It has been a year since Fabgrandpa passed away. It still feels so surreal. It still hurts just as much as it did on the day he died. Becky and Becca came and stayed with me, helping me make sure that he had the pain medication that he needed, helping me hold his hand, helping me love him as much as we could love on him in the short time that was left. He started going downhill in the first week of February. One short month was all we had left. One night Seth was there, and he off handedly asked if Fabgrandpa had any of his music on his computer. The hospice company had brought out a hospital bed and put it in the living room. His computer was right next to the bed. Seth took a look, and found several songs that Fabgrandpa had downloaded. Frank Zappa. His favorite musician. When Seth started the first song, Fabgrandpa got the biggest smile on his face, he was conducting the band with his hand in the air like he always did, and tapping his foot. The man had not spoken to us or opened his eyes for a couple of days, but when he heard that music, he was the happiest man alive. Because of that, I KNEW that Fabgrandpa could hear all the things we said to him. It was a gift to us all.
He wanted to be cremated, and did not want a service of any kind. The funeral home came and picked up his body in the night after he died. It only took a couple if days before they called me and said I could come pick up his remains, except that the phone call went like this:
“Mrs. Eidson, this is the funeral home in Buchanan. You can come pick up Mr. Eidson at any time.”
I was eating breakfast with Becca at the Waffle House at the time. When I told her about that conversation, we both laughed until we cried. And in a couple days after that, Becky and Emily went with me to pick up his ashes. We put the package on the back seat of the car, next to Emily. On the way home, Emily included Fabgrandpa in the conversation, just as if he really was sitting beside her. That also made us laugh. I still have his ashes in a box in a bag in my closet. Sometimes it feels kind of creepy to have them there, so close, in the bedroom. I try not to think about it.
So, since March 2, 2020, here are all the things I have done that have changed my life:
I said goodbye to my husband.
I worked every day until from March 3 until mid June, getting the house ready to sell and packing up and sorting out stuff in the house. I made stacks for trash, for thrift store, for moving sale, and for keeping. I kept way too much. I have things in a storage unit that I need to get rid of.
I had to file to probate Fabgrandpa’s estate because he died without a will. Take a lesson from this: If you do not have a will, even if you think you don’t have anything, get one made. All it needs to say is that you leave everything to your spouse. If your spouse is already gone, or you don’t have one, it needs to say who you want to leave your estate to. Example: I want my estate to go equally to all of my children, and if one of your children is a stepchild, then include them by name. It will make it so much easier for whoever is left behind to take care of business. Because the Probate Judge’s office was closed due to Covid-19 for almost two months, I had to wait to file. It takes 30 days to probate, so I was not able to list the house to sell it until the end of June.
I had a moving sale. It was a huge success. We put signs out in four places, giving mileage from those points, and making arrows pointing in the direction. We had so many people come to the sale my niece and I were not able to eat lunch. We made over $2200 in one day. People bought old magazines, books, over the counter medications, food out of the cabinets, dishes, pots and pans, knick knacks, old sheets, old blankets, my old clothing, just everything. What was left over, Timothy, the kid next door, loaded in my car, and we took it to the thrift store in Tallapoosa that takes things on consignment. We took about 5 carloads of stuff there. I’m still getting payouts from that.
My son, Seth; my grandson, Michael; and Timothy came on June 27th with a moving truck and a car trailer. They loaded up the things I was keeping in the truck, and put my car on the trailer hooked to the back of the truck. Michael and Timothy followed Seth and I in Seth’s car, and we set off on our adventure of moving me to Colorado. I called around to get quotes for renting a truck. The prices were very different from company to company. I decided to use Penske, because 1. they were having a sale, which saved me about $300, 2. they offered a military discount on top of the sale, which saved me another $150, and 3. they did not charge extra for mileage. That was a HUGE saving over U-Haul, because mileage really adds up, especially if you are moving halfway across the country.
We arrived at my daughter, Becca’s house on July 1. They unloaded my things, some of them at Becca’s house, and some at the storage unit. Seth and the boys were able to stay about 5 days before they had to go home. We went to Rocky Mountain National Park, to Estes Park, to Georgetown, and other places. Both of the boys were in awe of the mountains.
Becky listed the house for sale on July 1. We had a cash offer for the full asking price within three days. It took about three weeks to close the deal. I didn’t have to be there for the closing. The closing attorney send me a package of paperwork for me to sign. Then I had to take them to get them notorized, then drop them off at FedEx to send back to Georgia. It was so easy it was ridiculous. It was the easiest thing that I have done in the last year. The money appeared in my bank account like magic a couple of days later. The sale of that house was very different from when we bought it.
After the boys left to go home, I had a doctor appointment to get established as a new patient with a primary care doctor. She referred me to an endocrinologist; a pain management group; a grief counselor; and also made an appointment for me to have a mammogram. The mammogram turned out abnormal, so I was scheduled for an ultrasound and biopsy. The biopsy was malignant, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I had to also have an MRI of my breasts. There were three tumors in total, all in my left breast. When I met with the surgeon, she said I had two choices. The first choice was to have a lumpectomy, which would be followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The second option was to have a mastectomy, and then take an estrogen blocker for five years. I decided to have the mastectomy, because I did NOT want to have chemo or radiation, and all three tumors were in one breast. If there had only been one lump, I might have decided on a lumpectomy. But not with three. Surgery was on September 10, 2020.
If this all sounds like a lot of changes to you, you are correct. It feels like I have lived ten years in the one year since Fabgrandpa has been gone. It has been a very hard year for me. I have cried a lot, been lonely a lot, been through a lot. I miss Fabrandpa so very much. He was my sweetheart for more than 28 years. I’m still seeing the grief counselor. I’m hoping that it will begin to get easier to live without him. If Covid-19 would go away, I might be able to get out and make some new friends. I think that would help a lot. I miss my friends back in Georgia, more than I thought I would. I’m going to make it through this. Y’all know I will.