Starting last Sunday: Celebrating B's birthday with baseball-iced cupcakes, family and friends. B screams ear-piercingly in the bathtub as I remove cupcake crumbs from his clenched fists. The boy loves his food. Mom e-mails to say Grandpa has been moved to a hospice hospital.
Monday night: I'm up puking (I've no idea why, don't start rumors). B's up with night terrors.
Tuesday: Mom calls and needs me to go to Winter Haven. Dave's mom is out shopping less than an hour away so I throw some essentials in my bag, switch cars with Dave, and I'm off. I get to the hospital in Auburndale around 1:00. It's rough. My grandfather is uncomfortable, the nurse and doctor trying to get the right mix and dose of pain medication, we are told he has hours to days. Meanwhile, my dad is flying from Knoxville to Charlotte, my mom picks him up, they repack bags, and start driving the 8+ hours to FL. My grandfather is stabilized. They say the hearing is the last sense to go so we talk to him, sing a hymn, and try to make the day go. I leave around 7:30 after my aunt arrives. My parents get there around 10:30. My mom and aunt head to the house around midnight. My dad and grandmother stay the night.
Wednesday: Mom calls in the morning to say that Grandpa has died.
Thursday: Clean house, do laundry, run errands, make beds, wrap presents, deliver presents. My sister-in-law (married to my brother) gets a flight to Orlando for 11:50 that night. Dave makes me sing with Rockband on Xbox to keep me awake. I pick up my sis-in-law and we finally get to bed at 1:00.
Friday: The memorial service. I get everyone out of the house, dressed in their finest, by 7:50 AM for the hour+ drive to Winter Haven. Dump the kids in a nursery with a stranger (to me and them at least). I take one look at the port-a-crib they have and know that Ben will not be taking a morning nap. I think the thing would have fallen apart if she attempted to put him there. The service (at 10:00) is short and simple, very Lutheran, high church. I pretty much made it through "How Great Thou Art," my grandfather's favorite and the one we sang to him at the hospital. The homily reflected my grandfather, even the rough spots, and I had to look at the banners and candles to keep from losing it. My purse was a wad of wet tissues by the end of the day; so was the one I lent my mom. Long receiving line of people I didn't know. The old men with tears in their eyes were the hardest to look at. Had to explain which one I was (a granddaugther, Mike's daughter, the one with the great-grand kids) and we had to explain who Sarah was (granddaughter-in-law whose husband is in Afghanistan). What a trooper she was. Back to the house for lunch with my grandparents' friends and out-of-town guests. Grandpa never liked the receptions at the church and never went. R flitted about from one white-haired lady to the next, plus she had two sets of grandparents and great-grandma. She was pepped up on people, for sure. Made it through, went home, ordered pizza, went to bed early. B woke up at 1:00, screaming again, didn't go back to sleep for good until 4:00, maybe, in our bed. Grr!
Saturday: Threw the Christmas tree up since now everyone is coming to our house for dinner. My parents come over in the afternoon. We eat roast, veggies, and Sister Schubert rolls for dinner--comfort food! Then the girls head out for a movie--something normal, according to my mom. We see Atonement. Very good, though my eyes did shut a few times. We all sleep good that night.
Sunday: Church in the morning. My kids are in their Christmas outfits. Man, they looked good. Mom and I then go to Costco and Publix during naptime to shop for Christmas dinner. INSANITY! Then Amigos and margaritas for dinner and a drive through Spring Valley to look at lights. More normalcy returning.
Monday: Christmas Eve service was wonderful. I loved the music, the lights, the stars, the candles. D got R for the last few songs and the candle lighting. We come home to what we think will be our traditional Christmas Eve lasagna but there is no delicious fragrance awaiting our arrival, despite the oven being on and the timer counting down. The problem? No lasagna in the oven. Mom won't be living that one down for a while. So we get out some cheese and crackers and pop open champagne (sparking wine to be precise) and toast our departed on a bittersweet evening. We finally ate around 7:00.
Tuesday: All manner of family descend on our house. Long day short, we eat, we eat some more, and people play Rockband. B does his screaming from 8:00 til 9:30 at night instead, which is an improvement. I run out of diapers (the only time I have ever done this) and have to go to Walgreens at 9:30 on Christmas Day. At 1:00 AM, R gets up to use the potty and screams that she doesn't have any hand sanitizer. B sleeps till 7:00.
Wednesday: Meet the family for breakfast at First Watch. I don't want to eat again until New Year's. D starts a house purging. We run out of steam around 10:30.
I know this has been a long post. Thanks for reading this much. I'll post more humor from the kiddos, reflections, and new music reviews later.