There is good news . . . Daddy came through his surgery beautifully. The thirty minute prediction turned out to be over an hour underestimated, so we were all feeling anxious, for a while. We did not say a word about it, but my sisters eyes met mine and we didn’t have to utter a sound. We caught up on the lives of our children and traded recipes. We talked about Christmas and Hayleys’ upcoming trip to Las Vegas. We talked about Lyla and Brynn – and I told them about the magic solution to get chocolate out . . til finally it was over. After we saw daddy, we were totally convinced all was well and began calling to let loved ones know, the good news. On the way home I wondered what will I think about now?
For months, I have had a lot to think about. None of these things were small either. I remember, that when the summer was rolling peacefully along, I had a slight bit of intuition that things were about to change. . .and I was right. Intuition is just never wrong. My brother in law, Mike says his mother, knows everytime he has ever been injured before he tells her! She even knows whether it is his ankle or hand! My intuition pales in comparison to that-but still I knew things were getting ready to “break loose”. Daddy was diagnosed with a serious muscular condition, I found a cottage, the sale of the rabbit patch was on and off til finally off altogether, there were several car issues and the Holiday concert and on and on it went. My simple diary became accounts of complications. Thank Goodness, for things like quiet pastures and laughing rivers-for they made a difference.
None of us are so privileged , as to escape calamity. I kept putting things in perspective and sorting out priorities, to maintain some sense of balance til here I am today, with at least some things resolved. When friends would ask “well, what are you going to do about this or that?” I would often say, “I will think about that tomorrow.” And I meant it, for each day held something that seemed to need immediate attention. This is why I found such comfort in things like fields and woodlands – and quiet pastures, that remain steadfast and do not yield to human circumstances .
Rain fell all night and continues this morning. Daddy had a good night, but is raising a fuss about getting out of that confining hospital. Mama and Delores spent the night, so I supposed they feel the same way. I am cooking a pot of soup and another pot, of chicken and pastry, to carry over, hopefully today, if Daddy does “break out” -as he put it.
Some day I will need to wrap Christmas presents, but today I am catching up from being gone for several days. I will not put a tree up this year. It is just not a priority, in light of the circumstances. There is a wreath on the front door and the little surprise tree, from Mama and Delores. Besides, I have helped put up two trees already . . and I just lack the drive to find the boxes, anyway. My children and I are having a Christmas gathering at Jennys’ and then we all gather again at Mama and Daddys’ on Christmas evening. Jenny and I have high hopes for things like toffee and a big pot of hot chocolate- french toast – and we haven’t even ask the boys yet. They will ask for things like rutabagas-Will will want beef stew and Lyla will want more cookies. Of course, we will play carols and Lyla will tell the Christmas story, so rest assured that I will have plenty of Christmas Cheer, with or without a tree. Christmas is as much a “feeling” to me, as it is anything else.
I do not know when Jesus was born, and it may have been spring, as some experts think. For me, it is of little consequence, for as I told Lyla, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, who came to show us how to love -and how to help others.
The soup was done, by the time the doctor came in with the news, that it was likely, Daddy would need to stay another night. He took it better than we expected. Delores lives in Raleigh and wanted to attend my nieces’ recital, so I plan to spend tonight at “that confining place”, myself. My youngest sister, Connie was spending most of the day there-in fact, she brought cheese biscuits for breakfast for everyone. This has of lately become her habit, and none of us are sorry for it.
Things sure can take a turn. It is Monday, and Daddy is still in the hospital. In some way, we all are! Mama has only left to shower and take care of necessities. I have spent the last two nights and Connie joins us in the day. A fever, confusion and breathing problems came all at once and spawned this change of plans, but alas, daddy seems on the mend -and almost “out of the woods”. I am thankful, that things have come this far, but I will say, that a hospital is the last place to expect rest. Protocols are my least favorite topic, now and for goodness sake, do not go there alone. It has been “first one thing, then another” as of lately.
It is impossible to read much more than a paragraph of anything, at a time and by the time you get back to it, you will need to reread it again to have any recollection. Writing is next to impossible for, interruptions are so common, I have come to expect them. I can not believe this environment is conducive to healing, at all and in fact I think I am likely to come down with some sort of mental ailment, myself, for I am most suited for a quiet and peaceable life”, it seems.
Daddy sleeps in spurts and at any given moment, allowed. He wants to go home, and talks about it often. He misses his dog “Casper” especially.
We were expecting to go home on Tuesday morning and we were all looking forward to it. . . then everything changed . . .again. Another concern arose in the middle of Monday night and cancelled the prospects of a morning release. All hope is not yet lost for today, but it will certainly not be in the morning.
I have been taking a lot of walks as often as I can. I have grown quite familiar with all of the little nooks and crannies of the facility. I also know that not one window has a decent view of anything remotely natural. . .unless you crane your face upwards, which always helps, anyway. I suspect that a small garden view would do wonders for patients . . and a peaceful hour.
There are a lot of friendly people roaming the hallways. Many are volunteers and I think how nice it is to see this. I wonder if I might do something like that one day. . .along with my “little library” and a happy lemonade stand. Dreaming doesn’t cause a bit of harm.
Daddy came home on Tuesday evening. He was as “happy as a lark” . . well, we all were -especially Casper. The countryside was still and quiet and I knew, this was good medicine for Daddy. We carried all of the parcels in and made a heaping pile in a corner, and vowed to tidy up in the very near future, but for now, we all sat quietly and let the peace of “home” wash over us.
On Wednesday, we woke, and had breakfast. We had rested well -and it was a good thing, as the day slipped by in a lively manner. Good friends showed up early and brought old fashioned fudge and home made peanut brittle. Before they had left and driven a mile, a physical therapist came by to perform an evaluation. My Aunt Christine, Uncle Gene and cousin Gena came just after the therapist left. While they were visiting, Daddys’ brother called to say he was just a few minutes away. This happened all day and we ended up with fruit, bread, chocolate, a pecan pie, pimento cheese and chicken salad! We shared everything with everybody and so it was like an endless buffet, of sorts. Neighbors, Jeff and Karen were the grand finale of the day and what a finale! Jeff told us his own version of his hospital stay. His room was next to the helicopter landing pad! We laughed at his description of that noise and decided we had the lesser of the evils, after all. Karen, gave us a concoction of nuts and all sorts of things like cereal and pretzels, seasoned her own unique way. It is the best, I have ever had. People call this snack, “Christmas trash”, which I do not like especially when words like “medley ” sound so much more fitting. . .and are available. At the end of the day, We had all gotten a full dose of medicine in the form of generosity, laughter and love-and we were better for it.
I woke early on Thursday. I have missed seeing the sunrise. My routine has been most eratic and a far cry from normal. I found out yesterday, that today is Thursday. I am supposed to go to Jennys’ today. Jenny had a fancy party to go to in Virginia, but even that has changed. Jenny has a sinus infection and so now I will go to take care of her. . . and the babies. My sisters are working on some arrangement between them, for Mama and Daddy.
My own children are supposed to join me in a day or so, for a Christmas gathering. I did the bulk of my shopping throughout the year, but not a one is yet wrapped. I have several, not yet bought, but Christmas will come, anyway, so it seems I am now in a rush. Under normal circumstances, this would rattle me, but in light of this last week, I will not complain.
I have said it before, but it bears repeating, “plans” have never done me much good. It seems my lot, is “to walk by faith, and not by sight”. One way or another, I am going to understand this lesson. The last six months are proof of that. We read that verse, and may claim it, yet to truly live it, seems unnatural to humans. It is not an effort for the faint of heart. I think it takes the “wisdom of Solomon” to find that fine line of doing what we can and ought to, and then accepting what transpires.
In some ways, this is a very liberating concept. Not an ounce of worry, has ever made a difference in any outcome. . .and besides that, I do not have an imagination wild enough to dream up the prosperity I have known nor such a beautiful substance as has made up my life.