Wednesday, October 17, 2007

But what about our joy de vivre?

Vladimir Gustav, aka "Alexis and Sarah's dad" suffered a massive heart attack on October 16th, Alexis's birthday. He was brought to the hospital where they resuscitated and cooled him, but when they warmed him up his brain function just wasn't there. The funeral is on Friday in Copenhagen, we're flying out tomorrow.

We saw him one year ago exactly...stayed with him in Zagreb, in his childhood home. He was a brilliant jackass, the embarrassing uncle, a man who made inappropriate jokes at the table and then sat smiling, smoking, and drinking - pleased with himself - while we rolled our eyes and shifted uncomfortably. He was a nonchalant father, taking Alexis on strange drunken camping trips, and letting her ride clinging to the top of the car on the way home. He was so hard and mean for most of his life...but by the time I really met him last year, he was soft and bleached and unintimidating - hopping on and off the city trams and gesturing with his pipe in annoyance.

How do you feel when this happens? You don't mourn the man, really, you mourn what the man could have been. I had planned to make Alexis make him drag us through Denmark, through France again, through more of his Croatian haunts. Who knew that you really do run out of time.

Who knew?