I'm sorry to hear the bad news Panda! Remember you have sympathetic eyes here.
I'm sorry to hear the bad news Panda! Remember you have sympathetic eyes here.
I am so sorry to hear that.
Sending you and your relative well wishes GP--that sounds like a tough situation. BTW---300 isn't an option if you want authentic--all those abs are photoshopped---not sure about Thor
Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear this sad news! We will miss you but we'll be here when you get back. Take care of yourself.
Or non-hugs if hugs have too many germs. I don't know what is the best way to say "I wish I could make you feel better." :(
Take care, best wishes.
The others are much more eloquent than I in these situations.
so sorry to hear about your relative. It is things like this that make me realize how minor my problems are in comparision. Cancer is cruel! I hope she is as comfortable as is possible. Take care!
PART ONE: Once upon a time, when Gay Panda was a pimply twelve-year-old cub, the Perpetually Arguing Panda Parents drove our family car across the country so that the Perpetually Sticky Panda Siblings and I could meet our paternal grandparents for the first time.
They had never visited. Nor did they call, or send birthday cards or holiday greetings, I did not have pictures of them nor did they have pictures of me. All I knew of my grandfather was that he threw hammers at people; all I knew of my grandmother was that she stubbed out her cigarettes in other people’s soda cans. Armed with this information, I squirmed in the backseat for three thousand miles trying not to let the sticky Panda Siblings touch me because it triggered my OCD.
When we arrived, I was told to go to the living room and introduce myself. So I went hesitantly to a bent old woman on a sofa and stood by the armrest. The television roared with a ball game and there was a can of beer in her hand. Cans of soda were lined on top of the television, cigarette butts ground out on the open lids, the room was a disarray of magazine stacks, and a cigarette smoked in the ashtray. When the game went to commercial, she looked at me and grunted, “Who are you?”
“I’m Young Panda,” I said. Hadn’t she known I was coming?
No response. Maybe she didn’t.
“I’m your grandcub,” I tried again.
“Oh,” she said, and returned to the television. Realizing that I had been bettered by a commercial for laundry detergent, I stood there uncomfortably. Then she stood with her beer and cigarette and dragged out to the hall pulling her oxygen tank behind her.
We stayed for days, but that was our only interaction. I ate one breakfast with Grandfather Panda as he looked over his newspaper, but he only spoke about the articles as the kitchen light reflected on his hot pink bald head. Flustered by these strange people, I poured orange juice into my cereal instead of milk. Then I ate it* so I wouldn’t get in trouble and have a hammer thrown at me.
The year after that, they sent Christmas stockings with dollar store toys, but I was now thirteen years old and didn’t know what to do with them. Then it returned to no contact. They died when I was in college, having never exchanged another word with us. She drank and smoked herself into Valhalla; he got dementia and greeted people with cheery hellos before punching them in the face. I don’t know if there was a funeral, as Father Panda never mentioned one. I’ve known my coworkers better than those two.
On the maternal side was a grandmother. Her grandcubs disinterested her. Polite yet reserved on her rare visits, she was simply unable to connect. At Christmas or Easter, the Perpetually Arguing Panda Parents would bring her over to sit in our backyard and smoke. The only time I ever saw passion was on the topic of homosexuals. “Homosexuals,” she spat when I was in high school, “are going to burn in HELL! Disgusting!”
So I entered adult life having had no experience of grandparents other than this odd, somewhat hostile threesome. My family is very troubled, as readers of Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS can testify, so I try to avoid them. But certain branches of Lady Friend’s family have always been willing to include me, and so I hijack their Jewish holidays with my presence and learn Yiddish words that one should not say in polite company. And that was how in my twenties I met an older couple related to Lady Friend through marriage, and they decided to be my grandparents.
UPDATE: (in explanation of *)
* Sweet Valhalla, that was [I]disgusting.[/I] I still remember the taste decades later.
Part Two Tomorrow.
PART TWO: “You should cut your hair. It looks immature!” Grandmother Friend scolded. Mild-mannered Grandfather Friend closed his eyes in pain at her outspokenness. They sent me birthday cards and always wanted to visit at family gatherings, and once Grandmother Friend mailed me a bag of socks. She had seen them in a catalog and thought I needed socks, so there they were on my porch. I did not know what to do with this, other than be amazed that she had thought of me. I still have them Valhalla knows how many years later.
They took cruises around the world and Grandmother Friend said loudly at a restaurant, “You should have seen it in China! They stop the subway and people come boiling out like ANTS!” They bitched about their synagogue and trundled up and down the freeway miles under the speed limit doing errands, and when Grandmother Friend had knee surgery, we went to the hospital and Grandfather Friend stuffed twenty dollars in Lady Friend’s hand and told us to go out for dinner. Then Lady Friend smashed her knee to tiny bits and they trundled down the freeway miles under the speed limit to visit while I took care of her since she was bedridden.
They pressed me about careers and told us to lose weight; they called to check up and applauded my challah; they bought me shoes at the Shakespeare Festival to continue the Random Acts of Footwear theme* they associated with me. Grandmother Friend told stories that changed every time while others shook their heads behind her to indicate that was NOT how it happened; Grandfather Friend pulled Lady Friend into his backyard to figure out what new illness was blighting his lemon tree. I liked having grandparents, even if it came so late to me, and we weren’t even related.
And then in March, Grandfather Friend died.
The story to how I ended up on MDA starts there. In Jewish tradition, one is buried quickly. So as we drove home from the hospital having just seen him slip away, I realized that the funeral was going to be the day after next, and I was too fat for my nice black trousers. I was going to have to go shopping or wear my tight old pair of black athletic pants in hopes that other mourners would not notice the leg zippers, reflective silver stripes, or the mesh waist and crotch for comfy airflow.
I did not want to shop so I unloaded every pair of nice pants in my closet and drawers and tried them on: too fat for these ones; too fat for those ones; too fat for the ones a size bigger than that. I weighed myself in the morning and was 217 pounds. Why the hell did this keep [I]happening?[/I] Why couldn’t I keep the weight off? I didn’t stuff my face at the table; I didn’t rove about the pantry at midnight, if anything I erred on the side of too little food, not too much. Yet there it was on my scale: 217 pounds of panda and too fat for all of my pants.
The day after Grandfather Friend died, a day in which I really just wanted to turn off my brain and watch something dully on television and circle every last sad face on every feelings chart, I drove to the store instead. It was bright and cheerful and loud with a sale, the man and the woman who worked the dressing room chirped about finding items in different sizes and did we know that it was Half-Off Day? Yes! Half-Off! The woman asked me excitedly if I were going to a party.
“No,” I said. “A funeral.”
“Oh,” she said solemnly. And then she chirped, “You’re my second one today!”
Gay Panda is not a violent panda, but Gay Panda admits to wanting to slap her. I bought a pair of gigantic black pants and fled the store with its happy shoppers and Half-Off sale.