Monday, December 01, 2008

Memories and Traditions...

A year ago my brother and I had a dream.  We dreamt of our kids having traditions over the holidays, that there would be an expectation that things would be the same and that our kids would look forward to the family traditions.  We recognized that it has been hard to have this dream because we are often in different places with different people from year to year, so we shared this dream with our parents and families and started something new.

Thanksgiving is at my house.
Christmas is at his.
Everyone is invited and welcome to join in the fun.

Well our first annual Thanksgiving at Pam's was memorable to say the least.  We had an awesome gluten free meal, with some gluten on the side for those who can have it, and great company.  (pictures in previous post!).  My mom, brad and grandma came down from Indiana.  My cousin Tricia (who I haven't seen in countless years) and her little boy came from the DC area, and my brother and his family came in from Texas.  It was a houseful, but fun!  Even some friends from the area stopped by for dinner and brought a carrot cake that looked so good I was tempted to endure the consequences of eating gluten, however, my rational quickly took over when I realized days of consequences weren't worth the minutes of the cake on my palate.

We had hoped to make memories over the weekend however the weekend took a turn friday evening.  After a wonderful day we returned to my apartment and throughout the evening noticed that grandma wasn't being herself.  Her behavior was off, and she eventually complained of a headache.  Mom took her back to the hotel to rest and after a while my brother and I put the pieces together and called mom to take grandma to the ER.

This story is getting long.  The short version is my brother and I arrived at the ER and thought the grandma we knew would never be the same.  I remember looking at him in tears as she lay there talking gibberish and wondering if he was as scared as I was.  According to the doctors grandma had a stroke.

Eventually we came to our senses and realized that having all of us there in the middle of the night was not a good idea, so we went home, slept for a few hours and made plans to relieve mom in the morning.  Throughout Saturday grandma started gaining her memory, and gaining words, little by little.  Her MRI that day showed only an "old" stroke (which no one has record of occurring) and they said that whatever happened friday night was not a stroke.  confused?  yeah I was too.  They then determined she had an infection.

Saturday night they blamed the delirium, disorientation, loss of motor skills and language skills on a severe bladder infection.  We were confused, but grandma was improving by the hour so we didn't complain.

Sunday morning she had a different MRI, this time they told mom she had indeed had a stroke, it was just a "small one."

Grandma was released Sunday afternoon and we all sat in my living room with the most thankful of hearts.  This was the image we had expected all weekend.  My brother and his family, mom, brad, grandma and I all sitting around, laughing, talking, enjoying each other's company, filled with gratitude for what God had given us.

It wasn't how we anticipated our first annual Thanksgiving at Pam's, but the calendar is marked, and the menu is already being worked on for next year.  The second annual Thanksgiving at Pam's will take place on Thursday, November 26, 2009. You are welcome to join in the fun, and we promise to try and keep the visits to the ER to a minimum.

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