Sunday, November 19, 2006

Disappearing weeks

Last Sunday morning - one whole week ago, where has time gone? - I slept in a little. I couldn't do anything else - I was useless from being sick and exhausted. The kids and I pretty much laid around all morning, then I got up and started in on some much-neglected laundry, wrote what I wanted to say at the funeral and made it to Papa's house right around the time Paul got there from work.

Mom told me that Papa was ready and that I needed to take the kids down to the funeral home so they could see him, just us, no one else. When it was time, I went back to start rounding up kids. I said, "Come on, Kadybug. Get your shoes on." She looked up from her coloring and said, "Whewe awe we goin'?" I said, "We're going to go see Papa." She gave me a look that said Mother, you are sooooo very stupid and then said, "You mean we'we going to go see his body, wight?" I nodded and said, "Well, yes, that's right." The look on her face changed to relief as she said, "Whew! I fought you meant we were going to Heaven! And I'm just not weady yet!"

Don't let anyone tell you that kids aren't aware of what's going on around them or of anything you say and do.


Monday night was the visitation. Mom and Uncle Larry arrived at the funeral home around 5:30. All of us cousins and Uncle David got there around 5:45. From then until just up to 8:00 there was a steady line of people in that chapel. The line went out the door, down the sidewalk. I think Aunt Janet said she counted either right under or right over 300 names - the funeral director had to get more pages for the guest book. I had done okay all day until I got in the chapel and saw all of the flowers and started reading the cards.....then I lost it again. Then seeing people I hadn't seen in years, folks from the old neighborhood I grew up in, people that have known our family for years, friends, was a very long night. But don't get me wrong, there were plenty of laughs, too. You can't get us Glenns together and not expect some shenanigans and jokes, no matter what the situation.


All three kids had been coughing all day Monday. I stopped at Walgreens and picked up some cough medicine and doped them up accordingly. After the visitation and of course, more eating, it was late by the time we got home. (I will never understand the need to feed people in mourning, but I'm certainly not complaining.) I gave them more cough medicine and put them to bed, then went up front to work on some Girl Scout paperwork. In the midst of all of this, we had our fall product sales fundraiser and I needed to get all of it tied up to turn in. It was about 1:30 when my eyes finally refused to focus any longer and I gave in to exhaustion. I was too tired to even turn down the bed and just collapased on the couch under a blanket. Paul was in the recliner, the fire was going, the house was warm..... I was tired.

About 3am I woke up to The Sound. That is literally what we call it in this house - The Sound. Kady calls it her Scawy Sound. It is the sound of Kady wheezing and gasping for breath during an asthma attack. I flew up off of that couch and ran down the hall to find Abby trying to get off of the top bunk and Kady sitting on the edge of her bed, eyes wide and mouth open. Abby said, "MOM! She can't BREATHE!" I scooped Kady up and ran back up the hall. I hollered at Paul to wake up and get the nebulizer ready, then took her outside. Usually being out in the cold night air will help her, but that night it didn't. Paul hollered that the machine was ready and we went in. The breathing treatment had no affect on her - she still couldn't breathe. I found a blanket, wrapped her up, handed her off to her daddy and told him to take her outside while I got my clothes on. He grabbed my van keys on the way out and started the van while I at least put on a bra and some shoes. When I got outside I found them by the van, Paul singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which is what we always sing when we're outside during an asthma attack. (Singing makes them take deeper breaths) What better song to sing when you're outside at 3am under the stars?

Paul buckled Kady and I headed to town with a blue-lipped not-quite-5 year old, praying all the way. When I hit the highway I turned on my flashers and drove as fast as I felt I safely could.

Long story short, they did another treatment with no results, put her on a heart monitor, oxygen and pulse ox, then did a chest x-ray. After the chest x-ray the doctor checked her again and said that they way it was looking, she was going to be admitted. She had Respiratory Therapy to do a different kind of breathing treatment - racemic epi, such magic medicine - and Kady perked right up. We left the hospital around 6am. Kady talked nonstop all the way home and when we stumbled back in the house around 6:20, I was so tired I was nauseous. I put her on the couch with me, pleaded that she rest her lips awhile and fell asleep with her still talking. I woke up at 8 to find her crashed on my arm. Even though I wanted much, much more sleep, I got up and started getting clothes ironed and shooing kids and husband to the showers.


The church fed the family at noon and Kady enjoyed all of the attention she was getting from telling everyone she came into contact with about her adventure in the ER mere hours before.

The service was the most beautiful funeral I've ever attended in my life. What a celebration of Papa's life. The two ministers who spoke did wonderfully. Paul Ingram Thomas sang and I guarantee if Papa was looking down from Heaven, he was nudging everyone and saying, "Why, look at that - they got Paul Ingram Thomas to sing at my funeral!" He never missed a concert when ol' PIT was out at "Bison Run". I spoke as well. I held it together until the last sentence. I know that I wasn't alone up on that stage that day - my Papa was right there with me.

We were escorted to the cemetary by 9 country sheriff cars and one Highway Patrol. The procession was so long that you couldn't see the end. Papa would've been impressed with that one, too. The military burial always gets me no matter whose service it is. Hearing Taps and the gun salute just causes me to break down and Tater and I sat and bawled uncontrollably. We had almost gotten ourselves together while they folded the flag, but lost it again when the soldier knelt before Mom and presented her with the flag. I had never been close enough to hear the words they say, but let me just tell you, I am so proud to live in this country.


I took Wednesday off and had intended on sleeping and catching up on the mountains of laundry and the toxic waste dump in my kitchen, but instead took Kady and Sam to the doctor. He said there was nothing more to do for Kady, just time and patience. Sam has bronchitis, but of course, it's viral. But the doctor did put him on Singular and Claritin to help the allergy stuff that he's been dealing with for awhile now. I'm so tired of hearing that kid sniff, I hope the medicines work. Kady was still hopped up on albuterol from breathing treatments every 4 hours, so there was no hope of a nap that afternoon, but I did manage to lie on the couch and watch Boomerang. While it wasn't sleep, it was at least rest.


The rest of the week passed by as usual. Thursday I took treats down to Sam's class for his birthday. Neither Paul nor I could do it tomorrow, so we fudged a few days early. Friday night we took the five cousins and Chandler to Pizza Hut and then bowling for Sam's birthday. Mom, Paul, Tater and I bowled, too. I forget how much fun bowling horribly is.

Yesterday was a two-hour gymnastics class and then we went to the sports store to pick out new shoes that the indians so graciously purchased for the kids. Abby and Sam both got some Nike Shox, something they would never have gotten if their momma had been paying for them. They both also got a pair of Adidas tennies and so did Kady. Sam's Shox are basketball shoes - now to get him enrolled and on a team......small detail.


Now, before I go, I have another prayer request:
Thursday morning one of my daycare moms was in a really bad car accident. She was ejected from the car. The last I heard, she was still on the ventilator, but they had pinned her leg and her blood pressure was finally stabilized. Please keep her and her family in your prayers and thoughts.


Thank you to everyone who left comments, sent emails, said prayers, kept us in your thoughts, sent cards and even sent flowers over the last few weeks. We wouldn't have made it without friends like y'all. If I could hug you all, you know I would.


MamaKBear said...

Girl, if there was ever anyone that needed an extended vacation from the chaos that is life, it's YOU!

I'm so glad Kady will be okay! Those asthma attacks are horribly frightening when they're that bad, I know. Don't you wish though, that they'd come up with a medicine that doesn't have them bouncing off the freakin' walls???

Sounds like it was a beautiful funeral...I'll just bet your PaPa was beaming at y'all from up in Heaven, feeling the love that so many obviously had for him. I wish I'd have known him!

Remember to take care of YOU, okay? Big hugs!

Cazzie!!! said...

That is so awesome that the funeral went so well. It never ceases to amaze me how people always ask you, "What was the funeral like". THe emotions we all go through are so minute you are laughing at the youlogey where your loved one did crazy things in their life and htey are being recounted, then the next you cry because you think of the wonderous things they achieved.
BUt look at it, you all came together through his loving arms, he touched so many, even us in the bloggersphere!!
Huggs to your kids, poor loves, I hate it when my kids get anything croup/asthma like. We use something similar to that drug is what would have wound you little girl up for sure :)
Positive thoughts go out to your friend for a safe recovery from her car accident.
Take care of you Diva, you know you got a tight ship to run :)

Melessa Gregg said...

I knew Kady and Caroline were secret twins. She has asthma too, I could relate to everything you wrote as I have been there/done that more times than I care to count.

I'm glad your Papa's funeral was touching and meaningful and I'm sure he got quite a kick out of watching it from up above. If there's one thing I believe in FOR SURE, it's that those we love and lose are never too far from us. And that God lets them watch their funerals even if He has other 'angel stuff' for them to do most of the time that keep them from watching us every minute of the day. (Hope that made sense-I should sleep more.)

And I will keep that mom in my prayers. That is terrifying.

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