By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to Chicago. Sadly, my trip to one of my favorite places and hometown isn’t under the best circumstances. On July 12, my beloved grandfather passed away. We were prepared, but can one ever be prepared for such events?

I was (and still am) devastated. My mom called me and told me a little after my dad left for work, and my morning spiraled downward from there. I was up early as usual and planning to go on a run. Of course, I wasn’t really in the mood to run. Instead, I immediately opened up our basement cabinets and went through old photo albums, determined to find my favorite pictures with my grandpa.

My cousin, Andrew and I

Aren’t pictures great? I hope photo albums don’t go completely obsolete.

As you may know, I recently spent about a week with my grandfather, taking care of him while my grandmother was in a rehabilitation facility following hip replacement surgery. Looking back, I now cherish each and every moment I had with him. I knew things were in decline, but that can be expected with old age. I never wanted this to happen so soon.

Death has a funny way of reminding us how quickly lives can be taken away. Just the other day, I was watching the Today show and they were reporting on a yacht that sank on the Fourth of July. The victims were three young children, all under 8. No one is ever prepared for something like that and, frankly, those lives were taken way too early.

If anything, these kinds of occurrences remind us how important family and friends are. Within an instant, families are re-connected and bonded in ways they may have forgotten they could (and should) be. I really like that aspect of widespread support.

That all being said, it’s been a difficult couple of days around here. Our lives have been thrown for a loop, and we are reminded that nothing is ever perfect and sometimes, things just happen. For me, it’s important to recognize and understand the different ways people deal with these  kinds of events. I’m a crier, others may not be.

Although I’m looking forward to seeing my family and being with them at such a difficult time, I know it’s going to be an emotionally-draining couple of days, so I’m mentally and physically preparing myself for that.

I’m not taking my laptop, airline travel with a laptop is a pain in the butt. I only brought it last time because I had school stuff to do. Instead, I’ve brought ample reading material. If I REALLY need to use a computer, I’m sure someone is my family has one to share.


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