I've been looking forward to this week for quite sometime. It meant quiet, peace, and quality time with family. The break was much needed. Cheney and I had planned to leave this morning to drive back to Greenville to spend Thanksgiving day with his family. That was before the two days of work were some of the worst that I've ever experienced, before I fell in a hole and sprained my ankle, and before the Thanksgiving Storm of 2013 decided to hit. Temperatures dropped drastically, snow began falling on Wednesday, and the roads iced up between here and there. If we wouldn't have had to drive through a mountain pass, we would have gone, but the I40 pass is not a good place to get stuck or stranded. So, this week has not been what I had planned. I spent some time in self-pity, but as I sit here on Thanksgiving evening and reflect back on the blessings that I do have, I feel down right shameful that I was focused on how I wouldn't be having the Thanksgiving that I had dreamed.
Two months ago, I came too close to losing my dad. I received a call around lunch time on September 20th while I was in training from my brother. I chose to ignore it. Right behind it, Cheney texted me and said to call when I had a chance. I thought that was pretty suspicious since I had just seen him 15 minutes prior. So, I left the room and called. The news was devastating. My dad was in the ER in kidney failure and the outcome didn't look good. Apparently for 2 weeks, he had been having symptoms that his kidneys were shutting down, but he didn't let anyone know. His creatin levels and his potassium were at fatal levels. His potassium was at a 9 and all of my nurse friends have told me that they have never seen anyone alive at a 9. After emergency dialysis and a time spent in ICU, followed by a few days in the hospital, he finally came home. The next few weeks were full of cardiologist and renal appointments. A mass was found on the kidney that was 9 cm long. The kidney itself is only 12 cm. The doctor told us that it was probably cancer, but it was contained. The decision was made to remove the kidney and the gall bladder and to clean the prostate out. Surgery would be scheduled for November 20th.
Living out of state has its advantages at times, but when your family is working through life changing events, it is difficult. I was unable to make it to the surgery last week, but I've kept in constant contact with my family since - multiple calls a day. But today, I am reminded at just how thankful I am for family. Sometimes it takes a wakeup call to make you realize how you have taken their presence in your life for granted. Cheney's grandmother is 95 and we don't know how many more Thanksgivings we will have with her, so it was bittersweet not to be there with her today.
Cheney and I have spent the day lazing around the house. Me with my cup of coffee. I've taken the time to enjoy the quiet. Thanks to a dear friend for supplying me with instrumental Christmas music. It has been the soundtrack of my life this week. Taku has spent the better part of the day curled up beside me as I've plugged away on a little project.
I know I'm not technically supposed to be working on work things, but when you get the chance to work on something you are passionate about, it really isn't work. I'm in the middle of writing a writing curriculum for my teachers, so I've been neck deep in mini-lessons, mentor texts, anchor charts, etc. Not having cable television has allowed me the focus I needed to get it done. Sure, I missed my first Macy's parade in 30 years, but it's been nice to be quiet.
Cracker Barrel served us a nice hot Thanksgiving meal, so we didn't go hungry. For that I am thankful.
So that quiet, restful, and relaxing break - I am having one, just not the one that I had planned. The candles are lit, the music is playing, Cheney is in the woods, and I am enjoying the peace that comes from having a full life. Saturday we are headed to Greenville for a late visit to make up for missing this one :) Hope you and yours have had a wonderful Thanksgiving today!