Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Monday. It is usually a whirlwind day for me with volunteering at the free medical clinic to working at the airport in the afternoon. But today my little girl is under the weather, so she is staying home. I've pushed her before to go to school when she was a little "snotty" but today I felt like she needed to sleep and take it easy. She'll probably hang out with my husband a bit this afternoon so I can go to work. Not sure, though. We'll just have to wait and see.

I had a mammogram about two weeks ago and it showed some calcification that had changed in 6 months. Yay...a stereotactic biopsy for me! Yuck! I'll most likely find out today when the appointment is. I'm a little anxious about it but trying very hard to not let it consume me. C'est la vie.

Well, I should go take advantage of this extra time around the house!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We went to Brooklyn on our way out of New York City. We have friends who live there. Oh my gosh! I loved Brooklyn! The tree-lined streets with the brownstone houses---so homey. We had a nice lunch with our friends and saw there 5 month old, very cute, baby boy. He was so cuddly. But, the funny thing is when we first got there, Pete, Chris, Clay and I went for a little walk. We bought some coffee and muffins and on the way back noticed a huge lion stuffed animal sitting on the stoop. Chris told us that people put stuff out on the stoop when they want to get rid of it. It's free for whoever wants it. I'm talking this is the biggest stuffed animal I have ever seen. Well, you can guess we now possess a huge stuffed animal in the shape of a lion. Oh and to gross you out more, the kids alternate nights as to who gets to sleep with it!

The rest of the week was busy. I volunteered on Monday and then worked. I worked on Tuesday and stayed late because they needed the help and my parents flew in on the 4:50 pm flight. I'm definitely taking advantage of the flight benefits. We didn't do a lot of stuff- in fact, my parents are content to do nothing. But, my dad did build some bluebird houses until he came down with a cold. My mom and I only got out to shop one time. Pete ended up flying to Oklahoma City (again, flight benefits) to buy a used truck for the farm. He's driving it back. My parents flew back home this morning at 6:20 am. I'm tired because I had to be at work at 5 am this am. Phew! Now, I'm watching some basketball on TV. I love this time of year.

Next week, I finally get to go for training with my new job. There is a handful of us going to Atlanta for a day. We'll leave Tuesday night and come back really late on Wednesday. I say finally because my boss had been turning me down right and left when I ask to go to training. I don't get him at all. Oh well, I'm just keeping my eye on the prize.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New York!

We went to NYC for the weekend. Friday was my father-in-law's birthday and Saturday was my husband's. The kids and I flew to La Guardia on my benefits. I love taking advantage of the free flights.

Saturday, Kendall dropped off her American Girl doll at the store so it could be sent to the "hospital." Our dog had chewed off her toe right after Santa gave it to Kendall. The afternoon was spent running around in Central Park. For dinner, we went to a new restaurant called Maialino. My father-in-law's first cousin took us all out to celebrate the birthdays. It's right by Gramercy Park. I really like that part of New York.

So, we will be heading back to Pennsylvania. I hope there is sun there today. It's been so spring-like here in NYC. But first, we are going to Brooklyn to see one of Pete's best buddies from high school. He, his wife and 5 month old baby are moving to Seattle soon. It will be harder to see them after that. :(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

favorite day continued...

This is a drink made from lime and mint. It was really thick, but delicious. At this point in the day we were in the old part of Dubai.
After lunch, we walked around the historic area of Dubai. There was an area that showed how the Bedouins lived and there was a camel. Of course I had to ride it! The guy led me around what took about 3 minutes. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I'm wide awake. So much has happened these last few days. My mother-in-law passed away March 6 around 2:40 am. My husband, his sister and dad were able to spend the last week with her in the nursing home. My father-in-law had a huge day scheduled on the 4th, and I believe my MIL held on until that big day was over for him. The ultimate sacrifice from a wife who was always in the shadows of a successful, powerful, driven academic. Yes, I believe as she lay there not eating or drinking and getting weaker and weaker, she did what she could do to not ruin his day.

About 4 months ago we received an invitation to a symposium to celebrate my FIL's 70th birthday hosted by the Dept. of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Harvard University Asia Center; and Dept. of Anthropology, Harvard University. About six months ago, my MIL was placed in a nursing home because she could no longer stay in the house due to her deteriorating condition from Alzheimer's Disease. And almost two weeks ago, we got the news that my MIL was no longer eating or drinking-the final part of the disease. My husband waited until the day after my birthday and then he drove up to Boston, not knowing she would be alive by the time he arrived. He did make it and was able to see her everyday until she passed. The kids and I joined him on Thursday that week and we were able to attend the event for my FIL on Friday, the 4th. On Saturday, the 5th, we all hung out in the nursing home talking and just being there as a family. Her breathing was still regular and her pulse was 64. Amazing for a woman who had not eaten or drunk anything in 10 days. Around 5 pm, we said our goodbyes--I told her I had learned to cook and her son was taken care of. My husband told his mom it was OK to go now. The kids kissed her and told her they loved her. We then left and went out to dinner. The phone call came at 2 am from the care giver, Sioban, and she said, "she's not going to make it." My husband, his sister and their dad made it to the nursing home just as she breathed her last breath. The care giver was reading Psalm 23.

1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwella]">[a] in the house of the LORD

They stayed with her until her body was taken away.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

It's been a crazy week. We got the call that my mother-in-law isn't going to make it much longer. Pete drove to Boston earlier this week to be there. Now, it's the waiting game. Oh, and there is supposed to be a celebration on Friday at Harvard for my father-in-law with former students coming from all over the world. I know Pete and his family have probably done most of their grieving since Alzheimer's Disease is a long, sad road. Still, it's hard to prepare for the finality of death.