Up and Down Day

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Today was one of those up and down days.  Some of it was good and some of it thoroughly sucked.

The kids were in really good moods and Tucker was home since the semester has officially ended.  Tucker cleaned up [cause he’s good at that] and I worked.  Around 2pm or so, Tucker took Cara to his sister’s house so that his family could watch Cara while we went to my cousin’s visitation/wake/viewing.

It was really weird not having Cara running around and deconstructing things but also nice in an odd sort of way.

We got ready and made our way over to my grandpa’s house.  I was feeling fine; I wasn’t especially sad.

When we got to the funeral home, my grandpa lost it and then I almost did since I don’t do well with seeing him upset.  My cousin’s sister was beside herself upset and it killed me seeing her that way.

I was wearing Oliver and I have to say that having him that close provided me with a lot of comfort.  I refused to look at my cousin’s body since the last memory that I have of him is from Thanksgiving when he was playing with Oliver and they were having a great time of it.  Why fuck up such a great memory?

Even though the first hour was supposed to be for just family, people were already starting to stream in – a lot of people.  My cousin was a cherished person and had such a HUGE heart.

I thought that I would be able to sit down next to Mom and stay for the full hour but then James Taylor’s Fire and Rain started playing over the speakers and I had to get out of there.  Who the hell picks that for a viewing?!  It’s like they want to illicit as much grief as they possibly can!

Anyway, we went over to my sister-in-laws to pick up Cara and the little shit wouldn’t have a thing to do with me.  I pried her off of Tucker’s dad to give her a hug and she went stiff as a board.  She kept repeating “paw paw’s house” and Tucker and I decided to just let them take her.

Up to this point, I had only spent two nights away from her and that was when I had to be in the hospital when Oliver was born.  I had always said that when she was old enough and “with it” enough to actually say that she wanted to spend the night somewhere THEN she could.  I wanted to be sure that she knew what she was getting into and also I didn’t want to feel like I was forcing anything on her.

Tonight she made her wishes LOUDLY known.

On a very positive note, my cousin was an organ donor.  He wanted everything that they could take to be taken and they did.  Because of my cousin taking his life, seven people are alive right now.  SEVEN!  Not to mention all of the people who will benefit from the tissues that they took.

So, I guess the point to take away tonight is that if you haven’t signed up to be an organ donor DO IT NOW.  Don’t just put it on your driver’s license.  Make sure that your family knows.  Make sure that you’re explicit in your wishes.  When you’re dead, that’s it for you.  You can’t use your organs.  You have no use for your eyes.  But, there is someone out there RIGHT NOW who is on dialysis or has congestive heart failure and they could have an almost normal life if they got a transplant.  My cousin’s pancreas cured a man of diabetes.  His liver saved a little girl’s life.

And as stupid as this may sound, my cousin may be gone but seven people are alive and that is an amazing gift.