Sunday, January 18, 2009

72 hour vignette

The last 72 hours have been wild. A vignette of life with all it's realities.

On Thursday morning we got up early and sang Las Mañanitas (a Mexican birthday song) to Joseph, who turned 15 years old! This is our family tradition, which we carry on from my family. We laughed and talked, as we always do after we sing, about when he was born, and memories that we have of him. Two words for raising Joseph - pure joy and pride, and exasperation! OK, four words.

But that doesn't count in the 72 hours. I just had to record that we sang Las Mañanitas.

This is where the 72 hours starts - on Thursday evening. We had a group of Joseph's friends over for a party. As everyone was arriving, they were up in the ER (Entertainment Room) playing around. Peter jumped over the couch and landed on his forearm. When he got up he got a huge look of shock on his face and then started yelling. Owing to the fact that we had a house full of teenagers, Bruce took Peter into the ER by himself. More on that later...

Despite a lot of queasy and pale faces after seeing what happened to Peter, the party went on. There was an impromptu spate of arm wrestling,

(look at Libby's curled toes - very cute!)
followed by a game of Murder in the Dark (the hand holding kind). Then they started on a game of Great Dalmuti, but that was interrupted by a banging on the window, which made all the girls scream and run around. (This is what 15 years old girls do, I guess). We later found out it was Mary and her friend Bailey that were scaring everyone.Maddy - you made the blog!!

Instead of a cake, Joseph wanted these special mint brownies.

Joseph, Happy Birthday son! We love you so much.

Now to Peter in the ER. They took X-rays and found out that Peter broke his ulna and radius. They put him under and straightened out the break. Bruce said that while he was going out, he was saying, "Where's my book? I need my book!" This is funny, because Peter is not the biggest reader in the family. Maybe he is subconsciously feeling guilty!

When they took X-rays again at the end, they found that they hadn't straightened it enough. So tomorrow morning I am taking him in to a Surgery Center to get it straightened out all the way. They will sedate him to do it, thank goodness.After the birthday party Thursday night, Peter and Bruce finally got home from the ER at about midnight, so we tucked him in bed and finally got to sleep.

Five hours later, at 5 am, the phone rang, and my brother Curtis was calling from Atlanta. He said that he had just received a phone call from my mother saying that my Dad was incoherent and talking jibberish, and that they were taking him in to the Doctor. In the few days before that, he had broken out in shingles and then had a convulsion, of sorts, in the Temple. He had been resting at home for a few days when this happened.

I was pretty calm when I heard the news, but I feared the worst. Bruce's paternal grandmother had a stroke and spoke jibberish the rest of her life. I can't remember how long she lived, but I'm thinking about five years. This is what I thought had happened to my Dad. I kept repeating the following words in my mind and heart, "This life is a sliver of eternity. A sliver," and spent some time on my knees praying very sincerely.

Thankfully, about an hour later, we heard that he was speaking all right and could remember his birthday. I was vastly relieved! My brother Curtis flew down to Panama Saturday evening, and he reports that the Doctor said that Dad had two Transient Ischemic Attacks or TIA's. They are mini-strokes, where the brain has a temporary lack of oxygen, but not enough to cause the damage that a major stroke causes. Dad has really low blood pressure, and has been known to faint easily, so apparently he has had a condition for a long time where he is not getting enough blood into his brain. He also reports that Dad is not completing sentences, but they are hoping that is because of the sedation medication that he's been on. He's in the hospital there right now.

As a consequence of all this, my Mom has made the decision to come home from their mission in the Temple in Panama. I think this is the right choice, but I am sad that their health won't allow them to stay down there and enjoy that mission. My mom's ankle was also very painful for her every day also, so that will be a relief to her as well. Considering the circumstances, it is a real blessing that they served as long as they have, about six months, and got to have those experiences and meet the wonderful people in the Temple there.

This is a picture of my Mom hugging my Dad after he performed the sealing of my niece Clarissa and her new husband Josh in the Atlanta Temple in June 2007. I love this picture. I love my Dad. He is a dear, dear person to me, and I love him so much.

Friday evening, Bruce's brother Gary and his new wife Heidi came for to visit for a few days with Zach, Sarah and Kaleb. Gary and Heidi got married Friday morning. We are happy for them. And, it is still somewhat of a struggle because I'm still dealing emotionally with the loss of my dear sister-in-law (ex sister-in-law now), Lorna Kay in our family. Thankfully she is doing very well, considering the circumstances, because she is an awesome person, so I'm grateful for that. But I know there's lots of room in a heart for love, so I'm glad that Gary and Heidi are happy, and we do and will love Heidi also.

Josh spoke in church today, after finally getting a trim on his hair this morning (this was after quite a battle, but Mom won this time.) He gave a good talk on the Priesthood.

After Josh's talk we all went over to my nephew Devyn's missionary farewell talk in their Sacrament Meeting. He gave a WONDERFUL talk. My favorite parts were when he quoted from memory Doctrine & Covenants Section 4, and when he gave this quote from memory:

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (
History of the Church, 4:540).

I also loved it when he described how profoundly he felt when he read the words, "You are hereby called to serve...", a call from the prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Devyn literally radiated excitement and testimony. I am so proud of him, and the people of the Washington D.C. South mission are in for a treat!

So, there you have it. In 72 hours, a birthday, a broken arm, emotionally draining news of my Father, house guests and some emotional wrangling with it, and a wonderful missionary farewell.

Oh yeah, and we also added 15 animals to our hobby-farm during this 72 hours. But more on that in a later post...


wenderful said...

I had no idea you had such a full and draining weekend. OOOh, the restraightening of the arm makes me queasy just thinking about it. But if that will help him, you've gotta do it.
I'm sorry your parents will have to come home early from their mission. But hopefully their health will improve with some rest. Dad's are the best. I hope yours is feeling better soon.
Maddy will be thrilled that she made the blog. :)
I want more info on all your new animals. I want to do a video feature on you and your animals. What do you think?

annette said...

Wow, when it rains, it pours! I'm so glad to hear your dad is doing better. I love him also and recognize him as the great man that he is. I'm sad for them to come home but they have served well their whole lives. There is a season to serve and and season to step back. Did everyone hear that Murlene and Stan are called to be mission presidents? They don't know where yet. So it might be time for your folks to rest and the next generation to step it up.

LizBeth said...

Remember our chance meeting in Costco the morning of Joseph's birthday? I think you told me "When it rains it pours". Who knew you were prophetic about your next few days? I am sorry to hear about your dad, but glad he is doing better. What animals have you added?

Tami said...

Wow! What an entry. I very glad that your Dad is doing ok for the time being. I'm hoping to have a repeat walk with him sometime. I think you are a dear, dear person must be in the genes.