04 October 2013

31 days... of dinner chez les Wrightlings... in which I have absolutely NO IDEA what my family ate for dinner nor any of the conversation that took place while they did. {day 4}


I can tell you all about what Nana and Pop pop ate and the treasured time and lovely conversation I was privileged to enjoy with them while my family was out and about eating who knows what. 

And... I can't really truthfully say absolutely NO IDEA... because I do know what they ate and I do know what they left on a plate for me in case I was hungry when I got back to the hotel after spending time with my grandparents at the hospital.

We are in SE Missouri right now, hanging out at a hotel and at a hospital and taking advantage of a few days off school to spend time with my grandparents. It wasn't our original plan. I certainly did not plan to be doing a 31 days blogging post from here when I changed my mind about my original 31 days posting plan (it was like a 180' change, too). But it is all good - and I wouldn't have traded the past few days for anything in the world (although Nana might... a broken hip isn't fun at all... and she is really struggling with being in the hospital and not being able to go back home right away. Stairs and broken hips and therapy to get that hip back into shape don't really get along too well.

So last night, "dinner chez les Wrightlings" was mostly managed by their daddy back at the hotel. We can't say enough about Drury Suites... Inns... Lodges... all things Drury. Here in Cape, at least, they offer a pretty great deal - discounted rates if you are visiting family in one of two local hospitals AND complimentary breakfast AND dinner. When a meal out with our family costs $40 minimum (with coupons), those complimentary meals are great on the budget. Prior to Tim taking the kids back to the hotel from the hospital, Nana did share her popsicle with the littles - and they are still sporting their resulting red mustaches.

So Tim and kids came back to the hotel - and sliding into the hotel restaurant just in the nick of time as they were cleaning up the buffet. They permitted my crew to serve themselves directly of the cart instead of telling them they were too late. We find those things (people being kind even when it is not required of them) often happen when we travel with our munchkin mob. They ate hotdogs, chicken tenders, chili and mac and cheese. They thought they hit the jackpot, even making up a plate for their mama (but it wasn't quite so appetizing when I got back from the hospital much later in the evening). Tim said it was a pretty boring night around the table - but they were in a bit of a rush since the buffet staff was waiting on them to finish.

 I hung out at the hospital with Nana and Pop pop while my mom and aunt went to look for a place that Pop pop would be able to stay while Nana would be temporarily in a nursing home during her physical rehab time. They actually live just across the state line, in Illinois - the road they travel is called "The Old Grapevine Trail" - winding, very dark at night and very hilly with lots of critters dashing across the road, not a whole lot of access to help if/when needed, and no cell phone reception and 30 minutes away. My aunt lives in Cape (the town with the hospitals), so when my grandparents need help, she drives that way and then brings them back.

It was heartbreakingly sweet and frustrating all at the same time to listen to my grandparents discuss their current situation. Nana wants to go home and isn't ready to admit that she can't... and I think she's afraid if she cedes to not going home this time, she's taking the first step to giving up living independently in the home she and Pop pop have shared for over 60 years. While I can't understand that - I do know how sad it would be to know that I wouldn't be going back to the only home where I've ever visited my grandparents... ever. Pop pop, on the other hand, is in a wheel chair, suffering from congestive heart failure and on oxygen 100% of the time, and recognizes that their present home is not set up for success for Nana to rehab from her hip injury - too many stairs, throw rugs and accumulation of mementos to celebrate memories from 67 years of marriage.

Which got them off on another topic... and I saw bright lights shining on a 67 year romance as they spoke of Nana turning 18 - and them getting married just 17 days later... of them celebrating their first anniversary with my mom... my nana just days shy of 19 years old... Hearing my pop pop talk... calling Nana his bride... seeing his love and concern and willingness to face her sometimes fiery red-head wrath because he wants to see her back up on her feet again while the whole time he knows that he probably never will be this side of heaven... and then watching them shift conversation again and talk about how she'll never not be a red head (and me throwing in the fact that my kids have decided that I'll be just like Nana in that respect)...

So many emotions, 
     so many hard things, 
         the frustrating sides of memory and ability loss, 
               the learning to accept help,
                 make decisions out of love instead of pride,
                    considering as viable emphatic NEVER befores - because of love...
fighting to hold on to those NEVERS - because of love and gratitude for all that presently is...

...so many hard yet beautiful glimpses amidst so many changes.

And even though I missed dinner with my Wrightlings... Last night qualifies as one of the best treast ever, spending those few hours just me and my nana and pop pop.

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