May 2013

Yes, this is late. May this year was not always so nice to us and I don’t want to talk about all of it. My wife is pregnant with our third child and has had “morning” sickness every day from 2pm until whenever she decides to go to bed. The sickness aspect is a new thing this time around. This means that she is well and happy in the morning when she leaves for work, and by the time she gets home, she is feeling awful.

Birthdays. My birthday was just a Saturday in May. Jaime had a trip planned for my birthday weekend which we canceled with no reschedule in sight (still sick every day). Jaime’s birthday was the day after Mother’s day, so all of that got lumped in together. Stephen’s birthday was spent in Colorado. We had a trip planned to see my wife’s sister and her family from May 21 – June 1st. Didn’t fully work out that way, but Stephen’s birthday was nice. We went to an indoor pool with zero entry, a lazy river, and a lot of waterguns/features. Then he opened up some books, clothes, toys, and zombie-related stuff that afternoon.

Stephen played a lot with his cousin who is only five months younger than him. Three and four year olds lack social skills and it’s mostly annoying to the parents. They had a great time every day, but sharing was a fiasco at times. Also Stephen needs some time to himself, like his dad, and that’s something that is hard to come by on vacation. Henry and I are another story. Henry and I get on each other’s nerves in the worst of ways. Also I think he is like me and has difficulty in new surroundings. I know what I’m getting into and I just try to be cool and go with the flow. The underlying problem is that I’m not cool. After 4-5 days, I had no more patience for the child. It sucks. I suck at it sometimes.

On our third night in Colorado, my maternal Grandmother had a stroke and was taken to the hospital. She remained unresponsive until her death on the evening of May 26 (more on that in another post once I get some pictures together). So now we get to the part of the story where we had to change our flight back and come home early after a week of awful news hanging over my head and an impending funeral to attend. In one sense vacation was ruined. I mean, we did fun stuff every single morning, but it was hard to enjoy it. It was hard to even be present, really. Ugh. I tried my best, but like I said, I’m not cool.

We stayed in a hotel the night before our flight back, on account of having to be at the airport at 5am the next morning. To be quite frank, Henry hadn’t pooped in days and stayed up half the night with a rock-hard stomach, wailing into the night. Alarm went off at 4am. We missed the first shuttle. Then our flight was delayed for an hour somewhere between when we left the hotel and when we arrived at the airport. Had we known that, we could have slept in until 5:30am that morning. How luxurious that would have been!

Flight home was amazingly uneventful. Fantastic. Our ride was waiting for us. Home at last. I got one night’s sleep in my own bed and then took the Prius up to Pennsylvania the next morning. I listened to Mississippi John Hurt for the first ninety minutes and cried and cried. That was just what I needed so I could hold myself together later when it counted. After that I switched to Grateful Dead of course. At some point on the drive my inner monologue went:

Hmm, I feel kind of strange. My hands are tingling. My right hand is numb. When’s the last time I ate? Yesterday morning. That might be a problem. Pull over. Pull over NOW!

Not good. Got some food and made it to PA about ninety minutes before the viewing. I played guitar for the entire viewing (three hours), and I figured out a bunch of Mississippi John Hurt songs as I went. It was… awesome? I know that’s not really an appropriate thing to say, but I don’t know how else to say it. I had already gotten the crying out and I said the most personal goodbye I could. The songs were appropriate and tasteful. It felt like I was doing the right thing and I enjoyed it. After about two hours and twenty minutes, my right bicep was cramping up. I was going to stop, but when I did, it sounded weird in there, so I just did some easier stuff for the last forty minutes. The next day was the funeral and some time with family. I had to come back the day of the funeral because I had to contain all of it within the month of May. I know it’s dumb, but I didn’t want any of that to spill over into June.

On top of all that, I resolved to quit drinking for a year on my birthday this year. Would have loved a glass of Grandmother’s whiskey when I was up there. Oh well, that’s my only regret so far with the no drinking thing. The only thing I want of my Grandmother’s is the current bottle of whiskey she was working on so I can drink it on my birthday next year.



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