good timing.

I was having trouble getting out of bed. I had plans, and I needed to get going, but still I stayed in the warm. It was a beautiful Saturday, but too cold for yard sales. Josh had a show in Boone that night. My hometown was right on the way, and I was planning on dropping in on my brother's family. My niece was turning eight, and I figured I could just swoop in for the birthday party on my way to Josh's show. Everyone loves a swooping aunt. I hadn't mentioned anything about visiting to anyone. I was going to buy a bottle of chocolate wine, which my mom and I had agreed was probably gross, but that we'd secretly like to try. I had lots of things to get together before I left, and it was a long drive, yet I was having trouble ordering my body to throw off the covers.

The phone rang. My mom. She asked if I was at a yard sale. We talked.

I lay back down again. So instead of driving to their house, I'd drive to the hospital. My dad had had a stroke early that morning, and he was in intensive care. Now, more than ever, I really needed to get my stuff together and drive. Still I stayed put. The news should have dispelled my inertia, but somehow I felt even more glued down than before.

Before Josh's grandfather had died, he'd been sick for several months. He would fall and they'd take him to the hospital. He had a couple of surgeries. Every time we talked to Josh's mom, the situation sounded grim, but we suspected that was partly because of the state of mind of the news-bearer. We made it out to see them one weekend. We sat with his grandparents in the living room and chatted. His grandfather drifted in and out of sleep in his chair, answering questions when we asked, but mostly just listening or dozing. He was wearing a chest brace of some sort that kept him up sitting up, even as he seemed to sink into it. When we started getting ready to leave, he pulled Josh aside to have a good talk about the future.

While he was by no means a spring chicken, he seemed stable. We left feeling better about him being with us a little longer. A few days later, he died. Grandmother told us that he mentioned our visit several times. It was just good timing. There had been weekends when we could have gone to visit, but we didn't. Had he died after one of those weekends, we would have forgotten what we had done, only remembered what we hadn't done. Either way, we got a life lesson in seizing the day.

I thought about our good timing while I continued to lie in my bed in Raleigh. Somewhere in Morganton, my dad was lying in a hospital bed. I had already been planning to stop by, whether they knew it or not. Good timing.

I got up. Time to go.

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