Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Roundup...

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. This year was sort of an emotional roller-coaster due to many factors:

1. Frank is not working.
2. Grandma is dying.
3. My children are making me crazy.
4. Not enough money to do what we need to do.
5. Just generally feeling overwhelmed.

Okay, so here's how it all went down...On the night before Christmas Eve, Frank gets a call that they have work. ON CHRISTMAS EVE!!! So now I have mixed emotions (most of which were angry) because we really need the money but I also really needed his help around here on Christmas Eve. He had no idea what time he would be home and so I canceled our traditional Christmas Eve special dinner because I refused to eat it without him and leave him a plate in the microwave! That just wasn't right. I settled on a less-than-special dinner and we will make our traditional dinner tonight. I was not thrilled about it, but it's done.

He got home just as we were sitting down to eat, we all ate quickly and then had a fabulous dessert open house with about 30 of our closest friends. It really was wonderful and exactly what I needed because ...

Also on the night before Christmas Eve while I was on the phone with my sister, she informs me that our mother is over at grandma's house because grandma's liver has shut down and she has taken a turn for the worse. I'm like "What does that even mean?" She's like "I don't know. I haven't spoken to her yet." I make her call our mom while I am on the phone (she used her cell) and it turns out that things are really bad. Mom is crying, all of her siblings are there - crying - and grandma was not expected to make it through the night. Christmas is looking bleaker by the minute.

The Reader's Digest version is that she did make it through the night but suffered a seizure and a stroke. She could not speak or move her legs. Hospice came in and declared her as "actively dying" and sent for an ambulance to take her to one of their care centers but they did not think she would survive the move. I was an emotional wreck the whole day of Christmas Eve and I was fortunate enough that my friend Cathleen was here with me when some of this was going on and literally let me cry on her shoulder. The party that night really helped. When mom and her siblings went to see grandma on Christmas day, she said it was like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Grandma was sitting up in bed eating surf and turf! Not pureed food, but real fillet Mignon and lobster! She was talking (in a slightly altered voice) and told them all that she was not staying in this place another night! We're all quite stumped at this and a hospice doc won't be in to evaluate her until Wednesday but all I can say is Praise God grandma lived to see Christmas! I'm hoping to actually get to talk to her today.

I DID get to speak to Malibu Bar...I mean, my new step-mom and guess what? It was TOTALLY AWESOME! You know what I wrote about how I thought our conversation would go? Well, it was pretty darn close to it! There were at least six "awesome's" in there and several "totally's" and it was all very Valley-ish. Dad told me of the feast he made for her family - fillet Mignon, rack of lamb, assorted seafood and I told him that I was offended by this and he was like "Why?" and so I told him that the last time I was there all I got was a freakin Stouffer's Lasanga! He's said "One time I did that!" and I had to remind him that we were only there ONE TIME!! So he tells me "So come again and I'll make you a feast" and I told him that I was unsure if I wanted to take that chance! Sweet, sweet family memories. Frank has a half day of work today and for that I am thankful. The kids are playing with all of their new "goodies" and so things have levelled out around here with them. I got to sleep until 10:30 today and that was pure bliss. There is way too much cakes and cookies left in the house but I'm sure I'll just have to - sigh - deal with it. I'll make the sacrifice and eat some more chocolate cake. If I have to.

The things I do....

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