December 8, 2005

The Gay Haters Make Good Chicken Salad

I was laying in bed Monday morning, not quite half awake, when our phone rang. Wendy glanced at the caller ID and said "Suzanne, it's your mom's cell phone. Want me to get it?" My sleep-fuzzled brain briefly wondered why the hell she was calling so early and I said, "No. She'll leave a message." I snuggled deeper into the covers.

Somewhere else in the house my cell phone started ringing. I pretended I didn't hear it. Then Wendy's cell started ringing. Guess who? That's right! My mom. Wendy answered.

My stepfather, Hal, had had a heart attack while sleeping. She didn't know if he was going to survive.

This is, of course, a lesson to unplug and turn off all phones before going to bed. Kidding of course. Sort of. It's not been a week for many jokes. Hal was probably dead before my mother began CPR. Definitely by the time EMS transported him to the hospital.

So began a most bizarre week for my family. Well. It's going to be more than one bizarre week, I guess.

Wendy and I drove the few hours to where they live and found my mother ensconced in a living room full of caring neighbors. It is a tight knit community in a small town. (Well. Small is relative. I know someone who calls the town in which my parents live the New York City of Virginia's Northern Neck. I call it a quaint village.)

My mother introduced Wendy as her "bonus daughter," which always warms my heart more than words can say. She's a peach, my mom.

So was he.

It's been a long week. Eating was the only normalcy so we did a lot of that. I've gained weight grazing on the plentiful bounty the villagers are showering upon the grieving household. That bounty is the source of the title of this post. I may explain it later. Or not. It's a bit of levity we've leaned on often this week. No disrespect intended. Really.

We had just celebrated his 70th birthday: the day after we ate Thanksgiving dinner together, the same day we all spent raking leaves, and the day before I hugged him goodbye for what was to be the last time.

Argh. Just argh.



whispers said...

May the spirit of the love you showed him lift him gently to the breast of the great Mother.

Eyes for Lies said...

Oh Suzanne. I am so sorry for your loss. Saying a final good-bye is never easy.

You seem to be in good spirits, considering.

Hugs to you, Wendy and your mom (and the doggies too).

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. While I am not known for biblical quotes, the one phrase that always comes to my mind is from Ecclesiastes.
"To everything there is a season." I will be thinking of you and your family in this season of loss.

SassyFemme said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Wishing you all a sense of peace as you try to come to terms w/this.

Asher Abrams said...

I am very sorry for your loss. May you be comforted. Thanks for sharing with us. We care.

krazyrabbit said...

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

~From a headstone in Ireland

So sorry for your loss.

Melodee said...

Oh, I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I understand what you're going through - my Dad picked the same way to depart this life, and it was a shocker. One does, in time, recover from the shock, but never does one come all the way back from missing them.
All the best to you and yours as you make your way through difficult itmes to brighter days ahead.

chapin said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. I shall keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Sam said...

Suzanne - I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Know that things will get better, and as they do, your memories of him will grow stronger and stronger.

Northern_Girl said...

How sad - nothing I write here will help. Just take some comfort in the knowledge that a bunch of us out here are not gay haters, and if we could, we'd give you more than some chicken salad.

You are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute.
Tracy (

Katie said...

Oh God, Suzanne. What news. Your mom sounds like a super woman, and I am thinking of her with this too-fast loss. And I am thinking of you and Wendy too. All my love

Pisces75 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It is strange how your week, this week, followed by my week, last week. Seems death is lurking around every corner. Not that he/she isn't normally lurking. But seems to be more aparent this month.
May you find peace in the happy memories you have of him.

The Scarlet Pervygirl said...

I'm sorry, too.

weese said...

peace be with you and your family. especially your mom.

Steph Youstra said...

peace and big hugs to all of you.

straighttalker05 said...

Feel really sorry for you. Deaths are never easy.

My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of you, Suzanne. Hang in there and find laughter where ever you can-- even in gay hating, chicken salad makers.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, too, baby.

And the gay haters may be able to cook, but they really just suck at the whole "life" thing.


Dora said...

Letting go stinks, doesn't it?

Thinking of you, Wendy and your family.

I had to smile when I saw my word verification.....sewer. Talk about stink.

elswhere said...

Oh, Suzanne. I am so sorry. Thinking of you and Wendy and your peachy mom. Though I imagine she is not feeling so peachy, just now.

Bev Sykes said...

Along with the others, I offer sympathies to your family on your loss. It's nice to see that you have a sense of humor...I keep saying that periods of grief are the saddest--and often funniest--times. People who have not suffered loss don't understand that. It helps to laugh.