My aunt loves to play Scrabble, so every time I go to Ohio she and I have a standing date to play. Bryan takes the kids so she and I can have a meal and play a few games together. We've been doing this for at least 10 years.
I am grateful for all of those hours and hours of time I was able to spend with her.
Before we left for Ohio, my dad told me that my aunt had been admitted to the hospital. She had a pain in her abdomen and her feet were very swollen. They were conducting all sorts of tests on her, and the results were going to be ready on Wednesday. Towards the end of our drive, about an hour away from my grandma's house, I got the call. My aunt is filled with cancer. It's in her lungs, her liver, her abdomen. She has refused treatment, and the doctors have said she has 2-6 months to live.
Our trip was very different than the one we had planned.
While we did get my grandma's yard all cleaned up for the winter, we didn't play any card games. Instead, the boys did a fabulous job of keeping themselves occupied in the basement at my grandma's house while I helped my grandma and my aunt. She left the hospital on Thursday and moved straight into my grandma's house.
I will forever be grateful that I was back home this particular week. I am so grateful that I was able to be there to see my aunt and help her and my grandma. We didn't get to play Scrabble, but I did get to talk with her. Even in her horribly weakened state, she was able to make us laugh. I was able to help her slowly and carefully walk into the house. I got to help her when she needed to check her blood sugar. I was able to rub her back and get her comfortable when she was feeling like she was going to be sick.
I will forever be grateful for the time I could be there.
Before I went to Ohio, knowing time would be tight when I returned to Indiana, I had started my thankful list. While I'm still thankful for the fact that I can finally sit Indian-style (I've been waiting for 5 months to be able to do that!) and for the time to get our house cleaned and the game cabinet cleaned out, it pales in comparison to the gratefulness I feel in being able to be in Ohio for these days with my grandma and aunt.
We slept at my dad's house for the first time in a long time. He seemed to be very happy to have us there, even getting up early to make a gigantic breakfast for us on Thursday. On Thursday night, the boys and my dad and my stepmom and I played cards at my dad's house until way past bedtime. We laughed and we enjoyed ourselves. I am so grateful for the time spent with them, too.
I absolutely hated to leave Ohio.
While I know they are in capable hands, and my aunt and grandma and all the other relatives understand that I had to leave, I want to be back there so badly. I want to sit with them and listen to their stories of when they were kids. Of when they were teenagers. Of when they were young adults, forging out into their lives away from home. I want to hold my aunt's hand while she sleeps. I want to hold my grandma's hand while she doesn't. Because she can't, worried for her sister.
But I must be home. Not just for my own kids, but because my darling nephews are coming. In fact, they will be here any minute. I'll spend a week caring for them and having fun taking them to various places around Indianapolis.
And I'm grateful for the time with them, too.
This week has just reinforced my belief that we need to quit being too busy for each other. We need to stop working or cleaning or (gasp!) blogging in order to spend time people. It doesn't matter if we are doing big, adventurous things or simply playing a game of cards. We need to spend time with people. Face to face. And we need to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
When looking in the face of an 86 year old woman on her death bed, I am so, so glad I spent those years making the 6 hour drive that made those simple games of Scrabble possible.
Call someone today. Visit someone as soon as you can. Make it happen. You won't regret it.
Have a lovely day!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, Mother of Imperfection, Rewritten, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine
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