We headed across the lake to see Jessie to get matching scorpion tattoos, which was also Zac’s first tattoo ever. Together, they make a heart. Zac had doodled the idea years ago when we were dating, so in celebration of our ten years of marriage, it was time to do something special. I love them.
Emily came over, so we picked up some lunch from Burger King and headed to the park with the kids. It was cooler than we anticipated. I had told the kiddos not to worry about bringing their sweaters as the weather said 70s, but alas, it was in the 60s when we got to the park. Oh, well. I pushed Elias in the baby swing while the big kids ran around chasing each other, but decided to leave as the sun was setting and the temperature was dropping. We headed to Walmart so I could buy some new shoes and socks for Elias. He’s outgrowing everything so fast, it’s ridiculous. Then, we went to the pond to see the ducks for a little while. Zac and I used to bring James and Leah to this same pond often when they were little. Over the years, the water has been slowly becoming more shallow, so the pond was drained, made deeper, and refilled.
Note: Our Christmas story will be in a separate post.
Christmas morning started off perfectly. Everybody sat downstairs in the sun room, I played holiday music on my phone via Pandora and we passed around and opened gifts with my parents while the cinnamon rolls baked.
After an hour or so, Mom decided to head to bed. She was upstairs in the kitchen, so Zac and I decided to start picking up the wrapping paper scraps and neatening up. Dad grabbed an arm load of goodies and started heading up the stairs. There are only eight steps that lead up to the kitchen. Not like the 18-20 that lead to the bedrooms. I happened to look up at the moment my dad was falling, straight back onto the floor from the 5th step. The thud still haunts me. He landed so hard that the floor shook and he slid a few inches. I don’t remember anything but the way his voice sounded – quiet, rhythmic moans with his breathing. I screamed, “Dad!” and Mom hurried downstairs and was shouting. Dad wouldn’t look at us, wouldn’t respond to our voices. His hand was grasping at the floor while I put a shirt under his head. Then we saw a small area of blood on the carpet. A small trickle of blood was coming from the side of his head somewhere, but I didn’t want to move his head around. He started saying “Yes” over and over, quietly, while trying to sit up. I didn’t see blood from his ears, but he had a deep gash near his left eye. Mom called 911 and we had to keep Dad from sitting up. He kept trying to push himself up to sit, but kept dropping back down. He managed to roll over onto his other side, so I sat and talked to him. Mom hurried to get dressed and the paramedics arrived. They asked him questions about what happened, but Dad had no memory of the morning or of falling. He didn’t know what month is was, what day, or even which holiday. He kept asking, “What’s all the commotion about?” and was just so lost and confused. The ambulance took him away with Mom.
Emily came over not long after they left and I told her what happened. She had passed the ambulance on our street, but didn’t expect it to be carrying Dad. Zac cleaned up the blood for me. We wasted time while waiting for updates. When Dad landed, he hit his left side, then his head. I think his glasses cut his face, unless it was the impact. He developed a subdural hematoma, which can absorb on its own, but not in every case. He also had a seizure and suffered a mild concussion. He threw up in the ambulance, which isn’t a good sign. The doctors transferred him from one hospital to another and hooked him up to monitors and machines in the ICU. Emily and I packed a bag for Mom and decided to exchange gifts and hang around until Mom needed us to go to her.
When Emily and I arrived at the hospital, only one at a time were allowed back, so I went first and of course burst into tears when I saw him just laying there. It reminded me of his heart attack when I was little. He thought it was silly, but told me he felt fine, just tired. Luckily, a room became available, so he was able to move to a private space with a more comfortable bed. Mom and Emily were able to visit along with me once Dad was settled. I hugged him and told him not to go yet. He spent the first night in his own room and did great. Tonight he’s being moved to a recovery room. Hopefully he can come home soon. From what I know, his heart rate lowered too much when he was climbing the stairs, which lead to him blacking out. I don’t remember him trying to catch himself, he just went backward. I can’t get the image out of my head… it was like a slow motion movie and I was frozen. Poor James and Leah saw him fall. Leah freaked out and started screaming, James was in shock, and Elias started crying. It was just a horrible experience all around.
I’ve got my voice back, though I’m stuck with an annoying cough. But at least I’m feeling better and it hasn’t spread to any of the kiddos.
Most of the month has been spent crocheting Christmas stockings and getting last-minute gifts purchased and put away. We’ve put all the wrapped gifts in the sun room instead of in the den by the big tree. I just don’t want the cat getting into the paper as he’s been getting into the tree. He’s quite the
Zac and I made a trip to Louisiana to visit some friends and family. Our original plan was to pick up Amber and bring her home so I could take care of her until she passed. Unfortunately, I was informed she had died back in August. I was devastated to say the least. She was 16 and I wanted to be there, but had no idea the whole time that she was already gone. Apparently, Zac’s aunt posted it on Facebook, but neither Zac nor I check Facebook… I don’t think I’m even friends with that aunt. I’m still sad, but getting through it. Having no closure is really taking a toll on me. So, there’s that. I hate that she’s gone.
Being in Louisiana was nice, aside from no cat. We stayed with Sean as always and were able to visit Zac’s family. Mawmaw is doing well. Her hair is growing back since losing it from the chemo. We visited with Marie and the kids played with Francesca. Marie had an edible craft ready to make, so the kids made hot chocolate mugs out of marshmallows and other candy before exchanging gifts.
The Christmas cantata The Arrival was last night. I woke up with a sore throat on Saturday morning, but my voice had cleared up enough for me to perform my solo without any squeaks or creaks. Sunday morning, I was hoarse. I skipped morning church and sipped honey tea all day, sucked on peppermints, and willed my voice to come back.
I had lined up a back-up, just in case, named Andrea. She’s a high-soprano with a crystal clear voice. Last week, I told her I was finding my voice cracking a bit, so to learn the solo in the event I couldn’t sing it. Sure enough, two songs into the cantata, my voice shut off to nothing more than a whisper. She sang it beautifully, of course, but part of me was disappointed that I couldn’t do it.
We ate junk food in the fellowship hall after the music. The kids filled up on cookies and meatballs and we headed home.
Today, I’m super raspy and drowsy from my concoction of elixirs. Hopefully, I’m better by the weekend. We’re planning to go to Louisiana to see some of Zac’s family for the holidays.
There are less than three weeks until Christmas. Holy peppermints, Batman. The last of my online orders came today, so I can get the gifts sorted and ready for the tree… the tree we have yet to purchase because the season crept up on us. Is it from being in my 30s? It seems like all the holidays just jump out of nowhere lately.
We purchased a few matchy shirts and had a family portrait with Santa done. I don’t think we’re sending out cards this year, but I dunno.
Elias has a cold. Leah has a sore throat and a cough. James just has a sore throat. It’s been a lovely week so far! So much snot…
1. Are you named after someone? Yes, my granny.
2. When is the last time you cried? About a month ago.
3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes.
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? I don’t eat meat.
5. Do you have kids? Yes.
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I’d like to think so.
7. Do you use sarcasm? No, never.
8. Do you still have your tonsils? Nope.
9. Would you bungee jump? No.
10. What is your favorite kind of cereal? I don’t like cereal, but Golden Grahams are okay.
11. Do you untie your shoes before you take them off? They don’t have laces.
12. Do you think you’re strong? Physically, not really. Emotionally, yes.
13. What is your favorite ice cream? Vanilla.
14. What is the first thing you notice about other people? Their faces.
15. Red or pink? Pink.
16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? My belly.
17. What color pants are you wearing now? Grey.
18. What was the last thing you ate? Gingersnaps.
19. What are you listening to right now? Warcraft music in the background.
20. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Lilac.
21. Favorite smell? Fresh-cut grass, burning logs.
22. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? Zac.
23. Favorite sport to watch? Rugby.
24. Hair color? Light auburn.
25. Eye color? Hazel.
26. Do you wear contacts? No.
27. Favorite food to eat? Sushi.
28. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.
29. Last movie you watched? The Deep Blue Sea.
30. What color shirt are you wearing? Green.
31. Summer or Winter? Winter.
32. Hugs or kisses? Hugs.
33. What book are you currently reading? Through the Looking Glass.
34. Who do you miss right now? Keara.
35. What is on your mouse pad? A design I picked from the Internet.
36. What is the last TV show you watched? Ink Masters.
37. What is the best sounding noise? Rain.
38. Rolling Stones or Beatles? I like both.
39. What is the furthest you have ever traveled? Naples, Fl.
40. Do you have a special talent? I can crochet and draw.
41. Where were you born? New Orleans, La.
A few weeks ago, I swallowed my anxiety and sent out a mass group invitation to family members via Facebook to come to Mom’s for Thanksgiving. As the day drew nearer, more and more family declined the invite. In the end, our only attendees were Karen, Eddie, and Kylie, as well as Aunt Trish, Uncle John, Anna, Christina, and Christina’s husband, John. Honestly, I was relieved to have fewer people to visit. Aunt Trish even made me my own stash of Bourbon balls, which are tucked away safely in my upstairs refrigerator.
Mom planned for she and me to cook together, but once she got started, she took over and I spent my time upstairs with Zac. I think she enjoyed cooking, though. It’s been years since she’s had the kitchen to herself.
My kids were super awesome well-behaved and sweet to Kylie. She’s 14 now, so I know how weird it is to be stuck in the age gap between too-old-for-young-kids, too-young-for-adults grouping. And it was nice visiting with Anna and Christina. We’re going to start planning another family get-together for the new year. Can you believe 2016 is almost over? I mean, I feel like this year went by in a blur.
The Christmas shopping is 99% finished, thanks to online sales. I think we may even go out and get a tree tomorrow!