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My grandfather died over the weekend. I'm sad, and I'm sure I will cry lots once I am hanging out with my family and reminiscing about him (we are pretty close) but mostly I feel fine; he was in his late 80s (his mother lived to over 100 and his sister is into her 90s now, so late 80s still seems a bit young) and he died at home (well, at my aunt's house) in his sleep, and he didn't have any long period of illness or anything, which seems like the sort of death most people would want.

It's hard to imagine that he won't be here anymore, but at the same time, he almost seemed to be getting crowded out as the family got bigger - with his grandkids grown up, and their spouses and children and what not, Grampie (who was a physically small man) just seemed to fade away. He'd had Parkinson's or Parkinsonian symptoms over the past few years (not sure if he was ever officially diagnosed), which sometimes made him shy and uncomfortable around people, and he just seemed less and less present. So his dying makes a lot of sense to me, even though it's not something I wanted to happen right now. He had been fading away for a long time.

First unrelated topic: I want to be a park ranger (the interpretation/informal education kind, not the law enforcement/zebra mussel checking kind). Is that crazy? The idea just popped into my head, fully formed, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. I love public speaking and informal education, I love American cultural and natural history, I like being outside even in bad weather... it seems like an oddly good match. I'm actually going to apply for some seasonal positions for this summer because why not? Sadly, this look is no longer an official NPS uniform, but still, you get to wear a great hat!

Of course part of the reason I'm daydreaming about running off to Yosemite (or something) is that regular work is pretty unpleasant lately. Just the same old things that you have heard me bitach about before, but some of the most unpleasant things are back at the surface again. I have no power to change any of the things that need to be changed, and I am not learning anything new or developing any new skills. So why not spend the summer in the woods instead of sitting in an office doing nothing all day?

And on a last unrelated note, tonight I am going to the Red Sox/Yankees game (assuming it does not rain, fingers crossed etc.) with my dad and my sister (I think). But I haven't heard from my dad about any details. So that will be fun if it happens!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry about your grandfather.

The ranger thing makes perfect sense, actually! You've written about explaining natural history stuff before and it sounds like you do it well and enjoy it. And hat! Maybe the kinky boots look will come back in.
Apr. 7th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
I definitely love talking about natural history and other stuff like that, to the point where I end up doing it even when it's not my job. I even like giving directions to tourists!

And I've been realizing recently that I really love public speaking/performing, which is an odd discovery for me because I'm very introverted in a lot of ways, and not-so-many years ago I would get panicky at the thought of talking in front of people. I guess it shouldn't be so very surprising that my character still has some forming to do even at the ripe old age of 31, but somehow it is.
Apr. 7th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry about your grandfather. It must have been hard to watch him over the past few years. My best wishes to you and your family.

Also, sitting in the woods sounds damned fine to me. I was thinking of trying to find a job as a camp counselor - playing near the ocean and teaching crafts sounds awfully good right now.
Apr. 7th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
Ooh, absolutely. Another one of my (more attainable, less financially responsible) plans involves quitting my job and moving in with my aunt and uncle and waitressing at the Maine island inn where my aunt works for the summer.
Apr. 7th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
I am very sorry about your grandfather.

Park ranger! (I'm sorry work continues to be sucky.)

Did you make it to the game?
Apr. 7th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yes! Made it to the game, which was fun although we lost. My favorite part was the guy behind us, in the second inning, saying "People've been going on and on about how great our starting pitching is this year but I'm not seeing it yet." We were 10 1/3 innings into the season! I suspect he may be right (Lester didn't exactly shine last night, and Beckett was not so hot on Sunday) but OMG! 10 innings out of, what, 1500 innings for the season? Only a Sox fan...
Apr. 7th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
We lost our first game of the season in the bottom of the ninth inning... I am not optimistic.
Apr. 7th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry about your grandfather.

Spending the summer outside, showing people around, does sound like fun. Long run...I have a friend who was a park range out in British Columbia, and he was eventually driven out by the politics (e.g., watching excellent reports on how to protect local wildlife being ignored and buried because there was no political will to act on them). Well, that and the fact that it was impossible to support on a family on a park ranger's salary without moving out of the woods and into the office, which meant more politics. But maybe U.S. park rangers are paid better? It sounds like you could really use some sort of job or career change.
Apr. 7th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sure park rangering would have its own issues. Park rangers in the US are not paid particularly well either, but I don't have anyone to support but myself and I'm not paid particularly well now :)

I am definitely feeling in need of some kind of change... I think at this point I would run away with the circus if they'd have me!
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Sorry about your grandfather. Thats really hard, but as you said, he went the way most folks would want to go and there must be some comfort in that.

I could totally see you as a park ranger. Of course this is just based on reading your lj for several years, but it does seem like something that fits! Good luck! I have often dreamt of doing something similar (only with a historical slant).
Apr. 13th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about why it's so hard, losing my grandfather. His death was just right - he had lived a full life, he had no long illness, he was surrounded by people he loved, doing work that had meaning for him just about right up to the end, and he was a devout Christian and I'm sure if he had known he was dying he would have thought of it as going home. But there's still that feeling of loss and just plain grief, and there's really nothing much you can do to logic or justify it away.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )