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April 2012
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This is Not My Favorite Day

Late last night I got word that my 92 year old grandmother fell on the front steps and broke her hip. She’s headed for surgery in a few hours. I’ve had all the time in between to contemplate the combination of general anesthesia and old age. I’ve also been trying to dodge thoughts of infections, how much she hates hospitals, how hard it is going to be for her to keep her spirits up while immobile, and generally being concerned for her. And for me. I know I don’t have much more time with her around, not nearly enough years left. I’m missing her today, because she is in California and I am in Utah. I don’t see her often enough. I want to hug her today and I can’t.

This morning began with the untangling of a customs issue for some things shipping from Canada to our storage unit in Indiana. The solution for the issue was me talking to the shipper and giving him four small pieces of information: My name, phone number, address, and our company tax ID number. Unfortunately it was a bit like a comedy show where the shipper kept calling the storage people, the storage people kept calling me, I called the folks who had sent out the stuff, people kept talking to each other, and two work days and a weekend later I finally managed to talk to the necessary person and hand over the information. I knew it would sort out eventually, but the whole thing needlessly stressed our kind volunteer helpers in Indiana, which is something I never want to do. The last round of “everyone is stressed” ran across my morning, but was sorted by noon.

At the same time as the customs issue, I was also working on my son’s picture book project. He is writing the story and drawing the pictures. I am responsible for printing the words onto the papers. It is a kit. I do not like book kits. I know how to make books. I do it all the time. Having to use the kit instead of my professional tools was incredibly frustrating to me. Particularly when two seconds of inattention caused me to misprint a page. The kit does not include spares, so I had to email the teacher and ask for a spare page. On the scale of important issues, this should not have measured at all. But I was already a bit off balance this morning. Fortunately Howard was kind enough to listen to my ten minute long customs and book kit rant. Then he hugged me while I missed my grandma.

But the day was not over. I have multiple deadlines looming at the end of the week. Things which are far more important than a school project. So I worked for a bit. I planned to work a lot. Instead I had to run to Kiki’s school to deliver her phone and her AP test fee. Also to inform her that she’d have to catch her own ride home because I would be teaching art at Gleek’s school during her usual pick up time. It is the sort of message I usually deliver by text, but that is difficult when she left her phone at home. Back from that errand, I decided to get some work done before heading out to teach art.

The phone rang. It was Link’s teacher. Link was very upset, full of fears and worries. A few minutes on the phone made clear that I needed to sort things out in person. Sorting it all out required 100% focus from me for 40 minutes. In the end I was incredibly impressed with Link, who handled a difficult emotional state wisely, even if he couldn’t see it at the time. I am again impressed with Link’s teacher, who does a marvelous job with Link. I brought my boy home to calm down.

Then it was time to teach art. Teaching is usually a thing I enjoy. I just muddled through, not able to command the classroom of kids the way that I usually do. I was too tired, too worn out, to ready to curl up and cry. But the projects got done.

Everyone is home now. I’ve accomplished all the calendar items for the day. Most of the work for the day is not done and will stay that way. I’ve got to conserve all my remaining emotional energy for dinner and homework time. Dinner is important, because I never got around to having lunch. Later this evening is information about how Grandma’s surgery went. Then I can go to sleep and hope that tomorrow is a better day. In the meantime I’ll cringe every time the phone rings because I don’t think I can deal with anything else today.

3 comments to This is Not My Favorite Day

  • Hard day! Hope things get better. I’ll keep your grandma in my prayers.

  • RymRytr

    It is easy for us to say all those things that we usually say, but words are often, not enough.

    If I could reach you, I’d give you a big bear hug and sit with you, just listening!

    Bud

  • I’m so sorry about your grandma. Grandmothers are these almost indefinable people. We have a *need* for them, this giant swell in the heart. I’ll pray for her and for you.