Anders said that the thing that made him the most sad about it was the fact that my dad never got to meet our kids. He would have been so thrilled by the kids.
I was sad about other things, too, but it seemed easiest to let them dissolve into the night and let my sadness about my dad bubble over them.
When my mom called the office in Chicago that day, she was concerned that I would fall apart at the news. It was my last day of work at a job I had loved, my last day of living in a city I loved, the last day of my old life, as we were about to spend 3 weeks in Michigan with my parents for Christmas before moving to Sweden. I was training my replacement, Mark, and when the call came through the secretary, before I even heard it, I just KNEW. I knew it. I wasn't even surprised. He'd been so close so many times before and so, it seemed sometimes, determined...or helpless...to do nothing to help himself.
I didn't cry. I think now that I was in some sort of shock, but at the time everything just seemed very clear. I had to train my replacement, since I had only the rest of that day to do it, and by god, train him I would. Mark seemed to think that I would want to cancel the training and leave or something, but I remember laughing that off and being very determined that no, no, we would do what needed to be done. I didn't cry all day. I don't think I even thought about it.
Later, sitting in the passenger seat of the rental car, as Anders manoeuvred the rush-hour traffic on 94 south out of the city, all I could think was that he was SO YOUNG. He was 56 years old. I cried in the car on the way to Michigan. I cried on Christmas, 5 days later, when the gifts to him, already wrapped days earlier, were the only ones left under the tree. I didn't cry last night, though; I was just sad.
This morning, the melancholy is still hanging in the air, although it's beginning to evaporate. Anders took the kids to school and let me sleep in, but I got up after they left, unable to get back to sleep. I started wrapping presents last night only to discover that the piles for the kids are uneven and I need to go get one more thing for Karin. And I was ALL DONE, darn it. I'm off in a moment to peruse cookie recipes and check ingredients and possibly run to the store for whatever's missing before I start the big cookie-baking extravaganza that I have planned for today. Cookies make everything better.