Monday, November 27, 2006

Funeral, holiday

Well, I can't say I am great about getting posts in all the time. I guess I do it often enough, I just have so much going on that I can't seem to get it all down.
So, the funeral. It was sad, as funerals are. All the family, which means exponential chaos. More hurt feelings. Lots of tears. I brought my own two babysitters for my own two kids. You would think I did that because my kids were uncontrollable, but it was more for their basic protection. One of my nieces can be quite physically abusive. So, the extra adults were very much in need (our church furnished 2 adults as well). Also I did not want my kids being released to anyone other than myself or my husband, and I wanted someone there I could trust to respect that. One of my husband's brothers is a convicted child molester, and we have not had any contact with him for the past three years. Our children had never seen him, but the rest of my husband's family doesn't feel the same way. Of course, I knew he would be there, but it was important to my husband that our girls go. So, fine, they went, and I had extra eyes to watch them.
My father in law was truly a great man. He was a teacher, spiritual and intelligent. I enjoyed him very much. Everyone had such nice (and different) things to say about him. We will all miss him dearly.
The funeral wrapped up, and we headed back to the church for some food. Then home. Everyone else went to another brother's house, but I had enough of being nice for one day.
Thursday rolled around, Thanksgiving, and we spent it at my BIL's house. It was nice. All my husband's siblings were there, but the one we steer clear of wasn't there much, which was good. I am afraid of becoming lax in our standing on not associating with him. When we got there I was in a funk, kind of crabby and antisocial. Mainly because my husband is always left out of his family, and it bothers me. They don't invite him to join in their activites, etc. Getting an invitation to their house is like pulling teeth. Right before dinner, I snapped at my SIL, and I knew I was out of line. Apologized, and pulled myself out of my mood. Then things were better. We all went to go see movies, though not all at the same time. Not my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I like games better. I also have the tradition of passing around a journal and everyone writing what they are thankful for in it. It was beautiful to read. Many things are cleared and sweeter on paper. I had felt all day that nobody was talking about my FIL, and I thought that was weird, but all the enties talk about him. Also the thankfulness for each other, and the admission of weakness, etc was so nice to read. The things that aren't always said, but should be. We didn't head home until 11pm, but it was good.
Friday my husband installed sinks. Whatever. Saturday we cleaned the garage, which was *very* exciting. Except all the extra ended up in the driveway. And that evening it started to rain. SOOO, at 9pm I got out there and threw all the stuff back under the eaves. I am offering most of it on, and it is already leaving. Very nice. Especially because my neighbors *will* complain. They suck.
Sunday was pretty quiet. I subbed in nursery. Always a treat. Today is Monday, and we are all back to the grind. I have a bunch of stuff hanging over my head that I just haven't taken care of with all the things going on in Nov. Now the time is short, and I need to get on it. Almost all my Christmas shopping is finished though. :) I have a policy, so to speak, of trying to get all my Xmas shopping done in Nov, so my Dec is less hectic. It is usually very nice, and this time especially so. Dec is already filling up. Today a good friend of mine was sick, so I took her some food, then later some dinner. Then we went to the drive-in to see Deck the Halls. It was cute. Tomorrow evening I am planning on giving blood. I'd better remember to drink lots of water throughout the day. When I gave birth to my first child, I hemorraged, and needed 4 units of blood. I made a pact with myself to give it all back, but I only managed to do one before I became pregnant again. Although I am still breastfeeding, I feel up to it, so I'm going to try. Otherwise I think I will run into the same problem. I like breastfeeding to 18mo, and my husband and I like this spacing between our kids, so I probably won't have much time in between. Which is fine.
But, I can't believe I am halfway done having children. I often times look at my kids and wonder how I got to this point in my life. I am *very* happy, just sometimes a little bewildered at where the time has gone. And desperate to enjoy every day, as they slip away so quickly.
Well, if I'm really good I'll post again tomorrow (or later today, as it were). I'm off to bed. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The morning of

7:35am the day of the funeral. I am not usually up this early, but I couldn't sleep. So is my 3yo, but she is up from coughing. Both my girls have had runny noses, but it seems to be deteriorating instead of getting better. Unfortunately. But, today is the funeral, and at my husband's request they are attending. I stayed up too late last night, too. I'll be glad when this day is over. I'll probably be even more glad when Thanksgiving is over. My husband is taking off Th, Fr, Sat and Sun, so we'll have some nice, quiet time together. Now what to do? Recover and lick wounds from Thurs, is my guess. Start a fire in the fireplace, drink hot cocoa, play some Christmas music. Well, at least I have something to look forward to.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hurt Feelings...

So, I just got off the phone with my MIL, and my feelings are really hurt. I was asked at the family meeting last Monday to write the eulogy, and I have been thinking about it, getting prepared. Well, I just called her to get Dad's specific dates, where he had lived, etc, and she said, oh, there were a bunch of the kids over at my brother in law's house last night, and they wrote it. I can just go ahead and forward my stuff on to him. Of course, she acted like this should be fine with me, no explanation necessary. Just that I hadn't done it, so he did. I am feeling really left out. I know he wasn't my father, and I really just offered to write the eulogy because I wanted to be nice and not make any of them do it. I don't mind not doing it, but not being told, and not being included in all the memories last night made me sad. I know this is probably overreacting, and it is an emotional week, but I can't make myself feel otherwise. Well, I'm feeling a little better already. His family just sucks, and I know it, and there is nothing else to do but get over it. So, I guess I will. Preferably before tomorrow morning's funeral.
My best friend is coming to town in about 30 minutes. But, she, in that way that best friends can be, has a tendency to react even stronger to things that hurt me than I do. So, I want to tell her, but I know it will just make me upset again. *sigh* And she is already upset, because her family is crazy and dysfunctional, too! Why do we even have families?!? So we can screw each other up even more?!? Whatever.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

On Death, and other things

So, it has been a while. Just the way things go, I suppose. My father in law passed away this previous Tuesday. He had been in ICU for two months. He went in with severe abdominal pain, which turned out to be a number of clots blocking the flow of blood to his liver. They performed emergency surgery, and it was touch and go for a while, with organ failure, but he did recover. All except for his lungs. He was 75 years old with chronic brochitis, and with his history of poor lung health, he just wasn't able to get off the respirator. The hospital tried to wean him off, and they were planning what rehabilitation facility to send him to. Until this past weekend, when the doctor leveled with my mother in law and told her that he would never live off life support again. In his will it very clearly states that he doesn't want to be on life support for more than 30 days, so the decision was easy. We held a family meeting on Monday to discuss the process and funeral arrangements, which was nice. Sad, but good to get everybody together and air all the feelings. I felt like we had a lot of the same feelings and thoughts. Arrangements were made to take dad off life support at 8pm the next day. Everybody else went to say their goodbyes right then, but I had to get back to my nursing infant. My family went the next day, and dad had been taken off most of his pain medication, so he could hear us. My 3yo sang him a song, and we all told him we loved him.
That evening I left my girls at home with a friend, and headed to the hospital, arriving at 7:30. My husband and his brother gave dad a blessing of release. Promptly at 8pm the Dr. came in to start the process. All of my husband's living brothers and sisters and their available spouses were in attendance. They took dad off the respirator slowly, so he wouldn't be struggling on in pain. That took an hour, and he was the same as he had been, sometimes grimacing, sometimes sleeping. Then, at about 9, they took him off the machines entirely. He opened his eyes wide, and seemed to be looking at something that wasn't there. I am a faithful church member, and I truly believe his spirit was preparing itself to pass on. Whether that was angels ministering to him, places his spirit had to visit, I don't know, but it was a very spiritual hour. Earlier in the day he had been unable to open his eyes, although he tried. Now he was focused and looking around, though not at anything in the room. His breathing became rapid and his pulse raced, as though he was running a marathon. At about 10pm, all that changed. His color left his face, he totally relaxed, and his breathing slowed to once every 20-30 seconds. I got the impression that his spirit had left at that point, and so did my husband. That it was just the mechanical part of his brain kicking his breathing reflex. After 10 minutes, he died. It was a beautiful and terrible thing to be there for, and I am so grateful I was present. I feel even more strongly now that the spirit continues on after the body dies. That our bodies are created by a Heavenly Father, and they are made to do what they do, even die. It was peaceful and very obviously a process. Right after he died, I was struck with the idea that all dead bodies look alike. That seemed a bit strange, but I think void of a spirit, they all take on a similar look. We were all able to stay for another 45 minutes, just being family, and end with a family prayer before we all went our separate ways. I thought the process would be really hard on my, as I have issues with death, but I didn't. I realize I don't have issues with death as much as I have issues with people being gone...
The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday. My husband will be helping dress his father at some point, and I have offered to write the eulogy. We'll see how that all comes together. We are planning a family Thanksgiving, which will also be interesting. I have a lot to say about that, but I don't want to right now. I also want to write about other events that have occured in the past two weeks (girl scout cookie sales, a girl scout camping trip, etc), but again, not right now.
I am tired of having to recount the story. Maybe I'll just direct people here. I know everybody is loving me, but the process of telling people about it is emotionally draining. Asking if we are okay, asking if it was expected, asking if my MIL is okay, asking if there is anything they can do. I really appreciate everyone's concern, but even having to answer questions about it is hard. Not because I fall apart, but it just makes me tired. I don't know.
Anyway, I am tired of writing about it, too. I'll write more later.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My week

Why is it that I feel like I just posted yesterday, and it has been a week? Why does my life run like this ? Do other people have this problem. Like somehow my life is running on fast forward?
Anyway, this week was nice. Halloween was fun. We had three other couples and a single friend over for a nice dinner-appetizers(spinach dip with french bread and apple slices with a carmel dip), caesar salad, stuffed butternut squash, and homemade ice cream (which I cannot take credit for). The meal didn't go over that hot, in my opinion. Not because it wasn't cooked correctly, or tasted poorly, either. I think it was just a little too gourmet or vegetable heavy for the crowd. I added sausage to the squash! Oh, well. I enjoyed it. My older daugter had a friend over, and they went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. It was a nice night.
Friday I sold girl scout cookies in front of Blockbuster. I am a leader of a Junior GS troop, mainly ten year olds, two of whom are my nieces. I have a great time doing it. I guess my favorite part is participating in activites that I would usually not get an opportunity to, like touring a cemetary, walking in the SLO Christmas parade (which I am currenly organizing for all SLO girl scouts), etc. The sales are probably not my favorite part, but since I am not the cookie chair this fall (I will be in the spring, my SIL and I switch off) it is a little less pressure.
Saturday got exciting! On Monday when my nephew and his girlfriend were over, we decided on a November 25 (now Nov 24) wedding date, thinking this Saturday was too soon. Well, good thing! They have two older children, ages 3 and just 2, and we offered to keep them while the rest of the family was in the hospital. Friday night at 11pm the kids were dropped off, but it turned out to be a false alarm, and they were picked up about an hour later. Then Saturday at 11am they were dropped off again. They stayed at our house all day, and we took them to the drive-in that night, but before the movie even started we got the phone call. :) They had the baby at 6:06pm, another girl. Their oldest is a boy and the younger (two now) girls. My nephew picked up the kids for a short visit to see their new baby sister, and dropped them back off when the movie was over to spend the night.
Moving on to Sunday, those kids sleep through the night fine, but were up at 6:15. Now, I have to tell you, anything before 7am in our house is the "middle of the night." That is what I tell my kids, and I mean it. Not generally a problem in our home, as my girls usually get up between 8 and 9. Not these kids. So, I got up, and got everybody fed and bathed. We attend church, so I got the kids ready in case they were coming with us. They ended up going to the hospital, and returning that night. Meanwhile, we headed to a friend's house for dinner. Actually, the same group that was at my house for Halloween. Except they did Costco frozen pizza. Which was good, and watched the worst of American Idol, which was not so good. We are not TV people. We don't have cable. We do watch movies, but no R rated and no PG-13 in front of my 3yo. Anyway, it was turned off quickly enough, which was good because it was in danger of driving away ourselves and another couple. We ended up playing scattergories, which was fun, and coming home at 6. Early still. But we watched a movie and had some issues getting my 3yo to sleep, so it was midnight before I hit the sack. And, of course, no rest for the weary as my great niece and nephew were up at 5:50 this am. I was quite a grump. I love them, and was happy to be able to help their family out, but I was not sorry to see them go this morning. I think our family just needs some quiet time. I have had enough of other people's kids for a while. And boys! My goodness! I am thankful for my girls.
So, we had a pretty relaxing day today, after those kids left, and my friends daughter went home (that Monday thing). We all took a nap, actually. And had a nice crock pot meal, and went out for ice cream. Now my husband is putting one kid to bed, and I am about to do the other since she is crying at my feet. Then we'll talk about how we will vote tomorrow. I should post that. THAT would get some responses, I'm sure. I'll think about it...;)