Saturday, December 28, 2013

She’s still here but it was the first Christmas without her…

Wednesday was hard for me. 

We’ve been on a roller coaster leading up to Christmas.  I received a call on Tuesday evening, a week before Christmas, saying Mom had fallen again but seemed to be doing fine.  The next day, as we were enjoying the birth of our sixth grandchild earlier than planned, I received another call that Mom was complaining of pain.  The nurse had checked her out and Mom had a red spot on her knee but was able to move everything with just a wince here and there.  The nurse and I opted for a wait and see approach because so far Mom’s x-rays have always come back negative for breaks.
Just as we were getting to our daughter’s room to see our new granddaughter, we learned my father-in-law had been admitted to the same hospital on the same day for what they initially thought was gall bladder.
The next few days were busy with my husband and me going different directions.  Me to the hospital for our youngest daughter and her first child or heading home to be with our five year old Hurricane in the afternoons after kindergarten and my husband to work and the hospital to be with his dad or taking care of his mom.  Add in some other activities with our older grandchildren – a choir concert, some other running – and you get a feel for the days.  There wasn’t a way to add in a visit to Mom so I am very thankful my sister stepped and kept an eye on Mom for me.
All the while that was happening we were also getting ready for Christmas with our children and grandchildren on the Saturday before Christmas.  Santa comes early to our home so that our children can visit the other side of their families on Christmas.  I had a rough patch when it looked like our son would have to work but he rescheduled and our gathering went well although we missed our youngest because she was home recovering from the C-section.
The hospital was no longer in play after my father-in-law’s issue was identified and treated and he was able to return home on Sunday so I was finally able to get up to see Mom again.
She was moving fine with no complaints.  They were again trying to keep her in her wheelchair but she was not happy about it.  Evidently they were telling her that her daughter (this time referring to my sister) wanted her in it.  I had to keep from laughing when Mom said in a disgruntled manner, “You tell your sister…”  The rest wasn’t decipherable but I’m betting it had to do with the wheelchair.  J
Christmas Eve came and another chink was taken out of my armor when I received a call from my second daughter.  She had a seizure just as her family was getting ready to celebrate.  She managed to get a couple pictures of the tree before but missed watching her sons open their presents.  We’ve dealt with this most of her life but it doesn’t keep me from wishing I could fix it for her…
Christmas morning was bright and sunny and really cold.  My husband and I went to visit Mom prior to the usual festivities at my brother’s house where most of Mom’s children, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren meet for lunch.  We had planned to take Mom again this year but it was so cold.  As it was nearing time to go, I asked Melissa, Mom’s aide, her opinion.  She agreed that Mom didn’t need to go out in the cold and assured me Mom wouldn’t notice.  Another chink in my armor occurred as I made the final decision to leave Mom in the warmth of her home.  For the first time since Mom and Daddy were married, Mom was not at Christmas.