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Author Topic: Also Getting Married (and other news)
Orincoro
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Since I had lapsed in my personal postings on Hatrack for so long, I thought I might co-opt the other marriage thread, but alas, it seemed a dick move.

I am also getting married. We have our legal ceremony in a few weeks at the city offices just a few blocks from our flat, and then a summer ceremony and reception in a town outside of Prague, when our families will be able to attend. My Fiance is from Kiev, and we met last year in a University program for adults studying Czech, which I attended for a year. Thus our language of acquaintance and habit is still Czech. We started our relationship the week I started a new job, as a Marketing Manager for a small firm, and we've been doing well.

In other news, I felt I owed it to those who offered support when my father was diagnosed with vascular dementia to let you know that he passed away in June. A week before he died, a sudden loss of vision was revealed to be a large tumor in the amygdala, probably related to the dementia (caused by the diabetes). I was planning to fly back within a few weeks, but a call 4 days later put me on a plane the next day. My father had been readmitted to hospital when he had lost the ability to swallow and speak coherently. Still, he wanted to go home to hospice, and my mom asked me if that was okay with me. It was.

He died at home, and lived long enough to be present at an early wedding ceremony that my sister and her now husband staged in our living room. I was leaving my flat in the middle of the night to catch the plane home when he passed away. I was able to speak some words to him over speaker, and he may have heard them, although I don't think so.

His memorial was attended by some 400 people, and was accompanied by a flag sent from our representative in Washington that had flown over the capital that week. So a year of ends and new beginnings it has been for me, and despite this sad news, I can't help but feel optimistic for the future.

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The Rabbit
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Congratulations and condolences.
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advice for robots
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Congratulations on getting married, and my condolences as well on losing your father. That's great that he got such a nice memorial service.
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scifibum
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Thanks for sharing the news, Orincoro. You have my congratulations and condolences.
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BlackBlade
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Thanks for sharing that news Orincoro. I was so worried about you and your father. I'm very glad to hear that such a blessing is happening in your life.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Thanks for sharing that news Orincoro. I was so worried about you and your father. I'm very glad to hear that such a blessing is happening in your life.

Thank you for having reached out in the past, and I'm sorry not to have shared this sooner. I've been very happy, not only in terms of having some real professional traction (not just my job, but in other areas), but also having sorted out my priorities in life, and having made real steps toward them. It feels great.

My Dad was gone as the man he was long before he died this summer. Aside from the everyday issues of feeding himself and taking personal care of himself, he had lost most of what remained of his connection to the living world. In all of this, none of my sisters or relatives were as sad as they might have been. He could still remember things and see and talk to people, but we felt in those last years that the man he wanted to be had slipped away, and that we had made peace with the loss in stages. At some point you realize that somebody can still *be* and not be- that you're not dealing with the totality anymore, but a part of what's left.

People often feel guilty for their feelings when they lose a family member in this situation- you feel relief, you feel that you can move on, and that's not fair or the way you think you should feel. That is hardest for my mother of course. She wanted, and still wants, not to be happy that this last stage is behind her- but she suffered miserably through his decline, and when it was over, there was not much left for her to grieve. But the representation of all of that, the person she loved and the state that he had reached, left at the same time. Bittersweet isn't the right word: nothing sweet about it, but something definitely final- which up until that moment had not featured in the process.

Hardest for me was my Dad not getting to meet my fiance. She had a plane ticket to accompany me a few weeks later, but we opted for me to go alone when the call came, for a bunch of reasons- but anyway, he was gone already. They had spoken on skype a few times (in the sense that he listened and said hello to her, but he was not very verbal in the last year of his life) and he knew I was happy. I had hoped he would know I would be ok when he met her, because unlike anyone else in the world, I was the most like him, and he would have known what our connection meant to me more than anyone else. But we didn't get that chance.

For her part, she was very caring and understanding, even with my somewhat ambivalent feelings that I couldn't really express. When we went to California together a few weeks later, she helped me to pick out the shirts and ties that I wanted from his closet. All of us in the family, and his brother and sister took things, partly because his careful cultivation of things he owned had been a feature of his former life. He had never been consumeristic, but valued the things that he had as a kind of statement of who he was. He liked things with history and meaning, and so he would have wanted us to keep and use the things he had. And now at home she suggests things of his that she'd like me to wear by putting them out for me, and she notes the compliments a tie of his will receive, or his trenchcoat, or his cufflinks, and say that my father had good taste.

I also recieved a watch given to my great grandfather at his retirement from an investment house in 1940, along with his original dogtag from the First War (it's a bracelet, in those days they were bracelets). The pocket watch to me is such a deeply telling thing about my Dad. I know he wore it about twice in the 50 plus years he owned it. On his wedding day, and on the day he was accepted to the Bar. But it's exactly his style. Finely made, but totally understated: not a hint of a flourish that a person could recognize as self-indulgent. A representation of care for real value and timeless artisanship. It amazes me to look at it in that context.

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dkw
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Congratulations, Orincoro. Your fiancée sounds like a delightful person, and it's wonderful that she's helping to celebrate your connection to your father even though she didn't get to meet him.
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