I was up early today. Too early. Our old cat woke me up at about 5:30 am and got me up to feed her and give her some attention. After a few hours, I was ready to start working. I was really tired from a lack of sleep, but have done this sort of effort before.
I checked my inbox of email and saw a message from the German American Musicians in Buffalo, with a subject line of “My Condolences”. My dad plays tuba in the GAM band. Condolences?
It began “We are so very sorry to hear about your father’s passing. When we found out yesterday that he had passed away, it came as a shock to all of us.”
My heart raced. I immediately tried to use contact him, but no answer. I then got in touch with my sister in DC, who hadn’t heard but was also shocked to learn. I let her know what little I knew. “Dave will be sorely missed. He was a dedicated member of our Association (the German-American Musicians); who was always willing to help out in any way that he could.”
We had both just spoken to him a day or so ago. So alive!
By then, Lise was involved. She did a search online and found asked what my dad’s middle initial was. It’s an A. “There’s an obit for Amherst NY for a David W….”
Very quickly things resolved. I was able to connect my Dad (who had been in the shower when we tried to reach him moments earlier) who was very much alive and asking if it was Mark Twain who had the famous quote about “reports of my death being exaggerated” (it was). I was able to relay to my sister the good news that he was indeed alive. Phew!
It was another David Grotke who lived near my father, with a different middle initial, that had the obituary in the Buffalo papers, prompting my father’s fellow band members to send their thoughts. To extend the oddities, the obit mentioned the other Mr. Grotke’s children, including a son, another Christopher. I’m sorry their situation is different than ours.
It’s now about 10:30 am. The cat is asleep. I’ve been up 5 hours already, and it is time to start work.