October 1st, 2002

FF Sparks (Casual)


One of our manager-sorts messed up his back and is confined to bed on doctor's orders. They may want me to go down to his house in Puyallup tomorrow to set up an 802.11b wireless network so he can still work. Allow me to be amused that I've apparently become the Seattle IT department again...you'd think they could hire someone to just do this. :)
FF Sparks (Casual)

Fleeting lights...

On the way home from work, my mother called me. Aunt Louise is gone...

Growing up, my grandfather had a best friend named Elliot. My grandmother had a best friend named Louise. My grandparents got married, and Louise and Elliot also married, so the four of them were always very close. Some years ago, Elliot passed away from Alzheimers, and then only about a year later, my grandfather passed away from heart failure. Louise and grandma were supports to each other and to my grandfather's sister, my Aunt Nancy (actually 'Ann Isabelle', but she prefered Nancy, just like my grandfather Thomas preferred 'Cooper' to 'Tommy'). Last year, Aunt Nancy passed away.

Louise has been a big support to everyone in the family, always able to take a situation and turn it around with a bit of humor. At my grandfather's service, she said "Cooper was the sort of man you wanted to have with you at the end of the world. Everyone would be running around panicking, and Cooper would stand there with his pipe in his mouth and go 'Now, now. Don't get so upset. It's only the end of the world.'" She was right, but she got everyone to smile with that.

Louise's son has been dying of AIDS, and some months ago she said she wished nothing more than for her son to outlive her. Only about two months ago, Louise was diagnosed with a brain tumor herself, after she began to have trouble concentrating or remembering the date and time. ("Let this be a lesson; always be careful what you wish for!") Over the past two months, we've watched Louise degenerate from a wonderful, witty woman to being unable to focus, and then even unable to speak from the tumor, though she could still respond with motions. And now, finally, she's passed away.

I think maybe I should go spend some time back east; with Elliot and grandpa and Nancy and now Louise all gone, I think grandma would appreciate having one of her two grandchildren around. And this has brought home again how fragile life is...and how little time grandma might have left. My grandmother is one of the absolute most important people in the world for me; what little self-esteem and self-confidence I have is largely her doing, as is my interest in science and computers (grandmother herself was a scientist and teacher, and helped actually build some of the first computers). Grandma developed my interest in fantasy and science fiction by introducing me to the Oz books, and my love of used bookstores by taking me around to browse all of them. I admit I'm really scared of when she goes.
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