I think old age tends to reveal a person's character. True, geriatric problems, including hormonal and other changes, can produce emotional conditions that a person hasn't suffered before, including unreasonable fear, but as a general rule as one's physical strengths are reduced, and physical weaknesses become more pronounced (if not the major factor in day to day existence), one's true being is revealed, whether good or ill. If you are combative, bitter, selfish, that comes to the forefront. If you have a deep, sweet core, that leaches out as you lose the anchors that connected you to contemporary life. For instance, as both my grandfather's sister, and then my grandfather, were suffering from Alzheimer's, they lost the ability to recognize those they'd known, but they were delighted in little things, pleased at smiles and kindnesses, whereas I have visited other people in retirement homes who were downright nasty once the pleasant veneer of health was stripped way. To a limited extent, this may be true of what happens when someone ingests alcohol. Barring my friend the NPV, who would die (he can't process alcohol; it immediately poisons his system and he'd be in the emergency room if someone spiked his punch, if not laid out on a slab in a morgue), for most of us the usual barriers drop when we've had a little much to drink--it lowers the social inhibitions and one's true character is revealed.
I had a large frozen margarita at lunch (the local blue laws only are in effect until noon on Sunday, then one is permitted the regular weekday debauchery) with John and my mother after church. I've already cleaned up the kitchen and here I am blogging--two fundamental characteristics of mine thus revealed: OCD and literary loquaciousness. The visitation and rosary for his mother are this evening in Macon, the funeral tomorrow. He and Mums understand why I am foregoing both--it triggers too many profoundly sad memories for me to handle it. My grandfather's 96th birthday would have been on the 19th, and his death and that of Daddy are inextricably linked in my mind. I know it sounds weird, and odd moreover considering that I am delighted John is my stepdad, but I really missed Daddy being there at the wedding yesterday! I know it wouldn't have taken place without his death, but he would have enjoyed it so much! We all gathered at noon, moseyed to the pews within pulpit spitting range, and Mums told me (as I was walking down to the front of the sanctuary with the other attendees carrying the camera she gave me) that I was going to be "best woman" and stand at the front with her during the ceremony. I was motioned into the correct position by the pastor, in a sunbeam (which meant that I couldn't see the congregation of 30 or so because of the sun in my right eye--OK as I was able to concentrate on his words and the bridal couple with my left) and stood up front (hopefully not looking squinty) while my dear friend Susanna took over photography duties.
I was so glad that Susanna was able to attend! Not only did she end up driving me, my sister in law, and the bride herself to the church, she took pictures when I was otherwise engaged, and she helped out with the organization and cleanup from the reception, which was a catered lunch, with a proper, and tasty, wedding cake, at my mom's house. Given that both of my brothers, nor my sister (who was unable to attend, given her work schedule and finances) listen to me in any meaningful way (though they love me, and would go to the ends of the earth for me if I were ever in dire straits), it was nice to have someone around who was kindred spirit, who could take the place of Daddy for a while in terms of personal expression of joy.
It may be strange to feel so alone at such a unifying occasion as a wedding, or equal parts sad and happy on such a thoroughly good day, but I was thus affected. Other than Susanna's much-appreciated company, I missed having someone with whom I could genuinely share the emotional profundity of the event, to whom I could pour out the simultaneous joy and misery that I was feeling, enhanced by the death of John's mom--I HATE DEATH! Anyone who treats it as "normal" ought to be briskly kicked--missing Daddy, and Granddaddy, and yet happy that John is "officially" my stepdad. Well, as my father would say, "there it is". Mums and John are on their way to Macon, and I'm going down for an afternoon nap.