Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year was really a blessing in disguise. Our initial plan was a beautiful trip to Aruba and a chance to spend time with my niece and nephew. Alex turned 16 the day before the big holiday. We had planned the trip for 3 months. Rick's father, whom we have been taking care of for the past two and a half years took an unexpected turn for the worst and was hospitalized. I had to decide to stay or go on the trip. At first, I grudgingly found myself wondering what was the right thing to do. It took only a few memories of how supportive Rick was when my dad fell ill to make the choice to cancel the trip and to stay.

Less than 12 hours after that decision, I was called to substitute teach for an art teacher who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, my mom had no one to spend Thanksgiving with, I was scheduled for a biopsy and on top of that was Jim's failing health. It felt like my world was a place about to explode in the chaos and turmoil. As many know, my brother and sister in law were also a negative factor in this equation. I found myself unable to eat or sleep, only allowing myself coffee and working at school in the hopes I could keep my head on straight.

One night, after lying in bed for hours, awake and unhappy, I heard my dad in my head. He told me to do the best I could and to keep the faith. For the first time in many nights, I rested for two hours and went to school again. Also for the first time, my father in law told me that he loved me and that felt really good. It is never too late to share that sentiment with anyone. Through persistance, we were finally able to move him to hospice the day before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving day started out with a beautiful ride on horseback for Rick and myself, the first reprieve and quiet time in almost two weeks. Then winter blew in with a vengeance later in the afternoon with gusts of winds carrying the sting of wet snow. It was just a hint of the winter weather yet to come.

Thanksgiving dinner with my mom was an interesting event with a little traditional turkey and the less traditional course of Caribou...hmmmm....not a hit, but a nice dinner with my mom who is a wonderful person to spend time with at any time. On our way home, we visited with Jim and even took Eeyore and Foxxy in for a brief visit. He woke up for the first time in 12 hours, petted the dogs and fell back to sleep. He was not conscious the next day and passed away in his sleep early this Saturday morning.

I feel relief for him. No more struggling for breath, no more pain and no more depression. We forget that a simple life, full of love is what we should all strive for at any given time. It is not money, or material things that will make us happy or satisy us. I am happy that Jim does not have to struggle or see the stupid turmoil that his family will go through after he is gone. I am glad to have spent the time with him and wish him all the blessings and peace that he well deserves.

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