Are there ever days or weeks where it feels like you’re riding the emotional roller coaster?  I’m guessing there are some of those times for everyone.  I know today was one for me…

Last night was pretty good.  Didn’t go to the bar, but my roommate had some pretty cool people over.  So, I was going up that first hill, you might say.

I wake up really not wanting to go to my Macroeconomics class.  However, I know I’ll be starting a downward trend if I don’t, since it’s a tough class.  So, I go.  It turns out to be a pretty slow moving class today (as all of them have been), so I’m happy to get back to my room.  So, now I’ve gone down into a pretty deep first valley.

Once back at my dorm, I zoomed quickly up another hill, and maybe even a loop or two when an email from reminds me that the Season 4 Premiere of Stargate Atlantis is tonight.  That, combined with the second to last episode of this season of Doctor Who (which should prove to be an exciting one), I was feeling pretty good.  Got right over the Macroeconomics class.

So, I got some stuff done for the club I’m in, and went to my Communication Research class, which, despite the horror stories from people who’ve had him in the past, is moderately enjoyable to sit through and learn.  So, I’m zooming right along on some level ground.

Got out of there, and had to go get a flier for the club approved, which I did.  Then I had the idea to go and capture the segment videos for Expedition I was just sent.   Called my dad to see when he was going to pick me up today.

You ever see those movies where the roller coaster is going through a loop and it stops at the top?  Well, that’s where I am right now, because of some pretty bad news I received while talking to my dad.

My grandfather on my mom’s side has died.

Not all the details are known, but I know he committed suicide, probably from a combination of anti-depressant drugs (I think stemming from his time in Vietnam) and years of rather heavy drinking.  Those two are not a good combination, to say the least.

I’m don’t know a lot about how he was before Vietnam, but after, I gather he was a pretty heavy drinker, which led to the divorce.  Unfortunately, that never stopped, and he married and divorced again in the years since divorcing from my grandmother.

He was a soldier that went to Vietnam for two tours, and as a para-trooper, got exposed to the toxic Agent Orange gas, which affected both him and his children.  Luckily, I guess you could say, my mom was born before he went to Vietnam, so does not have the have the same things as his other children.

I didn’t know him well in my younger years, only seeing him every once in a while, since he hopped in residence from Florida to Connecticut to Massachusetts.  But he loved to visit other places, and aside from his military-based travel, he’s gone from coast to coast in this country.

After one of these travels, he ended up found without his van somewhere in the Southwest U.S. (think it was California), after which he came to live with us for a period of time so that we could keep an eye on him and help him out.  Though I didn’t get to know him that much better (since I was here at school 5 days a week), I did get to know him a bit better.  After living with us, he lived at an assisted-living center, and then semi-independently at my aunt’s house (my mom’s half-sister).  They bought a house with two apartments, and he lived in one of those.

But his love for the warmth of places like Florida still called for him, and so, after about a year, he flew down there to live across the street from my mom’s other half-sister.  I last say him when he drove up with them to attend my great-grandmother’s wake in June.

I have only one thing to say…

RIP Richard Martikainen

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