Grandmother's stay in the nursing facility was short lived. She was rushed to the hospital in respiratory distress in the middle of the night last week and admitted to the hospital. While the hospital staff are wonderful, we were very grateful to be able to bring her home with hospice care on Saturday. She was very relieved to be home in familiar surroundings where there is plenty of room for everyone to come and spend time with her. I am especially grateful for it in the middle of the night when she has a bout of breathing trouble and I can give her her medicine and then sit with her holding her hand until it kicks in. Not being able to breathe is so scary and having someone there with her makes it easier for her.
And once again, the cavalry is here when we need them. My Aunt has care-taking experience and helped me bathe her, Uncle visits her, runs errands, and makes airport runs. BFF Cousin stays with her to give me a break - doing dishes and fixing her dinner too. Little-Bro Cousin brings his one and a half year old over to charm a smile out of Grandmother (the dimple does it every time) and my BFF brings her adorable 11 year old son and almost 1 year old daughter to visit. Dad and Stepmonster are flying in from Vegas (again) tomorrow, Teacher Cousin flies in on Wednesday, Scientist Genius Brother arrives from Australia on Thursday, and Salt Lake City Cousin will be here Saturday. Marvelous Mom will visit tonight and tomorrow and every day after that if I need her.
A long time ago, Husband and I made a conscious choice to invite Grandmother to live with us and be a daily part of our family. Part of making that choice meant taking on the responsibility for taking care of her health needs, no matter what happened. We made that choice happily and cheerfully and have never ONCE regretted it. We - and our children - have gained more from having her here with us than we could ever give back.
But I know that if we had not made that choice, someone else in the family would have. We have been so blessed with our family and friends and there are not enough words to express how much I value their love and support and how much it means to Grandmother to have everyone here loving her at the end of her years.
May everyone have such an incredible and loving support system.
It's no secret that I love cars. I love cars and I love to drive. I can identify by make & model 99.9% of the cars we see on the road and most of them by year. Headlights in my rearview mirror tell me what kind of car is back there. (Have you SEEN the new Audi headlights? AWESOME!) Jay Leno's car collection makes me green with envy. If I had a squillion dollars I would buy a new car every year. I'm impatiently counting down the years until I can have a fun car again and ditch the mom-mobile. I also may or may not have a reputation as a lead-foot. (A speeding ticket every year? Sometimes twice? MOI? Never happened.)
Nissan 370z? Volvo 370 hard-top convertible? Mini Cooper Turbo S? Jaguar XJ? In other news I am completely delusional.
Husband on the other hand is the only Iranian on the planet who is unwilling to spend obscene amounts of money on a car and thinks vehicles are nothing more than a tool from getting from point A to point B. Just my luck.
A road trip is my idea of the perfect vacation. Obviously. We've gone on enough for that to be apparent - I drove from SEATTLE to AUSTIN, TEXAS and back with three kids by myself! And had fun! I drove from Seattle to Berkeley to Las Vegas and back with two unbroken kids and a kid in a crotch to toes cast and rented wheelchair by myself and had fun! I love driving new routes, exploring new country, finding a ridiculous tourist trap to stop at in the middle of nowhere.
My dream vacation is to drive to Alaska - on the Alcan highway - with my Dad. I want to see where they lived in the Yukon when he was a kid, drive thru places like Chicken, Alaska and see his old high school in Anchorage. Someday we WILL do this!
I drove Marvelous Mom batshit crazy when I had my drivers permit - wanting to go to the grocery store, gas station, random locations anywhere just to get the chance to drive. And I got my drivers license the second I turned 16. When daughter was approaching drivability age I had daydreams about the two of us spending quality time in the car while she learned the fine art of avoiding speed traps. Ahem, I mean driving responsibly. And I can't deny that not having to ferry her all over the damn planet sounded pretty good. While I like to DRIVE, I have yet to master the fine art of being in two places at once so there are some pretty fancy mental gymnastics involved in making sure she and I are both where we need to be all the time.
Daughter hates driving.
WTF? Whose kid is she? We have a car for her to use all the time - a pretty nice car for a first timer I might add - it's my pre-minivan Acura MDX. We paid for drivers ed classes. And I have to yell and scream and roll on the floor to get her behind the wheel to practice. She turned 16 in October and has failed the written test twice - I swear just to prevent having to get her license and drive by herself.
WHERE DID I GO WRONG?
I'm not pushing it (much) because solo driving is too much of a responsibility for someone to do if they're not confident in their abilities but DAMN. If I hadn't been there when she was born I would swear she isn't my kid.
Luckily Thing 2 is showing signs of being eager to drive and paying attention to car makes and models - at least ONE member of the family will share my passion for all things automotive.
So far March has been a hell of a month. I'm hoping since it's come in like a lion, it will cooperate and go out like a lamb. On the first Grandmother had a very small stroke which caused weakness in her right hand and wrist. On the third Thing 1 had to call 911 - I was at school and Husband was still at work - for her and she was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia, another infection, two squashed discs in her back, severe anemia, and massive dehydration.
I'm still baffled about the pneumonia, not once did I hear her cough. Its something I am pretty vigilant about paying attention to because pneumonia is so common - and deadly - in elderly people.
We almost lost her - she spent three days in intensive care - but the woman is amazing! Ninety five and she is now in a rehabilitation facility getting physical and occupational therapy every day and hoping to come home in a week or two.
Husband and the Things leave on March 24th for Iran so the next week and a half will be spent in a mad packing frenzy. Good thing I'm on spring break until the end of the month!
Here's hoping April will be a better month, I'm beat.