Recent days have proven to be times of many challenges. As we've taken on extra duties preparing to move my father into assisted living and mentally preparing for the work ahead putting his house on the market, my brother asked if daddy could come to our house for the 4th of July weekend. Of course, he can. My dad is welcome in my home any time, and we thoroughly enjoyed his presence. Plus, my brother has been daddy's caregiver for the past year and deserved a break. I also have been expecting my daughter-in-law and Emma and Ben for an early summer visit. In the midst of all this jam-packed life, my sweet hubby is diagnosed with a retinal vein occlusion (in laymen's terms, an obstruction in one of the veins leading to the optice nerve). The nerve of him (no pun intended), with all we have to do! But of course, our attentions turned to him over the holiday weekend because of the potential seriousness of this and, after a trip to the eye doctor with blurred vision in his right eye, we were sent directly to the ER for tests. The coming weeks hold more tests in order to determine what actually is going on in that body of his. In their "great concern for" and out of their "great love for" their father, both girls flew home (along with little Preston) to make sure their dad was following doctor's orders and that he is not being too much of a stubborn patient for me. Good luck with that one, girls... I'm sure they just wanted to see his face, but we are always blessed by their visits (and it didn't hurt that they just happened to be here for my birthday!).
So the house has become a bit active since all have arrived. To top it all off as if we had not had enough scares, Angela called me to inform me she had had an "incident" while driving up from South Georgia where she had to pull the car off the road because she felt ill. The next thing she remembers is waking up to the kids calling her name, trying to rouse her. They also had called someone for help, bless their little hearts. They are smart ones, those two. Thank God she had warning signs and was able to pull off before having an accident. Ditto for the hubs. So grateful that his issue was considered a warning, as opposed to health issues that give no warning signs at all. Both of them it seems are having major issues with their blood pressure and have to get to the bottom of all this "stat", as they say in the hospital. I also found out (after the fact) that Abbie's flight to Atlanta was the scariest she had ever been on. The turbulence was so bad at one point that she came up off her seat. People were screaming, and objects were flying. On her trip back to the airport we heard that United Airlines had grounded all -- repeat, ALL -- flights in the US, due to computer problems. VERY DISTURBING INDEED. In the midst of it all, I had a birthday celebration with family and a couple of my closest friends. It was a beam of light and a needed reprieve from all the insanity.
Family life becomes a bit riotuous at times, wouldn't you say? Just when we are patting ourselves on the back because we think we are doing a fairly decent job of juggling all the responsibilities life throws our way and we think we are coping fairly well with the present and pressing issues, we are totally knocked for a loop we didn't expect, and everything stands still for a moment while we deal with the immediate and urgent problem at hand. But to have family who will jump in and pull together when times get challenging is a gift upon which we cannot place a price. I know there are people out there who are alone with no family, and my heart breaks for those folks. Even though they may have casual friends or acquaintances whom they see from time to time, they don't have anyone they consider family and that is so unfortunate because I believe family is the glue that holds you together when life starts to crumble. But good family relations don't happen overnight. They are the product of much building, struggling, breaking down and building again, and doing it over and over through the years and decades, as they become stronger and stronger through each difficulty and victory. The happy truth though is that, even though you may not have any blood family, families can be formed just the same with those people whom you consider family. They are the ones who always have your back, whose primary goal is to lift you up, and who cover you when you need shelter from the storm. And the best part about those kinds of families (unlike blood relatives)? You can choose them yourself! Just because you are born of the same blood doesn't automatically make you family with that person. I wish it were so, but far too many times it's not the case. I know people who are estranged from blood relatives but who have people in their lives whom they consider their real family. How can this be? Because real family is marked by how you treat each other, how you care for each other, and how you interact with each other. They are the ones who rejoice with you when life is smooth-sailing, who hold you up when you feel you're sinking into the murky waters, and who are there for every catastrophe, life change, and joyful moment in between. Family is forever, whether it's by blood or by choice. And if you are blessed enough to have blood relatives AND friends who are family, then you are truly blessed. I would fall into that category because I just happen to have both. You may not bear any blood relation to me, but you know who you are.
At the end of this busier-than-normal, less-than-perfect week, and in spite of my one mini-meltdown, I am happy to announce that everyone has been deemed overall healthy and in no immediate danger, everyone has arrived at their destinations safe and sound, and life remains good because once again family has pulled together and seen each other through.. "Family" has once again been the mending glue, piecing together all the crazy parts of this puzzle we call life.
And, for the umpteenth time, we are sincerely humbled by the blessings we have.
Posted by CC
I love to write; you love to read...let's share!