I admit that I am cheating on SoCS this week. I had a post that I had to write and it could not be stream of consciousness. My family has had a very eventful week. If you are so moved, you can read about it here.
When I wrote this post in the wee hours of Monday morning, I had no idea what new highs and lows the next twenty-four hours would bring…
At 9:00 AM, Nana and I met with her primary care physician, Dr. T. What began as a discussion of her recent symptoms that had prompted us to be there quickly segued into a discussion of how her numerous health conditions and our treatment plan were not succeeding as we had all hoped, how the trajectory while there were ups and downs was trending downward, and how we needed to discuss and prepare for end-of-life planning.
As I am sure you can imagine, or, perhaps, know from your own experience, the discussion was painful and emotional, but I am grateful for Dr. T’s honesty, care, and concern that made it possible for us to consider our options and get the help that Nana and all of us need. Barring a sudden event like a stroke, we are likely to have some unknown number of months with Nana, which we want to make as comfortable and peaceful as possible, as filled with family and friends as her strength allows.
We are starting with getting home care recommenced, but the new goal will be to have therapists and aides to help care for her so that she can conserve energy for fun things, instead of wasting it on mundane things. For example, while a goal of her physical therapy had been to be able to walk down to the dining room at their retirement community for dinner, a new goal will be to get a wheelchair so she can ride to the dining room and have energy to eat and visit with friends.
We expect that there will continue to be some days that are better than others, but we hope to have enough support to keep Nana at home in the apartment she shares with Paco. They have been married for 63 years and belong together!
I spent much of Monday afternoon communicating with family members that needed to know what was going on and wrapping my head around our next steps. E and L took over dinner preparations and we settled in for an evening together watching television. E wanted to watch the Stanley Cup (ice hockey) game and was ensconced on the couch with L, when, a bit before 8:00 PM, she startled all of us with the news that her water had broken.
In short order, there was a call to the obstetrician’s office, the message saying to head to the hospital, the hurried assembling of some supplies, and the four of us driving off to the hospital where we arrived at about 8:30.
E and L headed into the delivery suite while B and I set up in the waiting room, thinking that, given that E had not been having noticeable contractions, they might send us home while she rested for the night and waited for labor to begin in earnest. The reason we thought this might be the scenario is that, when I was pregnant with E, my water broke at 36.5 weeks and it took 26 hours for her to arrive.
And E was also at 36.5 weeks.
This was a different labor-and-delivery story.
Baby arrived before 1:00 AM Tuesday, on the sixth of the month.
E was also born on the sixth of the month.
Baby weighed five pounds, five ounces (2.4 kg) and was eighteen inches (46 cm) long.
E was born at that exact weight and length.
Baby has a full head of hair, as did E, although E was strawberry blond (later changing to golden blond) and Baby has dark hair, like L’s.
E and L named their new daughter Ada. Henceforth, I will likely refer to her here on the blog as ABC, which are her initials, but I did want to share her lovely name with you in honor of her birth.
B and I got to share a little time with the new little family before heading home to catch a few winks before the sun rose. We each got to hold our precious first grandchild and reflect on the parallels between E and little Ada.
One more: Ada, like E, is the first grandchild on both sides of the family.
L was able to stay at the hospital with E and ABC until they came home on Wednesday. On Thursday, they went up to meet Nana and Paco.
Maybe Ada was in a hurry to arrive so that she could meet Nana as soon as possible.
I’m sure she will bring us all much-needed joy in the coming months.
After the problem at the Oscars last night, mistakes are in the news, so I have been thinking about mistakes a lot today.
Most of us lead our lives in a small, mostly private sphere. When I make a mistake, it is usually straightforward to correct it and move on.
I’d hate to think of what my posts would look like if I couldn’t correct my mistakes…
A simple mistake of handing someone the wrong envelope last night led to a few minutes of confusion before the situation was corrected, but having millions of people viewing that mistake must have made it very difficult for those involved.
Still, the solution was fast and there was no lasting damage.
Other mistakes are not so easy to rectify.
Last night, 60 Minutes was re-showing a segment on people who have been exonerated after long prison sentences. Such grievously mistaken convictions are not so easy to rectify. Some states try to award money to the person, while others don’t even do that. Still, no amount of money can replace decades of lost life with family and friends, a chance for a career or for building a family, being able to choose what to eat and where to travel, to have contact with others on a regular basis, all the stuff that we take for granted as we build our adult lives.
One man, exonerated by ballistics testing after thirty years in prison, made his first stop after being released his mother’s grave. Nothing could ever replace the precious time he lost, locked away from her.
One of my current worries is mistakes from the White House, which can have massive consequences.
For example, mistakes with the executive order on immigrants and refugees sent some people back to dangerous situations. A mistake made in international relations could even lead to armed conflict.
People who are in positions of public authority don’t share the luxury that I have of making – and correcting – mistakes in private. Therefore, they must be particularly diligent to be thoughtful and considered in everything they say and do.
“Our challenge today is to trust the power of love at the heart of life, to let ourselves be seized by love, to create and invent ways for love to evolve into a global wholeness of unity, compassion, justice, and peacemaking.”
~~~ Ilia Delio
I’ve been telling myself some version of that for years. It usually involves getting through some major project/issue/development – the “if” – so that “then” things will calm down and be organized and predictable and under control.
It almost never works out that way.
I am finally wising up and getting to the point where I don’t promise anyone, even myself, some future goal.
Too much can happen that was unforeseen or that results in a totally different chain of events than anticipated.
The only constant is change and all that…
A lot of things that I might have seen as if/then are morphing into hopes, rather than promises or commitments.
It’s a way to retain some level of sanity/calm/integrity.
People who read my blog know that the past few months have been difficult for me, beginning with the unexpected death of my mother-in-law in March. I had to pull back from a lot of my usual activities, including blogging practice, and I thought I had an idea of when and how I would work my way back to what I had been used to.
Then, a string of other things unfolded and I have had to acknowledge that I really don’t have a clue when I will resume or even if it is possible.