Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gratitude Christmas

Sophie and I took her nephew David to dinner last night and then returned home to an empty house, save Siegfried and Sheba, our 7- and 5-year-old Jack Russell / children.

After David left, we sat together, just the two of us.

When was the last time, if ever, that we weren't with others on Christmas Eve?

We couldn't answer. And so we opened presents, listened to Handel's Messiah in front of the Christmas tree and fireplace. Never have I done so little on such a night.

We didn't hear from Bandar, a good sign that all's well with her and family in Virginia. We'll check in with her and my folks later today.

Soon, we're off to sister Amy's in Hudson for Christmas dinner.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a hope that you get a chance to take an appreciative breath and enjoy whatever goodness you may have in your life today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's a Bandar-ful life!

Season's greetings!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rest for the weary

Mission accomplished. Today we nervously put Bandar on a plane headed for Norfolk, via Philadelphia. This is the beginning of something special. For five weeks, Sophie's mom will get to stay with Sophie's sister and her family in Virginia Beach.

Yippee for Bandar! And her family in Virginia! And for Sophie and Steve!!!

Enjoying an adult beverage during our final 
night out together, this week at Friday's 
It wasn't easy preparing for departure. Long before today's ordeal -- arriving two hours ahead of departure, my accompanying Bandar to her gate and explaining over and again (and again and again) which ticket was which, how and when she would change planes and what we had written on her emergency note -- Sophie had to pack for her mom, take care of her mom's Christmas presents Bandar wants to give to family in Virginia, organize and stock up on and ship her meds, give her a final Saturday night shower and trim her hair. And to add extra challenge, Sophie came down with a flu bug yesterday. She got everything done despite being miserably ill. 

All along we lived in fear. Something else would go wrong, not an unreasonable worry in thinking about travel plans for a nearly 87-year-old.

Anytime this week Bandar sneezed or cleared her throat Sophie jumped.

"You're not getting sick, right? You can't get sick," she'd say.

A major cold or respiratory infection could screw up everything. We've been counting on Bandar getting on that flight.

And then we got a bit of a scare yesterday with our first major snowfall of the season.

All of this a healthy reminder of what's at the essence of the Serenity Prayer.

So this week we prayed. For good health and clear weather. No delays, no missed or canceled flights. And what do you know? God answered our prayers. Bandar's in Virginia!

Now that she's checked in with us to let us know she arrived safely, we can take a breath and begin our second Bandar-less break this year (the first was a one-month respite in July). Aside from two other short breaks since Bandar moved in with us in June of 2009, our life has been every day with Bandar. Morning. Noon. And night. Every. Day. With. Bandar.

Caregivers need these breaks. We are so grateful to have family to help share the load, that Bandar's well enough to travel and stay elsewhere and to have friends and family to keep us in their prayers. Now, we're praying again for good health, clear weather and a happy five weeks for everyone in Bandar's life.