This has been a rather unusual and stressful couple of weeks. We stayed for four days in a room at the local Motel 6 while our condo complex was being fumigated. I am not sure who the brilliant folks in the homeowner’s association were who decided to fumigate the complex 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, but it was a poor choice. We had 300 other days in the year to do this, but no! Let’s wait ‘til the holiday season comes. Yowsa!
This was definitely an interesting experience. First it was a pain to bag the food products. I had tried not to buy too much food before the event so that there would be less to pack. Thankfully, my son took care of that. He worked in the fumigation business so he knew what had to be done. Then figuring out what food to take to the motel was made difficult because our room had no mini fridge. Packing which toiletries we couldn’t live without. And don’t forget the glasses and the contacts and the solution. Oh, I need the magical Oil of Olay to keep my aging skin young looking. How about a lap top and a tablet? Or for the older folks, like me, books to read made of actual paper. Don’t forget the dog food, the leash, and the puppy pads in case of an accident. Oh yeah, we’ve got to pack the dog, too. Clothes, uniforms, shoes, slippers. All the medications and vitamins. Heaven forbid we don’t bring our iron tablets!
I am saying this tongue in cheek now. I was actually kind of looking forward to it because I wouldn’t have to cook or wash dishes. I wouldn’t have to vacuum either. So that would mean I might have time to read, make beanies, relax, and spend time with my family. It started out fine. My daughter loved the hand held shower device and bench. I liked having a heater and air conditioning system that worked. My son? He tolerated our mini-vacation. But after 4 days (originally it was supposed to be only 3 days, but the day they started was so blustery the exterminators couldn’t not put the tents on. That meant an extra day and a dip into my Christmas money.) I think we’d had enough.
Day 2 ½ got more stressful when my daughter got claustrophobic and couldn’t sleep comfortably in the bed, my son complained we snored too much (My son snores. Don’t kid yourself.), and the ice melted too fast so our bottled water and milk didn’t stay cold. Oh, add the fact that my daughter and I like to talk and my son isn’t much of a talker, well, you get the picture.
I am a positive person and I figured it was an adventure and this too shall pass. My cheerfulness didn’t rub off enough. However, I consider it a victory that 3 adults with 3 very different personalities and a small dog survived and returned home in one piece. No one was missing a limb. None of our noses were broken and we were still able to speak to each other. Miracles do happen!
On a sad note, just before we had our mini-vacation, my darling father died. He went on to paradise on the 14th of this month at 1:05 in the morning. I really believe that he had a stroke because when I went to visit him the Sunday of that week, he couldn’t speak much, and try as he might he couldn’t follow a conversation. He slipped into a coma by Tuesday morning and hung in there until Saturday in the wee hours. He was a healthy man and played senior softball into his 80s. His heart was strong. It was hard to see him struggling for breath and not being able to cough out all the phlegm. He was not in any pain. He was kept comfortable. It was a privilege for me and for my daughter to sit through each day at his bedside. Hearing is the last sense to go so we talked to him and I read to him from the scriptures. My father was a faithful Catholic so he received the Last Rites. I considered being there for that a privilege as well.
Many of the family came to visit with him and were able to express their love to him. I know my father wouldn’t have wanted us to hover over him, but I think he would have been happy that some of us who had hard feelings towards each other were able to be in the same room with the hard feelings gone. My dad lived for family and this would have been gratifying for him.
I will admit a couple of times I cried because of the sudden change in his condition. It was my father’s body, but he wasn’t singing or cracking silly jokes or asking me to pet Mr. Pete for him. I don’t cry anymore because I know he is in Paradise with his family. One of my brothers has been dead for 20 years. In life they were best buddies. I can imagine the reunion, the hugs, and the discussions about fishing and sports. I can imagine him being surrounded by his parents and 2 of his siblings and their spouses.
It was odd this Sunday to not drive up to the VA Home to visit him after church. That was my custom. Something wasn’t right. Even my children commented that it was weird for me to be home right after church. We will adapt, but I will miss him dearly. He was an awesome dad. My children will miss him as he was essentially their father, too. At 92 he lived a long and full life. I hope we can all do the same.
Love you, Dad! Till we meet again…