This was the second oddest Christmas I can remember experiencing. The first was hands-down the year of Alan's transplant. But Christmas 2010 had its fair share of trials and weirdness.
I have decided to record it all here to be able to look back on it an marvel in years to come. :) So... you ready for the run-down?
It went something like this:
December 22 - A close family member (who shall remain anonymous) was involved in an accident at home. This led to several hours in the ER and a week of recovery (at their home), but very, very thankfully, no permanent damage.
December 24 - My grandmother (who has been in the nursing home and very frail, and will henceforth in this blog post be referred to as 'G') started having extra problems. My dad spent a large portion of the Christmas Eve party on the phone with the doctor and nursing home. It is also noteworthy that my sister and her new husband spent Christmas with his family, and their absence was felt by all here!
December 25 - First thing in the morning, G was taken to the hospital. Dad was there with her until early afternoon, and Christmas dinner was delayed until he got home. Even then, the prognosis he brought home was not encouraging, and no one felt especially festive. However, opening presents with the boys served as a fun distraction for a little while. Mom and I went to the hospital to visit for a little while in the late afternoon, then Dad spent the rest of the day there. Greg and I came home with the boys, cleaned the house, and packed for the trip to Grandma's.
December 26 - Got up early to finish cleaning and packing before church. Dale started 'acting funny' while we were at church. He laid down while the rest of us ate, and, sure enough, when I checked him after lunch he had a fever. Not knowing where that would lead, we called Greg's grandparents (our first planned stop before heading to Grandma's) to cancel that portion of our trip. Mom and I went to visit G at the hospital while Gramps kept Alan. Greg had Dale, because we were trying to keep him and Alan apart. By the time we came back from the hospital Alan had a fever too, and not long after I got home with him.... he threw up. Three times. Long story short, he and Dale both had fevers all through Sunday afternoon and evening. Dehydration is always a concern for Alan, so we did our best to keep fluids in him. But in spite of our best efforts the fever burned it all up, and by bedtime Alan was showing signs of dehydration. So, off to the ER we went. We arrived home 6 hours later (4 in the morning). Mimi and Gramps went home and we fell into bed for a few hours.
December 27 - This day involved a lot of sleeping (Greg and me) and a lot of snot and sneezing (me). Seems I had me a cold. Great. By bedtime I was feeling pret-ty rotten. But the boys were just about back to their usual selves, so it was looking like a trip Grandma's might still be a possibility. Meanwhile, my grandmother was still in the hospital, but would hopefully be returning to the nursing home in a few days.
December 28 - Early this morning our family got a call that G had fallen at the hospital and broken her hip. She was transferred to a bigger hospital in a bigger town, where she, my parents, and several other family members spent the entire day in that ER. A lot of scary things happened throughout that day that had everyone prepared for the idea that G might not make it. She was scheduled for surgery to repair her hip. On the homefront, I now had a fever. And Greg had the cold. All things considered, the trip to Grandma's was finally officially cancelled.
December 29 - I spent the day at home getting better. Greg spent the day at home getting worse. The rest of the family spent the day at the hospital with G, comforting, helping, making decisions. My sister arrived for a couple of days to be with everyone.
December 30 - Another long day at the hospital with G. I was well enough to go along this time. Greg stayed home and kept the boys, even though he now had a fever and was feeling pretty yuck. We all made mention several times throughout the day that this was Alan's 3-year transplant anniversary.
December 31 - Surgery day. Considering G's condition, this surgery was very risky. However, it was also very necessary. Once again, we all prepared ourselves to say 'goodbye'. Early afternoon G went into surgery. A short time later the surgeon came out to report that, surprisingly, G had done very well. With the hurdle of surgery over, the family prepared to help G (and each other) through the recovery phase. My sister went back home. Greg was finally feeling better from the cold. Is it any surprise none of us stayed awake to ring in the New Year?
So while our story of Christmas 2010 could have been sung as our own version of "The Ten Days of Christmas" (Threeeeeeee E.R. visiiiiiits!!! Two pukey kids, and one very high risk sur-ge-ry), it still held plenty of laughter, love, peace, and hope. No matter the circumstances of our planned celebrations the fact remains that 2,000 years ago, a Savior was born. And as my Daddy says, no matter what, "Life is good, because God is good!"
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
Happy New Year to all of you!! Praying you have that 'perfect peace' through life's storms and surprises.