Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who knew

Life can throw you some really unexpected curve balls. Who knew I would be invited to share a family vacation with my daughter? Who knew that one of my son-in-laws would suffer a massive stroke? Who knew that the summer would shape up to be so very busy? Certainly not me.

In May, our kids decided that I needed a break. How would I like to go to Italy for a couple weeks down time, all expenses paid?  OK, if someone would stay with Richard. So Dianna agreed to do so. Then just before I was due to leave, her husband Paul suffered a stroke, his third and worst. It landed him in the hospital and then in a recovery center. But since Dianna was not needed to care for him at home, she still wanted to stay with her dad. Then Paul had a brain bleed, which meant that he could no longer take the medication (blood thinner) that helped prevent additional strokes. He was readmitted to the hospital.

At this point I went ahead and found someone else to stay with Richard, a student that attends our church. She was thrilled at the opportunity to earn a little bit of money to go see her own dad. So I was off to our daughter Amy's house in Germany. I drove up to our son Rick's and left my car at his place. He drove me to the airport and Amy picked me up in Frankfurt. From her home, we drove down though Switzerland to Levane, Italy, about an hour south of Florence.

They had rented an apartment in an old villa from where we took many day trips and long scenic drives. We went to Rome, Piza, Florence, Luca, a large lake in Palusia Province, a formal garden, and one of the ancient hill cities. But while I was away, our son-in-law died.

Dianna had Paul's remains cremated and will have a memorial service for him on July 4, it would have been their 9th anniversary. Because of financial loss, Dianna will need to move, as well. So I, and others, have been helping her sort, get rid of, and pack. It is all a process, one we will get through. But it is hard.

We are expecting a lot of company too. It is always great to have company, but I was not expecting so many, in such a short time. I will deal with it and enjoy each one as they come. But I reserve the right to get tired. I do that a lot these days. It just kind of goes with the territory of getting older.