My Week: And Then There Were Four

Sunday, I did most of what I wanted to get done before I went to town to Trade. That included washing four sets of sheets complete with pillowcases and hanging them on the line. I didn’t plan to be caught short again any time soon. Throwing on some jeans and other clothing items, I left for town.

The week before, I’d gotten some Chiquita bananas at the produce place that had a much better flavor than usual. I stopped there first to see if they had the same brand and, sure enough, they did so I stocked up. At Wally World, I got the things I’d set out to get and had a conversation with one of the produce guys. He said the transfer of another one to automotive had almost certainly taken place because the other guy wasn’t on the schedule. I’ll miss him. However, the only thing that stays the same on Planet Earth is the fact that nothing stays the same for long.

When I got home, it was too late to call DD so we made plans to talk on Thanksgiving.

Monday was gorgeous and springlike. I went to the track and walked 2.5 miles. Then I went to my appointment with my nurse practitioner. That’s a different post.

I’d let the staff know I would be late so no one put out an APB on me. Other than that, it was a pretty routine Monday full of problems and troubleshooting.

I was pretty wired when I got home and was still that way when I went to bed. After I’d looked at the clock umpteen times. I gave up at midnight and took a melatonin. I don’t know how much longer it took for me to go to sleep but it was too long.

Tuesday, I dragged around and was sort of glad it was raining. I didn’t even try to BodyFlex or rebound. I was too wiped out to even try. On the way to work, I took my car to get the window fixed and cautioned the owner of the place that my car is a non-smoking car and I would appreciate it if no one smoked while working on it. One of the brave men had me drive to the hospital while he played passenger. After I turned the keys over to him, I went in to face the day and he took my car back to the shop.

My behind felt like it was about four inches off the ground but I made my way to my desk and made ready for whatever I might find.

The phone rang with the special ring that indicates an outside call. I answered it and it was one of my sisters saying our niece had called after 11 the night before but hadn’t left a message. While she was telling me that, she had a call come in and elected to take it. She said she would call me back. When she did, it was with the news that our oldest sister had died the night before. I was floored. I knew she wasn’t doing well but none of us was supposed to actually breathe our last. The reality was I knew that one of us would have to go first but I’d never speculated on which one it would be. My sister in the Great Northwest isn’t doing well, either, but she always seems to rally.

The rest of the week has been overshadowed by the fact that the five sisters are now four. I managed to get through most of that day but left an hour early to come home and try to absorb what had happened. The staff had been very solicitous and managed to solve most problems without my help. I’d managed to pretty much keep it together until I saw one of my best hospital friends and then I lost it. She took me into the chapel and we talked and I cried. Later on that night, she called to check on me.

I went in to see my Wordscraper opponent, too, and she assured me she would pray for me. It’s nice to have such supportive people on my side.

No one would have thought ill of me had I taken Wednesday off but the schedule had to be finalized before Thanksgiving so there was nothing to do but work. I felt much better, physically, than I had the day before and made it to 3:45 before I left. The hospital provides three days bereavement. I’d already planned to take Thanksgiving and Black Friday (though I wouldn’t be caught going to any of the sales) so I made arrangements to take Monday-Wednesday. Thursday, I have to go for training on a credit card system so I won’t be back at the hospital until December 3. I’d been needing a break but I wish I wasn’t getting it because my “big” sister (she weighed less than 90 lubs soaking wet) was no more.

Before I left, the executive secretary brought me a beautiful fruit basket and a sympathy card.

Fruit Basket

It was very thoughtful and a complete surprise. I hadn’t expected anything. There was no filler in it. It was fruit all the way down. Several navel oranges, tangerines, a grapefruit, four varieties of apples, two of grapes, a couple bananas, and two pears (one red and one Bosc). Oh, and some walnuts.

After I took it’s picture, I unpacked it and put the fruit where it could get some air. I also ate some of it.

Thanksgiving was a veg-out day. I didn’t even comb my hair. DD and I visited as planned as well as DS2 and DS1 (in that order). I also had a good conversation with my neighbor. Other than that, I ate. My only nod to the fact that it was a special day was to eat a pretty decent persimmon.

Friday, I tried to get things done. I was successful to a point. When I looked out once, I was surprised to see my neighbors were home. The day before, they had planned to come home today.

My niece had emailed and asked my sisters and me for things we would like to have included in the life sketch. I couldn’t really think of anything appropriate so I sat down and typed up some of my memories. I sent them to her but she didn’t include any of them in the sketch. Doesn’t matter. She did a beautiful job on it and my little vignettes would have just been a distraction.

When the sun was going down, the sunset was so beautiful, I went to grab my camera and it was nowhere to be found. I grabbed my old digital Nikon only to discover it didn’t have any batteries in it. I got some and shoved them in but they were in backwards and it wouldn’t work. I took them out and put them back right and dashed outside. The sunset was prettier than ever. I took half a dozen shots and came in to view them.

My old laptop that I gave to my nursing home friend had a card reader that would read the big CompactFlash cards but the one I have now is past that. I’d bought a card reader off eBay that I’d never even taken out of the box so I found it and plugged it in. Out of the six shots, two turned out well. Here’s one of them:

Day is Dying in the West

This morning, I had a voice mail from my neighbor in my email. I called her and found out that her uncle had died. (This is the husband of the aunt who passed away not long ago.) That made two people.

Aunt & Uncle

I dressed in layers, as usual, to go to church. When I got up, the temperature was 27 (it’s 28 now). I hoped the thermostat in the church was working and had the place warm and it was. It wasn’t so warm that was uncomfortable in what I had on.

One of my friends had met me at the car and told me a long-time member had died. That made three. He was one of my favorite people and I’ll miss him. He was much younger than me so that came as quite a shock. He’d battled bone cancer, among other problems, and was in a nursing home.

During the prayer request time, I asked for prayer for my sister’s daughters. This has to be a tough time for them. I remember how it was when my mother died. That’s a unique sense of loss that isn’t like any other.

After church, I had a long conversation with the pastor’s wife about death and grieving.

I wasn’t aggravated at myself for not taking my walking shoes so I could walk after church. It was still cold even with the sun shining. There was a bit of wind.

This afternoon, I went over and visited with the neighbors. The funeral is Monday so I’ll put off my shopping for groceries until then and make one trip do for both.

I’ve been playing phone tag with yet another sister and planned to call her this afternoon but never got a round tuit. I’ll try to do that tomorrow.

My arugula is still producing so I picked some for my salad. I told my neighbors to help themselves, too. The little tomatoes I picked before the hard frost are still ripening and I halved seven of them and mixed them into the romaine, the aforementioned arugula, sweet onion, avocado, lime juice and sea salt.

Oh, I found my camera tonight. After scouring the house for it several times and even looking through the garbage, it was right beside the place I’d taken the pictures of the fruit basket. When I dismantled the basket, I’d laid the bow on top of the camera. I’d looked there several times but I never moved the bow. As my grandmother would have said, it was in the last place I looked. My mother always thought that was logical. She wondered why a person would keep looking if they’d found what was lost.

It’s late and I must wind this up. It’s still strange to think that this time last week there were five but tonight there are four…

6 Responses to My Week: And Then There Were Four

  1. Roberta November 28, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    My prayers go out to you and your family.

    • Tommie November 28, 2010 at 7:58 am #

      Thank you, Roberta. It still seems unreal.

  2. Mary Jane November 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    What a beautiful sunset!

    Sorry we were never able to connect on the phone. Glad you could take some time off.

  3. Tommie November 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    We’ll talk one of these days soon. Life has a way of getting by me at such a fast pace. I just wish there were more hours in a day but I’d probably waste them.

  4. Lila November 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Tommie, how are we related to the man who died, or to his wife who predeceased him?

    • Tommie November 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

      We aren’t. It’s my neighbor’s aunt and uncle.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.