Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today we went to a beautiful lake and had lunch. The drive there had beautiful scenery, and the beautiful restaurant was an idyllic setting.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Today is the kind of Christmas I LOVE...Being somewhere different, surrounded by my family, with the emphasis on Jesus, and not on the presents. Brenna and I (with help from others) made breakfast for her team (ten people), our family (+five), Jenna's family (+three) and Marijke's family (+four) for a total of 22. I love the noise, the confusion, the hubub. Having the house full and people eating is the best! We made cinnamon rolls from scratch, muffins, fruit salad, eggs and bacon. Yum! Brenna opened her Christmas stocking. (The other girls had theirs at home before we left.) We sat around eating and laughing. Many of the girls Skyped home. Lauren, whose family isn't coming opened her present in front of her computer so her family back home could watch. There's something surreal about getting a digital picture frame filled with family pictures and showing it to your computer when a cool pic comes up. "Oh, this one's great Mom. Remember when..." The technology really helps keep you in touch, but also pulls at your heart because you can actually see what's going on at home that you are missing.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sitting in Starbucks at LAX last night, surrounded by most of my family, I couldn't believe my good fortune: that I was actually going to get to go to El Salvador to see Brenna. It's like Christmas already for me! My life has been torture for me navigating the medical world, enduring hour after hour in the ER, being punished with a broken furnace (which means a cold house, AND having to research and pay for something that doesn't even make home better--it only gets me back even.), and various other slings and arrows, like a stressful deposition. When I got on the plane at 11:30pm for the five-hour flight, I knew I was actually going to get to see Brenna and have my family back together again. Halleluah!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
See? I'm not unhappy ALL the time. I'm even smiling in this picture. We had fun with good friends at a gingerbread house-making party. Never mind that my heart was a little sad to be doing this event without the girls. It's something we've done as a family since they were little.
My brother, who lives in Palmdale, came to my Dad's house and didn't call Dad to let him know he was there, or come to visit Dad at my house. Jim and Dad went to pick up some things from the house, and found my brother very drunk. He had been staying there awhile. Dad was upset. I was upset for Dad. Neither of us need this on top of all we are dealing with. Life is hard enough without that. I pray that my brother will get the help he needs, and will be whole and healed and start making good choices for his life.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This post should go before the last one...I thought I had published it, but I had only WRITTEN IT. As I've stated before, I'm sort of losing my mind. The following I wrote yesterday. (Before today's post.)
I think I’m going to implode. All week I’ve felt like I couldn’t handle one more thing, and then one more thing happened. My dad looked terrible enough when I got home from work that I called 911. I thought he had experienced another heart attack. We argued with the ambulance people to take him to the hospital he was in before, but they had to take him to the one closest to my house, which meant we have to start all over again with new doctors, new nursing staff, and a new, unfamiliar environment. As it turns out it wasn’t a heart attack, but rather a drug reaction. I’m becoming too familiar with hospitals, and I’m worn out.
The other things I’m dealing with: Doctors’ offices, the auto insurance company, the police, the health insurance companies, and trying to keep my life and my job running. There’s also a huge family rift developing around ranch owned by my family. One of my cousins wants to sell out to a developer. She refuses to be bought out by the family partners. It’s a mess. They found my car. Damaged. Three hours away from me. “You need to pick it up within the next half hour or we will have it impounded and it will cost $400 to get it out.” Great. Called the girls. Molly could get a friend to drive her, and was all set to go when she realized she didn’t have a key. What to do? Call a locksmith? We finally called the insurance who let it be impounded and will pay the charges to get it out, and towed to a body shop and delivered to us. We love our new auto insurance.
There are bright spots. My teaching partner is going through a tragedy parallel to mine. Each morning we debrief on the wonderful or terrible event that happened with our parent the night before. I have good friends who have surrounded me. My brother’s been sober for four days. My children are doing well, and they bring me joy. Friends from Turkey are staying with us and they are a blessing, and a help. Tonight, when she offered to run any errand I needed tomorrow, I burst into tears and hugged her. I am too overwhelmed to actually think of anything for her to do for me, but just knowing that someone is willing to do anything for me, and actually has her days free to do it, is like getting an early Christmas present.
I changed young lives for two hours this morning, when it became apparent to my husband that my dad was not doing well again. I came home at 10 am. SJRMC hospital is closer to our house than CMH hospital, but the ambulance service won’t believe the most trustworthy information provider ever: Google. The ambulance service people prefer to rely on their own pea brains which claim that 6 miles is shorter than 5. WHATEVER. We drove to Dad’s and called 911 from there so we could go to SJRMC. When the ambulance arrived and they asked what hospital, I told them, and then they said “Well, we may have to take you to CMH because SJRMC is full.” AAAGGGGHHHH. I feel like I have something figured out, then another thing blindsides me. I can handle A. I’m good at A. I’ve learned about A. Then it’s B. Gotcha! Sigh. I’m becoming far too competent at these medical things: take Dad’s precious Cross pen out of his pocket and leave it at home, guard the hearing aids, get a list of medications, pick up the notebook with the medical history, then grab the phone charger and a bunch of food. At the hospital: keep track of every doctor's name, the nurses are your best source of information, don't ask questions while a doctor is thinking or reading a chart b/c you will interrupt his train of thought, the coffee lady is very sweet, there's no wireless anywhere, and when people get to know you, they try to help.
So, we’ve been in the ER for a million hours. Tomorrow maybe I’ll be able to do something more fun, like have a root canal or be pecked by a thousand chickens, or get to watch ten crying infants. But for now I’m stuck in ER hell. And I’m so tired I can’t even watch my language. I’m way past the end of my rope. I’ve let go of the rope and I’m in freefall. They’re going to admit Dad to the hospital. My friend RP assures me that I’ll make it through and look back on this as a rich time. The intimacy I will gain when I walk with someone through the shadows of life will add richness to my own life that I will always treasure. At least that’s what she says. My brain is too full of mush to know whether that’s true. I have no deep thoughts. Only blathering. Please let me lay in my bed and drink tea and surf the Internet. PLEASE!!!