Goings and Comings at the Rabbitpatch


I did as I said I would . . .and went to bed earlier than usual on Sunday.  The phone rang at an unlikely hour, and a sense of dread filled me, instantly.  Mama was frantic and all I knew was, that something was wrong with daddy.  By the time, I got there, an ambulance was in the yard.

It was a long night.  Tests were run.  Daddy had an infection and was running a very high temperature.  It caused him to shake violently, which was  deeply disturbing and downright fearful for Mama and I.  Then his blood pressure dropped dangerously low and wouldn’t budge.  Daddy was admitted to the intensive care unit,  around four am.  

In a few days, Daddys’ condition improved.  Yesterday, he was moved to another floor, for recovery.  His strength is greatly diminished and he still has a “Parkinsons like” condition to battle with.  He is a different kind of warrior , these days.  It is heartbreaking to watch him struggle as it must be for all children of ailing parents.  Sometimes, I find myself remembering who he was and a sense of loss washes over me – and then I realise, he is every bit as gallant today as ever.  His movement is slow and calculated.  He speaks  in a hush.  Everything takes more effort, from the simplest of tasks, but he continues with that familiar determination.  He has always been a quiet man, and gone about his business without commotion nor the need for fanfare. 

I watch Mama tending to him and able to interrupt his needs with precision.  Daddy watches her going and comings from room to room, with a look of sheer adoration.  If she tarries too long, he inquires about her where abouts. 

As a child, I took my parents relationship for granted.  They toiled together, as one decade passed after another.  A roof was over our heads and supper was always on the table.  New winter coats and Sunday dresses and school shoes, birthday cakes and Easter baskets  marked the seasons, til we had all grown and flown from our delightful nest, my parents had built in their youth.  Mama pinched pennies and Daddy worked overtime and sadly, I never gave this a second thought.  Now, every hour is magnified and stirs my heart, for they toil together now, still, with an admirable fortitude and devotion, more and more rare these days.

Everyday, I am humbled, watching the days unfold.  To be the child of such a union, fills my heart with gratitude.


Daddy came home, one day-I think it was Wednesday.  The confines of a hospital warp my senses.  There is little difference between day and night, nor from one day to the next.  I made it my business to walk outside each day, in an attempt to “steady the course”.  On top of that, it is Christmas and I feared  it was the next day several times.  I could not concentrate on gifts to be bought nor fancy dishes to concoct.  I am sure that I work at a place, where grace abounds, for they only offer assistance and encouragement, when I call in.  It is another blessing and not taken lightly.

Once Daddy was home, he improved by the moment.  An old western replaced the political turmoil and mindless talk shows that were shown at the hospital, day and night.  (I was glad that I had carried a good book.)  Home cooked food and rest without interruption, are quite restorative for the spirit. . . so is a dog.  “Casper”, Daddys’ snow white and naughty samoyed, was as glad to see Daddy home as the rest of us.


After a few days, when the “dust had settled” and a big pot of soup and  pan fried apples were made , I left to go to Elizabeth City.  Brant and Sydney were coming with little Ryan and so it was quite an occasion for us.  We had all sorts of plans and all of them were good.

On Saturday morning, we somehow had breakfast, “dolled the children up” and headed downtown for a visit with Santa. . .before noon.  Ryan could have cared less.  He is  a mild tempered child and very content.  Brynn was unsure about the situation, for she is shy by nature. . .Lyla had a list with three items on it.

We went to a coffee shop afterwards.  Since the bookstore was just across the street, I did a little Christmas shopping.  Christmas is the only time of the year, that I like to shop.  We keep the holiday simple and have never gone overboard, anyway. When my own children were little, they received three gifts each year.  It was in sort, a commemoration of the visit of the magi.  Extravagance spoils the spirit of Christmas for me.  I can scarce expect Lyla to think a moment about the manger in a stable if there are toys galore scattered about the room-no more than I myself could.  Whether it is Christmas or not, I do not want her happiness to depend on what she has in possessions, for that is quickly a  very deep pit and produces a hollow life.

On Sunday, after breakfast, the children were changed into their matching Christmas pajamas, hair combed and set under the Christmas tree, like the precious gifts they are.  Ryan could have cared less, Brynn was unsure and Lyla was on her best behavior . . .because of that list.

I made a pot of potato soup for lunch, at the request of Brant.  I put in a very few carrots and a lot of mushrooms.  The broth was a golden buttery concoction, thickened with heavy cream.  Lyla and I made strawberry brownies after that, for Jenny and Sydney love them. 

Before we knew it, Brant and Sydney were packing up for the trip home. I was fixing  egg rolls for them and filling containers with the soup, brownies and macaroni and cheese, left from supper, the night before.   I consoled myself, with the thought of seeing them next weekend for our Christmas gathering at Mama and Daddys’.  

Now, I will make my journey back -over the three rivers , passing the winter trees and twinkling lights in  the homes  along the highway.  The day is clear with a muted light, quite typical for December, in these parts.  On the way home, I will go over my newest collection of memories.  Brant dancing to Bing Crosby, with Brynn, Will promising baby Ryan that he will always be there for him, Sydney sitting with Ryan, by the fire-just the two of them-Lyla performing a dance to   the Nutcracker Suite and Jenny . . . our sweet hostess, tying  up every loose end, tending to the needs of others tirelessly . . . and standing with Ryan by the Christmas tree, every chance she got.



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34 thoughts on “Goings and Comings at the Rabbitpatch

  1. Phew! What a time you have had. Down and up. Fingers crossed that your father continues to recover. On a happier note…Could those three children be any more adorable? I don’t think so. And, oh, how I love Lyla’s excitement!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Such sweet pictures.
    I am so glad your Dad is better. It is so hard to watch them go through a health scare.Your Mom is a trouper which is where your get your strength I’m sure.
    The soup sounds really good,but so doe the strawberry brownie.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You know that I think the world of your parents especially your dad. Have you all in our thoughts and prayers. Glad he is home. Glad you had time with family. That makes things so much better to me. Love you my dear friend. Please continue your blog. I have read it continuously just not been up to writing much these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. David, thank you and I know you are very special to my dad. He still will talk about you! Family means everything-you know this. You have your own share of issues these days, but I am glad you still visit the rabbitpatch- I am so very grateful for the encouragement you gave me, for it gave me the courage to keep on. Merry Christmas to you, Paula and your loved ones!


  4. So glad your Father got to return home. Our parents are precious and we know God will one day take them home. It seems so much harder to deal with family illness during the holidays. Your parents sound like 2 precious souls. I pray God will give your family many more years together on this earth. You have beautiful grandchildren and I know your Christmas will be wonderful. Happy Holidays my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is an odd circle, this life.
    We enter it as helpless as an animal can be.
    Between birth and death we move and breathe and love all we can.
    Nearer the end we may seem, perhaps, helpless as the newborn baby.
    Our strength, our rock, our endurance is the knowing that we have people we trust to care for us.
    From beginning to the end.

    Give them all a kiss for me, Michele.
    Not only those beautiful babies at the beginning of their walk, but also those beautiful old babies, who need us as much as the young ones.

    All my best,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is beautiful and expresses my own feelings better than I could do. I really love your writing and I love Michele’s writing too. Life does move regardless of our feelings, but as I think you expressed so well, all the emotions you are experiencing as you move through your life. I am 78 now and I often wondering if I am moving through my days with the end not so far ahead. But I always believe that if we live each day so that we have no regrets at the end of it, that is the best any of us can do. You are doing everything right, and I am so happy that you have had such a good and meaningful holiday season with the family. I love the way you are teaching the children with the gifts, and the love of everyone in your family. You will always be wealthy with wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing with us and wishing you all the Happiest of New Years. Anne always

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so happy your dad is home from the hospital! It is so scary when an elderly parent gets seriously ill. And you’re right, people do recover so much faster once they are out of the hospital environment. I hope his full recovery is in the near future! And I love the photos of your darling grandchildren!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Ann-Daddy is still recovering and will always have to do battle. He has a drug induced condition. It is like Parkinsons’ but is cruelly fast. Medications are a real mixed bag. The pictures were so cute to me too! May your Christmas be so very happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Life can be such a roller coaster. Joy and fear mingle so closely together when it comes to family.
    I am so glad your Dad is doing better. I watch my aging parents and wonder how long their health will hold. I am so glad they have each other. They will celebrate 65 years together in a few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Michele, my heart was heavy reading about your Dad’s struggles. Reminded me so much of my own fathers. I hope your Christmas celebrations bring peace and joy and love to all of you and that your Daddy is much rejuvenated. How special your family is. And you also. Love and Hugs to you dear blogging friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Ilona- Such kind and heartfelt words. I can not hardly bear suffering in anybody-stranger or not. Let alone my once strong and intelligent dad. Somehow I still have a peace and a resolve to do what I can. Merry Christmas-may it be a happy one. love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so glad your dad is home where mending comes so much nicer. Your parents remind me so much of my own, as my mom now waits on my dad so much and he looks at her with that same admiring look you described in your dad. You are so right, that is a rare and precious thing these days and a blessing to be a part of. Your grandchildren are so beautiful and your family a real treasure for you. God bless and may you have a beautiful Christmas and New Year.


  10. And there you have it Michele. Another wide-eyed, line-by-line, totally awed read from Jennifer (a.k.a. Sparky Jen). Although my blog-hopping did slow during the long and sadly 2019 labored holiday season, I keep wanting to read your latest post(s) in the fore of my mind. Little else puts & keeps me in the precious moment like visiting the Rabbit Patch.

    Here’s hoping your Dad continues to grow strong, limber, and less shaky. He sounds like a great man, and I can tell you all love him very much. Thank Jehovah for modern medicine, even if the hospital atmosphere gets to all of us. It’s one of those places where there need never be a ticking clock!

    Liked by 1 person

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