I’ll give it a 7 out of 10

Aside from driving all the way from Nashville in torrential down pours, the day turned out pretty good. First thing this morning I got in some sweet snuggle time with the birthday boy. He wanted me to lay in bed with him for “just a few minutes and have lovie”.  We got up and opened his presents from us. Disney Infinity for the Xbox. LK was very excited about the fact that they could use their Magic Bands and Cruise Cards to open secret worlds once we got home. This isn’t something Sam had asked for, but I knew we’d have that fun option, so that is what I decided to get him. Of course, these game makers are genius in that the games have 567 characters that you need to buy to fully play the game.

Sam requested bacon and cheesy eggs for breakfast. So, we fixed breakfast and ate with Papa. GranGran and I got ready and left town around 9:00. Bittersweet moment as I left, leaving the birthday boy behind, and leaving Papa. The kids have really enjoyed him being here the last couple days as they haven’t got to see him much lately. I think it is really hard for him to come visit without mom. It’s a weird dynamic now. But, that’s a whole other post….

I had decided when I got up this morning, if Gran asked about staying in Mayfield, I would just let her pack a bag and hope and pray she forgot about it by the time we got there. She didn’t even mention it. So, then I decided if we got there and she wanted to stay, I’d just say, where’s your bag? By the time we got to North Nashville, she’d already forgot where and why we were going. It was interesting to hear all her stories on the drive. Seems like my family has some wild characters. I kept wondering what of them were actually true.

Once we got to the funeral home she wouldn’t get out of the car without me. Because it was pouring down rain, I wanted to let her off at the curb and then me go park. Even though there was an usher there working, she made me get out and help her. Her brother was coming up, so I told her to walk in with him. She finally decided that was better than getting wet. Once inside, she stuck to me like glue. Seriously, every day she gets more and more like my kids when they were 2. It was sad to see she only recognized a handful of family members. The ones setting beside us, she kept asking who they were. I got tickled at all the commentary of people walking by. The theme was pretty consistently “mercy, they’ve gotten fat.” I can only imagine what they say about me. When I lived in Mayfield, I may have weighed 120 pounds. The numbers are still the same, just in a different order these days. Thankfully, there’s one cousin who “waited until she qualified for medicare” to get pregnant with her first baby, and at 6 months along she looks like she’s delivering twins any day now. Don’t you wish you were in our family? They are so kind with words.

Anyway, Gran had to go to the bathroom, and she insisted I take her instead of going with her sister. A little later, I went to stand up for a while and she wanted to know where I was going. She finally agreed to walk up to the front and visit the family. She almost passed out. I’m not sure if it was her physical heart, her emotional heart, the fact that it was 195 degrees in the funeral home, or just being off balance. One of my cousins tried to help me get her back to her seat. She threatened him with her cane. Then, right at the front of the receiving line, her sister Patsy says, “JoAnn you need to crawl up out of Misty’s ass and let her breathe a little!” It was humiliating and hysterical all at the same time. Her response broke my heart. “She’s the only one I’ve got left to depend on. I have to stay with her.” If you’ve ever had toddlers you know how this makes you feel. That motherly instinct wants them no where other than in your skin, but the raw human exhaustion screams for a break every now and then.

Gran broke down during the actual funeral. She said she was freezing, then all the sudden she started sweating bullets. Literally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her sweat in my life, and it was dripping from her forehead. We were all fanning her from each side, and I was just praying, “Lord please don’t let her have a heart attack and die right here.” She got settled, and just cried through the remainder of the service. One of the hymns we sang could be a theme for her life. I’ve never heard it, but it gives great perspective:

Farther Along

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.

Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,
When there are many living in comfort,
Giving no heed to all I can do.

Tempted and tried, how often we question
Why we must suffer year after year,
Being accused by those of our loved ones,
E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear.

Often when death has taken our loved ones,
Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.

“Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;
Short is our time to labor and wait;
Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,
When we shall pass the heavenly gate.

Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,
Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;
Then we will meet those gone on before us,
Then we shall know and understand why.

We left immediately following the funeral. She did say she wished she could go to Judy’s house to visit with the family. I just said we needed to get on the road because of the bad weather and I wanted to see Sam again on his birthday. She didn’t mention staying one time on the way home.

Since you all did such an awesome job praying for today, now you can start praying for Wednesday. While we go on our trip, Gran will be staying at an Assisted Living home in Franklin. She is going to flip her lid. This is our third plan of what to do with her while we were gone. But, all things considered it is just the safest option for her. It certainly isn’t the cheapest. Sad that we could take her on the cruise with us cheaper than leaving her there. I already have visions of having security pull her off of me at the door. Anybody with a few extra Xanex, feel free to drop them by my house on Tuesday, we’ll both need them. She has a cardiology appointment first thing Wednesday morning. I am praying I can catch his nurse and have the doctor tell her she needs to go to rehab for a few days. Totally willing to throw him under the bus, that’s what he makes the big bucks for.

One step at a time….

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