Today, the knee is back to normal, but for a couple red spots where I had skin contusions. As I was getting better, Mom was getting sick. She developed bronchitis, and we made a visit to the doc so he could listen to her goopy, wheezy, crackly lungs. We started levaquin that night, and she's now hacking a bit less. However...
Two days later, she developed a patterned rash on her back that was creeping around to her side, and the ALF nurse was pretty sure Mom had shingles. We headed back to the doc, and yep, shingles. My mom is 95 and a half and the size of a twig. Yet, she weathers illness and injury like a soldier. I was off my knee for two days when I tripped down two stairs; Mom, with bronchitis and shingles, keeps tooling around in her wheel chair, straightening her room and sifting through paperwork. I get tired just watching her.
On the Dad front, he's still in rehab after a fall four weeks ago, and then a small stroke Oct. 7. They're having trouble stabilizing his involuntary movements, which make PT difficult. He's really tired of the whole thing, and he alters between wishing God would take him and telling his therapists his goal is to walk again, unaided (which he has not done in over a year.) I try to console him; yes, it's hard to be disabled. God loves us anyway, even if we don't feel "useful."
I don't know what else to say because I don't get it either. Both of my parents have been worker bees all their lives. They have served and shared and contributed so much to their world. Now they are in wheel chairs, watching the world pass them by, and they are still with it enough to fully understand what all they've lost. Only by the grace of God does our family keep plugging along. It doesn't make sense to the mind or the heart why they are still here, but we are not the authors of life and death, so we just keep going as long as God allows. I trust someday I will understand. I pray I will look back on these years and say, I get it now.
Dad moves to a new rehab facility today, where he will have another thirty days to recover. We don't yet know what "recovery" will look like. There are some new deficits that might be permanent, but we won't know that until he is unable to overcome them. I pray he can return to his ALF with Mom, but we just don't know yet. So, we wait and watch and take him strawberry milkshakes on bad days.
On the sweet, glorious front, our daughter-in-law came down for a visit this past weekend and spent some loving time with Dad. She brought him a book he's been wanting and some chocolate and put lotion on his arms and chatted with him like he was her best friend. She's wonderful that way.
She's also carrying our first grandchild, James, who's the size of a large mango. Here's a picture of the three generations, although James is not yet visible. He's warm and snugly under his mama's blue dress. Dr. Ben Carson made it into the picture as well.
I love pictures like this because they hold the full spectrum of life. A new budding babe sharing a seat on the bed with his great grandpa, (who's middle name is James) who has lived a full, adventurous life and is longing for peace of mind and an end to all struggles. Both of these lives are fragile, yet full of expectation. I pray in February, I can get a picture of Dad holding baby James.
So, in spite of the challenges of aging, I am blessed by the thought of holding fresh life in about four months. I'm excited for our son and his sweet wife. I'm grateful my knee is 90% back, and I'm glad all the Halloween candy is finally out of the house. I ate entirely too many Milky Ways.
The adventures continue here in the Ballpark...