Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Concussions, erector sets and calls Home.

Ahhhh.  Christmas decorations have officially been put away as of....
25 minutes ago.

Which means my Christmas bloggy sabbatical is over.

And before I officially move on from the holiday shuffle, I need to recap a few things that have happened over the course of the last few weeks - just to catch you guys up on the drama of that which is my life.

In November, while setting up some Christmas decorations, my mom fell off a ladder and decided to take on the solid surface counter top.
With the back of her head.

the countertop won.

This earned me a trip back to their house sans children to keep an eye on her for the night.
Everything turned out ok
and I had a night off of kid- duty

She had a concussion, took a few days to recover, and we are now all a little wiser to ladder usage when no one is around.

Lesson learned.


In December,  we celebrated A's birthday on the 12th with grandparents.

I took this picture of my dad (wearing A's birthday present) before cake and ice cream:

As I took this picture, I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I literally heard my mom say, "I'm at the hospital....with your dad."
I brushed it off thinking I was just being a nervous nelly about the weather forecast and their drive home.

Until the next day at noon.  When I received a phone call from my mom's cell:
"I'm at the hospital with your dad..."
He fell on the ice and shattered his tibia and fibula.

Then he crawled to a hardware store (which was closed), crawled back to his truck, and decided to DRIVE HIMSELF to the ER.  Oh, by the way...his truck is a stick shift.  I have no idea how he did it, but he made it there.  Then, he laid on the horn for a wheelchair because he "got just about as far as [he] was going to get on [his] own."
Then he sat in the ER by himself because he wouldn't let anyone "bother" my mom until she was done teaching for the day.

Let me tell ya, they don't make men like this anymore.

So, they did surgery late that night to put pins in to help align the bones.  He's got quite an erector set going on that leg.

We're hoping that he won't need more surgery.  Time (and healing) will tell.

My dad is holed up in their family room with hospital bed and walker.  He's completely non-weight bearing for at least 3 months.

Dave and I decided (insert sarcasm) to give my mom a break and fore go the traditional meal of  prime rib and crab legs this year.

So, we had a very low key Christmas picnic gathered around Papa Ken's "sleigh."

It was actually a fun memory that I know the boys will remember for a long, long time.


On Wednesday, Dec. 22 we received another phone call early in the morning.

Dave's grandfather had suffered a massive heart attack.

About a half hour later, we received another call informing us that God had called Grandpa Home.
It felt very surreal since the day progressed rather....regularly.

And that afternoon, I got the mail.  In that stack was a Christmas card.
from D's grandpa:

In all honesty, I must admit that my interactions with grandpa over the past 11 years have been less than 40.
They were usually limited to Christmas, weddings, funerals, and basic familial get-togethers...

The only time I've really ever had a conversation directly with him was when he and Grandma Betty took us out for our engagement dinner.

But, even though I didn't know him as well as many others, I usually try to make a conscious point to remember three things that I appreciated about people who have passed on, so here's my three things:

1.  This man appreciated the value of a hard day's work.  (sound like anyone else you know?  Anyone I may be married to?).  After grandpa retired, he STARTED a carpet cleaning business to keep himself busy.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again...this family:  born and bred workers.

2.  He loved his family the way he knew how.  Grandpa was always mindful of his "number."  This was the number of his great-grandchildren.  The total, I think, was up to 25 when he died.  My most vivid memory of grandpa was shortly after I had A.  He was no more than 3 weeks old, and the whole family gathered at a local church for Christmas.  The first time Grandpa held A, he let me know that he was WELL AWARE that even though A. was his 6th great grandchild, he was the first fourth generation boy to carry on the last name.  He looked at A and said (teary eyed, of course), "A, wear our name well."  Later that night, we took the following picture of A, D, D's dad and Grandpa (far left).

I really treasure this picture.  My family only goes back three generations.  Having a four generation picture of all males (with the same last name) is quite rare in my picture books.

3.  He loved and knew God.  He said the prayer at (almost) every grandchild's wedding - including ours.  These prayers were often teary-eyed with some heavy microphone breathing.  He held a great deal of comfort in the fact that most of his grandchildren had a living relationship with the same God. 

It really made me think as we were going through the visitations and funeral over the past few days.  D. and I decided to let the boys come along and allow them to be exposed to death and what it means.  A. asked a lot of questions, and made a lot of family connections.  When he realized that this was his grandpa's dad, he asked me if his dad would also die someday.  I told him the truth that "yes, we will all die someday, but then we get to have everlasting life with God, and that it's not really good-bye....more like see ya later."
A. replied:  "You mean like John 3:16 everlasting life?"
Yes, A.

So, as the family filed past grandpa for one last good-bye before the funeral our little foursome family was last.  D. placed his hand on his grandpa's arm and said good bye.  I told C. to wave goodbye to great grandpa.  He said, "  I'll wave See ya later."


mrsmarkdave said...

That is the most special post. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I am reminded once again of what an awesome gift God has given us with the promise of eternal life. It is, in fact, just a "see ya' later"!

Mama M. said...

Oh, that last line made me weepy! What a sweetheart! I am so sorry to hear of D.'s grandpa passing...sounds like you remembered him well and fondly!

You've had quite the December...hopfully, Jan will be a bit less...busy for you!

Kathy said...

Oh darlin, you've had quite a month. I think I should bring some margaritas to our next playdate. ;) In all seriousness, I'm sorry about the passing of D's grandfather and also for your parent's accidents. Big hugs!!

trooppetrie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This post was touching and I appriciate you sharing your heart with us