Trip to Amarillo

Yesterday, I returned to Raleigh from Amarillo…I flew there on Wednesday night to attend my grandfather’s funeral. He passed away November 27 in an Alzheimer’s care center in Wellington, TX. The service was held on Thursday in my birth town of Pampa, TX. The service was excellent (given the circumstances); since he was a World War II veteran, they did the military thing, with the flag folding, taps, etc.

The truth is, for the last few years, he was miserable and uncomfortable. He was sleeping 23+ hours per day. Because of the Alzheimer’s, he had no idea who we were when we would go visit. That is truly a sad disease. I believe memories and people are the most important thing in this world, and without that, I see no reason to live. And, as a result, I feel I truly “lost” my grandfather years ago. I do miss him, but I do know that he is in a better place now…

EDIT: On a positive note, I got to see my dad, mom, brother, aunt, two uncles, and a cousin I haven’t seen in years. My brother was released from jail on bond (another story, probation violation) just in time to attend the event. I also got to visit my other grandparents, one of which was in the hospital in Amarillo…it was good to be there for her too.

James Burke
Frisco, TX