This past week has been nothing I could have ever expected.
In a previous post I talked about my 85 year old father, who has now been in rehab for six weeks following colon cancer surgery. He still cannot get up, stand or walk even with the aid of a walker or cane. He has not regained his strength or coordination. Though my father had been trying during his therapy sessions, there has been no significant improvement in his condition. So last week his medical team at the rehab hit our family with a sad conclusion: his physical and occupational therapy should be discontinued. They have suggested that we place him in a nursing home where he can receive 24-hour care. My dad’s not totally aware of what is going on, but you can clearly tell he’s tired, frustrated and scared. However, before we even had the chance to look at potential nursing homes to move him to, we received a call that he needed to go back to the hospital. He had developed an abscess and would need an operation to resolve it. He had the procedure yesterday, Thursday, and is now comfortably recovering. The next step for him is still to be determined, but we are fortunate to have him here for another day.
In the midst of all this was Peanut’s second birthday. She’s still very young and oblivious to what is going on with her Pop-Pop, though she does know something is not right, but I still wanted her to have a birthday celebration. So we invited my mom, sister and brother-in-law to come over for dinner and mini-party, complete with a Hello Kitty birthday cake. That was this past Saturday.
Now, we live in NJ, and as I’m sure you’ve seen on the news over the past week, we had a freak October snowstorm aka “Snowtober” on… SATURDAY! Yes, the very day of Peanut’s birthday celebration. The wet snow combined with leaves still being on the trees resulted in lots of downed limbs which also meant lots of downed power lines. Just as my mom and sister arrived, the electricity went out and wouldn’t return for four very long and cold days.
We made the best of the situation and used our ingenuity to make sure that Peanut still had a celebration. My husband was able to rig our gas line grill up to our generator so he could cook the roast and grill the veggies. I was able to light the stove with a good old-fashioned match and cook some couscous. Mom helped make a salad with what was soon to spoil in our rapidly defrosting fridge and we wound up having a pretty nice feast lit by candlelight and flashlight. A couple of glasses of Pinot didn’t hurt, either!
Waking up in my house on Sunday morning was like walking through a frat house the morning after a rush party. My house was a mess, dirty dishes and glasses in the sink, empty bottles on the counter and sleeping bodies everywhere. With the power company telling us it would be days before electricity and heat would return, the kidlets and I decamped to my mother’s house. She always manages to escape these disasters, so we stayed with her for the next two nights. The poor hubs spent those two nights with our dog at our igloo, I mean, house, with the generator cranking away to make sure our basement wouldn’t get flooded from the melting snow.
I was thankful that my mom took us in. Though I grew up in that house, it’s been a long time since I’ve lived there and with my dad not there, it certainly felt strange. I felt bad for my mom and sister, they are not used to the chaos of two little kidlets. They can sure wear you out. My mom said she enjoyed it all, that having the kidlets around took her mind off of things. I also felt bad for the kidlets, though they dressed up in the costumes, they didn’t really get to celebrate Halloween since it wasn’t really safe to be trick-or-treating with downed power lines all over. However, Nana saved the day with some well placed candy snacks in the kidlets jack o’ lantern buckets.
When the power went back on at 4:50 pm on Tuesday, I screamed and jumped with joy. We were able to return home – as a family unit.
It was not the week that I expected, but right now I’m just grateful that I still have my family….
What are you grateful for?