Tuesday, October 02, 2007
This morning I got e-mail from one of our priests (who also sent it to another of our priests) saying that a former parishioner had died in the ER; his ex-wife and kids were still at the hospital. Could either of us make it down there?
Both of us hurried down to the ER, only to discover that our information was out of date and that the family had left hours before. We wound up going to the ex-wife's house and sitting for a little while with her, the two teenagers, and the current girlfriend of the deceased. (Also present were two large dogs and a houseguest with a young infant: animals and babies are a big comfort at a time like this.)
He was sixty and had always been in good health. He spent a lot of time on airplanes and died of a pulmonary embolism: there's nothing anybody could have done. His son kept saying, "It doesn't seem real. I had lunch with him yesterday!"
Gary's making dinner for the family now. It was the only concrete thing I could think to offer.
Meanwhile, we're getting a new roof, and today workmen came to tear the old one off, so there was lots of tromping overhead. The noise will be worse tomorrow, when the workmen start nailing on the new shingles. The cats have been pretty freaked out today. They'll be more freaked out tomorrow.
We went to Trader Joe's to shop for the dinner items, and on the way we stopped at an upscale yarn store (someplace I won't be going often, since the yarn's expensive!) where I got some real needles -- bamboo -- and a ball of practice yarn. When we got home, I started obsessing about knitting. Yesterday, I got the purl stitch down, and today, I figured out how to combine it with the knit stitch in the same row. So I'm definitely making progress: I've figured out how to do the K3 P3 pattern for the prayer shawl, which means I can start one as soon as I get the supplies, which I hope will be tomorrow. And I have to say that bamboo knitting needles are much easier to use than chopsticks!
But I didn't get to the gym today, and I haven't done any grading. I suspect I would have wound up obsessing about knitting anyway, since new hobbies are addictive, but the way the day started contributed to that focus. In the face of completely unexpected catastrophe, a project that was creative, constructive and relatively mindless was just what I needed.
In other news, this week's Grand Rounds is up, with a sprightly Charlie Brown theme. Thanks for including me, Rob!