For the last two days I have been working on a post that seems too big for one post and too big for only two or three days worth of processing and reflecting. It is about, well, mostly about, or maybe only a little bit about, “Jakey.”
I have been processing something about “Jakey” and Babu, and her parents, and Babu’s children. It will either be no big surprise to you, or I will apologize profusely for the spoiler, but Jake is the man Babu marries.
And he is a legend.
He really is.
And, stunningly, he appears today in our local newspaper. My husband’s grandfather.
In this article it talks about him as a war hero, about him returning from battles in North Africa during WWII to marry Emily. Well, Babu is that woman, the woman his plane, The Emily K, was named after. Also, it was not until reading this article that I was reminded that yesterday would have been their anniversary. I’m glad I got the heads up because in a few hours she will awake from her nap and be sitting at the table reading this article. This article that is partly about her. It’s so wild that we didn’t even know that this would be written, but here it is!
It’s beautiful, it truly honors an amazing man, but I am prepared for a difficult day, a day full of her tears and misunderstandings and looping about his death. Babu doesn’t quite understand things as she used to. Whatever negative thing she reads about in the paper she obsesses about. If she reads about drug use, it has become that that was how her husband died. (He did not, for the record.) If she reads about prescription drug abuse then he “died of pills.” (Nope. Still not it.) She will just go over and over it, blaming herself, shaking and yelling, all in a way that is very bad for her health. We can’t seem to process it with her in a healthy way any longer. We just have to distract her.
Again, I’m glad someone in the family gave me a heads up about this article. This person said “Make sure Babu sees it, she’ll appreciate it.” I guess I can’t expect the people that don’t take care of her to understand. Babu is not the same. The old Babu could have absorbed the sorrow and focused on what an honor this article is, but her mind is slipping. Some. I debated hiding this article from her but I either hide a whole section of the paper or rip pages out. She is still pretty with it and will know exactly what is going on and demand her entire paper. As she should. I also decided she has a right as an adult to face and process this however she will and I will try to be a sponge today and absorb as I can. I am braced and ready to get her through this. It won’t be a fun day.
Maybe it will. There is beauty here. We lose people but here is a reminder of how they are never fully gone. Many people still remember and honor him. What a beautiful homage to an amazing man and maybe that will mean a lot to Babu. Maybe she will be able to have some peace today.