joy and tragedy

We picked up Anna last evening just in time to go to a diner in Alton, NY. By that time I wasn't feeling very well; I attributed it to the hot sun (the temperature was about 90 degrees).

It probably wasn't the sun. It may have been stress. I was terribly excited over the idea of seeing my daughter. My brother and his wife Shannon had just arrived and I was meeting her for the first time.

We got to the diner and I went to the restroom to splash cool water on my face. That helped a bit, but then everybody ordered the fish fry (it was Friday, you know) and I don't like the smell of fish anyway. I ordered a simple BLT, not wanting to overstuff myself on a sour stomach; I was only able to eat half of it and didn't touch the potato chips.

We returned to Dad's house and I began to feel somewhat better. Karl and Shannon headed back to their room at a bed & breakfast. Velma dished up a little bit of ice cream for the rest of us and I had a little bit.

About 11 PM Dad got a phone call. There was an emergency with Shannon's father. Dad tracked them down using the Yellow Pages; none of us knew which B & B they were staying at, just that it was at Sodus Point. There are three of them there. Fortunately the first one my dad called was the correct one.

Shannon made the call to learn what the problem was. Very sad news: her father had passed away. He was only 63.

This morning Karl took her to the airport so she could fly home. He is staying for Mom's service.


  1. The background sound is certainly ominous and unsettling, like a heartbeat or approaching gunfire. When I read this, it was like the uneasy experience of a noir tragedy, with the dead person as the narrator. I kept praying, he can't be dead, he typed the blog entry! I'm so sorry for Shannon and her family. Why are parents dying so young? I mourn for the loss of your mother and her father and share your grief. The memorial sounds wonderful. Now you can accept what happened and celebrate her life and love.
    Jay, it was a relief it was to me that you didn't suffer food poisoning or a debilitating stress/anxiety attack.
    It seems to me that Tallahassee holds no joy for you. Wouldn't you be better off in the place you love?

  2. Ah, I'm glad you celebrated your mother in lights! And now I understand the background noise -- joyful fireworks! (I'm embarrassed that I thought they were meant to be unsettling.)