Voltron

This morning my husband and I were sitting at breakfast, and he looked at me and said, “We’re like Voltron,”. I was stumped, in addition to being more a little dazed from the events of the last two weeks. Often I follow his thoughts seamlessly, but not this morning.

We left Calgary on October 30, with the car and the cat. After a visit with my parents, and making sure that the cat was cozy at their house, we carried on to Minneapolis, where we visited more family and friends and prepared to find a place to live in Houston.

The trip was phenomenal; we fell in love with a townhouse and we were hosted in the home of close friends that we had not seen for a year. It was much more comfortable than it would have been to operate out of a hotel, with the added benefit of getting to know our friends’ new puppies. We secured our new place, met my husband’s new co-workers, and indulged in emergency cocktails and laughs after the puppies tore up another new dog bed and managed to ditch their i.d. tags.

Then things got serious; my husband’s grandfather has been quite sick for several weeks, and it was becoming clear that he was in his final days. There was no way for us to finish the move together in Calgary and also be at the funeral in Minnesota. So here we were at breakfast, on the morning of my flight back to Calgary, preparing to split up for the week.

I feel good about our decision, and know I will be able to finish the packing and the other bits of business left. But I can’t lie, I felt sad this morning. I have missed other important funerals, and would really prefer to be at this one. My husband’s grandpa was old-school; the kind of man that you look up to and don’t want to disappoint. He fought in WWII and owned trucking companies.  He was the kind of man who approached life with calm, wisdom and a sense of humor. At 92, he remained in hospice care in his home throughout his illness, and seven days ago he refused any more food. In spite of that, he lived another full week, and only passed this afternoon. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever known someone stronger.

And so, breakfast and Voltron. I had no idea what my husband was talking about. I had tears in my eyes. I was tired and emotional, about the death, the move, the separation. We were at a coffee shop in our old neighborhood and I just wanted to stay there, with him, forever. I asked him what Voltron was. It’s hard to convey the charm of this if you don’t know my husband, but it turns out that Voltron is a Japanese anime character, a powerful robot machine creature that is actually composed of five robots. Voltron operates as one force when it’s appropriate, and divides into five entities when the situation requires. It might sound ridiculous that I found this comforting, but to be honest, the fact that this is how he imagined us at this moment is one of the things that I have come to love most about him.

One of the things that my husband's grandpa used to say is that it’s a long road without any turns. I keep thinking of that this week, and about how grateful I am to have had someone like him to remind me of that in a time like this.  Aside from my sadness about his passing, I have never felt more peaceful or lucky in my life.  I will be thinking about him and his life while I pack.

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