It has been a strange weekend. I feel sad, but I'm OK. The tornado that ravaged downtown Atlanta did not affect us here on the outskirts, twelve miles away. We're fine.
Normally, there would have been a lot going on this weekend into Monday with a wake and funeral, but Big Daddy is to be cremated and we'll have a celebration of his life in a few weeks. But it seemed wrong to just go about my business like nothing happened. So I didn't.
I was getting ready for work Friday when Mom called. It could only mean one thing. I sent word in to work, so they'd know not to expect me, and to let the people know who treated Big Daddy when he was our patient. Arranged to pick my sister up at the airport - she'd been about to work a trip (she is a flight attendant) from Atlanta to Hawaii. Called Mom to let her know we were on our way.
There wasn't an official wake planned, but I am glad that Big Daddy had one anyway. The old fashioned kind that doesn't involve embalming or funeral homes. Just the body and people who loved the dead. I kept fighting the temptation to stop the clock in the room, an old tradition. Its ticking seemed intrusive, distracting, unnecessary. I was there with my sister, my mother, and Big Daddy's "sweetcake", Jean. His priest came and went before I got there, to perform last rites. It is an experience I will never forget. After they came for the body, we went over to Big Daddy's house to console one another and make some phone calls. Jean and I sat for hours on Big Daddy's porch and watched the birds and the intermittent rain while voicing our memories. He was larger than life, and his absence leaves a big hole.
The rest of the weekend was, for me, rather low-key. I did not know about the tornado that hit downtown on Friday night until we got Saturday's paper. It was just a thunderstorm here, and we were spending a quiet evening at home once I got back from Big Daddy's. No TV or radio on, so we didn't hear about the havoc. PDM and I turned off the carport lights and stood in the darkness there to more fully experience the storm that came through. Other than one very close lightning hit, it was (to us) a normal thunderstorm. There were several more storms Friday night through Saturday. The unsettled weather fit my unsettled mood.
Yes, life will go on, but it will feel unsettled until we have one last gathering for Big Daddy. I miss him.