I had wanted to badly to come home from a refreshing weekend at alt summit and with my childhood best friend full in my heart and wanting to relay all the goodness to those of you who are most supportive. I wanted to share fun party pics, wonderful knowledge, and say what a great place this has all put me in mentally. But, as the weekend came to a close, I was hit with one piece of sad news, and then over the course of the week it became abundently clear that some time of rest and reflection were in order.
Firstly, thank you all for your kind comments on my mention of a loss in the family. My dear grandmother, Ella, passed away while I was in the midst of conferences at alt summit. I actually didn’t find out until I was at the airport on my way to St. George the next day, which in retrospect is probably for the best, since there wasn’t much to be done. Her passing brings a profound sadness to our family, however it was not a shock, and in many ways it brings me a great deal of peace. She suffered a stroke 12 years ago, and has been under 24 hour home care since then. She was doing pretty well until the latter half of this year when her health started to pretty rapidly deteriorate. When I called my mom to tell her I was leaving early for alt (due to “snowmaggedon”), she let me know that it was pretty likely she wouldn’t make it until I got home, but that she was already so sick she probably wouldn’t remember a formal “goodbye”. We had happy times over the holidays this year, so I reluctantly got on an airplane for what seemed sort of like a selfish weekend. When I heard she was gone, though, a wave peace came over me. She hasn’t truly been herself the last couple of years, and even over the holidays there was a more apparent struggle within her. She led a full life of 94 years and I believe she has found her peace and gone home to the 4 siblings and loving husband that went before her.
But as I said, it will be a profound loss. She was the oldest of 9 siblings, and at our next family reunion I think her maternal instinct will be missed greatly. Even writing this, I don’t think it has fully hit me that she won’t be around the next time I go visit, she’s been such a wonderful constant in my life.
One of the struggles to get through the weekend was feeling like I couldn’t be there for my family during this time of grief. When I got home, I made plans to go see my parents for dinner. On the way over Wednesday night, I received a phone call that my other beautiful grandmother fell during the day and broke her femur.
She’s had surgery and is now recovering, but it will be a long 3 months before she can bear weight again, which means she will be in a recovery facility until then. She is a wonderful industrious woman who loves to sew and create (its where I got it!) and I know it will be tough for her not to be home in her environment. Prayers for a speedy recovery would be totally welcome.
I had been hoping to make it to the hospital to visit her this weekend after surgery, but Thursday morning I woke up and my eyes were on fire. My immediate thought was that I had pink eye, which scared me. I have really sensitive eyes, and I can’t really stomach the thought of eye drops (contact lenses are enough to make me run for the hills). I went to the doc and found out that I didn’t have pink eye, but instead mycoplasma, which is the bacteria that can ultimately cause pneumonia. Apparently mild respiratory symptoms (which I had been noticing all week but just thought I was fighting something off) along with eye irritation is enough to get you diagnosed with this fun little bug. So, no hospital visit for me. I’m happy to say that I’m on day 4 of my antibiotic and my eyes no longer look like tomatoes, and a small bug seems pretty trivial in comparison to the bigger picture. The grief and stress have sort of knocked me down, though, which is why some of the happier posts have taken awhile to come together.
I’ve taken the weekend to rest and I think I’ll be back in fighting shape very soon, and I can’t wait to bring you some happier details of the past couple weeks then.