No Jack Bauer here. Just our own life changing turn of events.
Saturday to Sunday was amazing.
Joel worked Saturday and I gardened my fingers down to the nub only to rush in at 3p, to throw the kids and I in the tub and get us all ready for my aunts 50th birthday party. Amélie had left her “Baby Dear” at some one’s house 40 minutes away that was 12 minutes or so from the party so we went there first to retrieve her precious baby from their front porch milk box.
Just before leaving town I told Joel even though we were told to not bring a gift, I could not bare to walk into this party empty handed so we went to the local wine shop and grabbed a LOVELY bottle of St. Estephe for my aunt. She is an Italian wine kind of girl but I think she will be able to appreciate one of Frances finest regions. I ran in and suggested to Joel that he backtrack a block or two and get the kids a French Fry (the only things the know MacDo even makes) for the drive. It was pushing 5pm they would have eaten their arms off in the back seat by the time we reached our destination…anyways all that to say we killed an extra 5-10 minutes which could have put us right in an accident. On our way further down the road traffic came to a stock and we could not figure out what was going on as no cars looked damaged however people were on the side of the road on phones and then we saw a bag in the middle of the road and a man sprawled out on the pavement with civilians around him motioning traffic on by as someone performed CPR. It was horrible. His big belly was going up and down and up and down – a scene I will never forget. A hundred feet or so down the road was a motorcycle on its side. Aidan was in the back seat asking a million questions as I began to cry and pray out loud for the man and for a quick response time for the ER vehicles. We were very rattled. Very rattled. After a mile or so we passed a cop car headed in that direction and we can only hope that the ambulance was coming from the other way because we never did pass one. It was sobering and our prayers were with that unknown man throughout the evening. I kept thinking that it could have happened right in front our our eyes or God forbid had involved us had we not made our quick wine and fries stops in town. Explaining what we had scene to Aidan was hard enough.
With Baby Dear sitting cozy in Amélies lap we got to my Aunt’s party and enjoyed an evening of great wine, family and food – even sneaking down to the basement to check on Junior who was having a horrible night on the track.
My sister left toward the end of the party and Grandpa offered to walk her to her car – she was the last one at the end of a long driveway…when he came in he was having a hard time talking and he went to sit down with Gramma and my Mom and Don in the corner, they offered him some water and assessed the very big day he had had, (travel, flat tires, the party, etc) Joel and I inquired as to what was going on and our first response was to get him in the car – he may be having a stroke. Quickly everyone was in agreement and with my Uncle at the wheel, Gramma, Mom, Don and Grandpa were off to the hospital 10 minutes away…no one in the family really likes my Italian Uncle’s driving habits but I think that night they were grateful to have someone with his bravado behind the wheel!
Thankfully there were no hysterics, we just got them on their way, Joel and I got the kids bundled up, it was pretty late by this time and we decided Joel would take me to the hospital while he did laps in the lot with the kids. I just wanted to give Grandpa a hug and tell him that I loved him and check on my Gramma and Mom.
He had been admitted by the time I was there (about 45 minutes later) and I walked in just as the doctor was saying she was very pleased with his last 20 minutes and would not be giving him the “stroke drug” as it can be very dangerous if you really don’t need it. He was able to answer all their questions and do most of the physical things they were asking him to do.
My grandparents may have their aches and pains and Grandpa has “a little” Parkinson’s but they are and have been “drug free” their entire lives. No one at the hospital could believe that this 80 year old man took no drugs. They have always believed in natural medicine and hard work – thank goodness.
I did get my hug and “I love you” in and in his slightly slurred speech he said, “I love you too sweetie” and I left for more important family members could come in. We went to my Moms for the night since we live so far out from everyone. I could not bare the thought of being so far away. For some reason I can not ever, ever sleep at my mom’s house and I think I might have slept for an hour and a half before Amélie awoke at 5:30. Ugh.
Mom had got home at 3:30 a.m. and later that morning watched the kids for us while Joel and I ran to the hospital to hug him again. Gramma was there and I just wanted these two people who have blessed me to know that Joel and I would do ANYTHING for them – running back to my aunt’s for something, get some food for them or even head back to the farm for a few days to complete summertime projects they had planned for – I just didn’t want them to be thinking “now what?” . I have felt very strongly since I was a child that someday should the need arise I would be honored to take care of my Grandparents. They have always done so much for all of us and have played almost a parental role in my life. (I am only ten years younger than my uncle) My Gramma and I are especially close and always have been. Thankfully that “desire to help” is the general consensus in the family and everyone is willing to do whatever they can or are asked to do for these two wonderful people. I would like to believe that even someday down the road “nursing home” will not be words found in our family vernacular.
Grandpa had an MRI schedule for 1pm and by that time I was back home and just putting my head on the pillow for a much needed nap – as I drifted off I prayed and simply asked God to leave Grandpa with us for awhile more, he is so full of joy for the Lord and such a blessing to us all. He is the type to break into song throughout the day and to run outside should the tornado siren go off – MY KIND OF GUY!!! He tells everyone he meets about God. (In fact there was a nurse in his ward with a Muslim headwrap and I thought, “Girlfriend better get ready cause Grandpa is going to tell her about Jesus and His love for her!”) I prayed that what had happened would be IT – nothing more, no “iminate stroke” on the horizon.
I woke 3 hours later to the news that my prayer had been answered. Grandpa had a small blood vessel burst but the MRI and carotid artery doppler scan showed no further blockages. This kind of mini-stroke was “normal” for someone his age. His speech will return to what is was with some therapy.
Grandpa’s kids are stepping up to the plate like they always do to serve their parents. He is home, back on the farm where he belongs and I am thanking God for his health and for the fact he was with all of us when this happened.
If you have emailed me, called me or are waiting on a package from me please forgive me. Those 24 plus hours gave me reason to push pause on the rest of life. But it’s Tuesday now and we are all, praise God back in the swing of things.