Monday, February 9, 2009

I feel XCVIII times better now

What a week. What a crazy-long, time-bending week. The death of a loved one keeps you busy, for real. For once, though, my chronically unstructured lifestyle came in handy and I was very glad I could take ten days to go to Maryland and help out.

And how about that lady friend of mine? Taking time off work and buying a plane ticket to come support me and my family? What a gal.

The visitation Thursday night brought out not only friends and family of my grandparents, but also some people from the local pharmacy, the florist, and the dental hygienist. Small-town life is really impressive at times like that. I was also surprised to see some of our old neighbors from when we lived in Delaware twenty years ago, who drove an hour and a half just to be there for my dad. I hadn't seen some of them since we packed up the moving van two decades ago. Good people.

The memorial service on Friday was just as moving, with my mother making me as proud as a son can be when she delivered a lengthy remembrance of her mother in law that spoke for the whole family. Also speaking when the floor was opened were the next door neighbors, a pair of young teachers with an infant son who seemed genuinely affected by having lived in close proximity to my grandparents for the past couple years. I'm glad people like that are around now to keep an eye on my grandfather as he transitions into a life of doing his own laundry and cooking his own meals.

Speaking of meals: my digestive system will thank me for getting back into a routine of eating less meat and more plants after a week of chowing down on the kind of stuff people like to make for the bereaved. And when we weren't eating fried chicken, meatloaf and potatoes, we were eating out. Insanity. I was going out of my way just to get some fiber into my diet.

And while I'm on a tangent, and in the interest of transitioning the tone of this blog back to where it belongs, does anyone else wish the NFL would quit using those self-important roman numerals for the Super Bowl? I know I'm over a week late on this, and I had planned on writing and ranting about it back before the event took place, but it's still pissing me off as I catch up on my sports reading, as it does every year. I know I can't be alone when, coming across the symbols XLIII, I read it in my head as "Exity-flibbity-flabbity," or whatever other gibberish my mind interprets it to be. Yes, I can figure out what those numerals translate to, but, much like reading the hands on a clock, I can't do it at a glance. Nor should I have to. That's why we have Arabic numerals, the standard in the western world. Give me a simple 4 and 3, because I'm watching and reading about football precisely as a diversion from the things in life that require focus. And doesn't Wrestlemania also use roman numerals? Enough said.


Courtney said...

You make a good point: I am quite a gal.

I kid, of course, but everything was really very nice this week. I'm glad your grandfather has so many people around to keep him company.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Wrestlemania uses roman numerals? Is Wrestlemania still on?

I'm glad you're back!

surviving myself said...

I am 100% behind the NFL rant. I never know which one it is because of those damn numerals.

Julie said...

A supportive community can make all the difference and it's comforting (as much as it can be) to the bereaved because it also helps to remind you that your loved one made a real difference in the lives of others. No one else will ever miss your grandmother in quite the same way you do, but it's nice to know there are others out there who will remember her fondly and help your grandfather carry on.

Tangential comment: Overly self-important events use Roman numerals. It's completely useless. It's not like people would suddenly realize they had better things to do that Sunday if they saw Arabic numbers. Pompous jerks.

A Free Man said...

Whether Wrestlemania used Roman or Arabic numerals their fans still wouldn't know what the hell was going on.

Glad your life and intestinal track are getting back to normal.

DailyNewsie said...

During one of their constant "100 Most Awesomey Awesome Songs With Words" countdowns, VH-1 poked a little fun at themselves with a "Most Numbery Numbers" skit. One guy, I can't remember his name, said, "My favorite number? Muhcumlevi. It's a Roman numeral."

I don't even know if MCMLVI works out to be a real Roman numeral, but I laughed. Hard. Even now when I thought of it again, I giggled.

Anyway, glad you're back safe and I'm glad everything turned out as well as it could have. Now go eat some fiber!

Stefanie said...

I was struck by the same thing at my grandma's funeral last year. I couldn't believe how many people from my parents' hometown, who had never even met my grandma, came to the funeral just to support my mom. It almost made me want to live in a small town. (OK, not quite.) Still, good people.

And I'm with you on the Roman numerals. My bigger complaint is when they show up in movie credits, though. But then, I rarely watch the Super Bowl.

Allie said...

It's wonderful that so many people came out to support your family. I think it's also amazing that your mother delivered such a wonderful speech about her mother-in-law. That's just beautiful.

Also, your lady friend is awesome.

The Modern Gal said...

I don't know about you, but experiencing all that goes along with a funeral of a loved one always makes me feel a bit better about the death thing.

Yes, your gal is quite a gal.

And on the Roman numerals: They're annoying, but it was kind of cool when it was XXX. But yeah, when you start introducing all the Is and Vs, it's just lame.

Jacob said...

I thought Super Bowl XL was appropriate given football's bigger than life existence both in the size of players and it's inflated importance in our culture, but they didn't really play up the Extra Large angle as much as I had expected. XXX was cool too, although I don't really remember it given that I think I was a freshman in high school that year and not really interested.

And MCMLVI works out to be 1956 if I did my math right. 1000+(1000-100)+50+5+1. And no, I didn't figure that out on my own. I had to look up C and L.

Personally, people who write the year in Roman numerals bug me much more than the Super Bowl. A lot of book publishers do this, but MCMXCVIIII is no way to write 1999.

Traveling Em said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'm glad you got to see her in a good moment before she passed.

Small town culture and support is amazing. I wonder if it's something you have to grow up with though. Is it too late to move into a small town??