Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The funeral

My mother's sister, Hazel passed away in December. I am appalled at myself that I still have not sent their sister, my favorite Stark aunt a sympathy card. I was unsure about sending my mother one. She was big on sympathy cards. Gloria Vanderbilt etiquette. When I first got the expected news of Aunt Hazel's passing the first thing I wanted to do was call Aunt Evelyn.

I could not find her phone number listed online. No longer have the old address books with everyone's numbers listed. I am quite sure I had her number on a cell phone, before I landed myself on the streets of Long Beach. At that time I did keep a small, lightweight address book. I am sure her number was in there.

I sent an e-mail to younger brother asking for Aunt Evy's number. Maybe I remembered to also ask my middle daughter ~ she is the one who is quick to get and send info when I ask. Did I send e-mails to other family members? Do not remember. By the time Rocco sent me Aunt Evy's number, practicality won out. Too late east coast time, she is probably sleeping; will I wake her or is she still an early riser; will she be able to get to the telephone; does she have an answering machine so I can just leave a message; can not afford the cell phone call; will write a letter; want to get a nicer store bought sympathy card.

Sigh. Where was I? The funeral.

I did not go home for my older sister, Ruth Anne's funeral. Brother Rocco offered to pay for the plane ticket. I no longer feel physically able to fly. Think that heart attack he expected me to have before I turned 50 would happen once I got up in the air. I was concerned about that happening even when I still loved to fly. When I had life insurance so it did not matter if a blood clot traveled, aneurysm burst or whatever that pressure in my head is that makes me think the plane pressure would do me in.

I also still smoke. Gone are the days when I said that California wants to be the first non-smoking state in the nation; I want to stay in CA, so I had to force self to quit. And yes, I could afford a lot more cell phone minutes if I did quit now, but...

...the why not is another post.

Now that people are no longer allowed to smoke on LAX property there is no last cigarette before a flight. Used to be able to go outside while waiting for flight or after disembarking, on a patio for a quick smoke. I have long been a stress and boredom smoker. Even though I loved flying, it is stressful. Six hours on the plane, I would chain smoke right up until the minute I got on the plane. Well not the minute, of course, could not smoke en-route from patio to plane.

Now checking in takes longer than it used to due to security checks. Once inside the passenger loading area, there is to be no more cigarettes. Well, now, actually once arriving at airport, no more smoking. Even before, though, I resented the extra boarding time. Bored and nervous. Could no longer bring a drink on the plane. No more Arizona tea or coffee in my travel mug. No more hand cream in my purse. No bringing along cuticle scissors or hair pick. I am sure I used to also bring my own toothpaste when traveling.

Too expensive to buy snacks on the plane. Thus it is lack of freedom and fear of heart problem on plane that caused me to decide never to fly again, sad as that may be. I consider, a flight to San Francisco. Short.

I also am loathe to take a Greyhound. Trains no longer allow smoking. At least a Greyhound stops at Rest Areas, where I guess people are still allowed to smoke. Outside. Away from people. But it is my body that makes me leery of traveling that way. Likely would not be able to sleep. Arthritic fingers so not seem to be bothering me anymore.

Except the past few nights, woke to numbness. It is the legs, pain, inability to stand for very long, foot cramps, arthritic toes. I think my mental health has improved. That used to also be a concern for me. Flip out on a bus or train, oh my. So that is it. Will not be going home for my mother's funeral. Sad as that may be. Family will not understand and it will likely scandalize them. C'est la vie.

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