in the system and needs help, and then you have the person who can’t figure out how to turn the monitor on every morning. EVERY morning. I know computers aren’t everyone’s forte, and I don’t hold that against anyone at all – but it all comes down to the difference between ignorance and idiocy. So let me take a few moments to help provide some helpful hints about how to handle some of the most common problems you might come across.