Friday, December 21, 2007

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Ringling

Jing, jing, jingling too.

Come on, it's.... OK, I'm done.

It's almost Christmas. Are you ready?

I'm pretty much ready. I think. All I have to do is wrap presents and make sure the church gets "greened" on Sunday. I bet, if I didn't show up, it would still get greened. Maybe we should try it and find out.... Hmmmm. No, I guess that would be wrong.

Mr. Swizzle has been off work since Wednesday. That's only two days ago. Seems like longer. What is today? No really. It seems like longer because of everything that we've accomplished in two measly days. OK, three if you count today. We've both been exhausted every night since Wednesday, I think because both of us have done more, or at least moved around more, than we do on a normal day.

My parents are arriving tomorrow. They'll be spending two nights here and two nights at my brother's house. Mr. Swizzle had offered the guest room to his parents Sunday and Monday nights, but they couldn't seem to decide/commit to staying with us instead of his sister 30 minutes away. His mom actually said, "Well, you know, we usually stay with her because she always has something that needs to be put together on Christmas Eve." Mr. Swizzle said, "Yeah, I can see that. 'Cause she's only 42 years old. I can see how you'd want to sleep on a fold-out couch in a living room with no privacy. That makes sense." (he doesn't put up with much anymore) So she said they'd think about it. He's talked to his mom 2 or 3 times to find out if they've decided. Today, I talked to my mom and asked if they could stay here Sunday night, instead of just Saturday night. She said sure and Mr. Swizzle called his mom and said the Sunday night ship had sailed. That's when he found out that his parents are coming into town on Monday and leaving on Tuesday. Okely-dokely.

Anyhoo, I'm sure the next few days will be fun. We're getting together with friends on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening. Getting together with family, one way or another at some point. It will be interesting to wake up Christmas morning with only the 4 of us here with no grandparents. I suppose that happened two years ago when my parents were at my brother's Christmas Eve, because I know Mr. S's parents weren't here. It's all foggy. Could be the wine. Then. Not right now. Yet.

I'm really trying to take something away from losing Janet. Anything. I'm recognizing little moments that are truly dear and to be enjoyed no matter what. I should probably try to have fewer items on the "I wish I had...." list down the road. But then, life comes along with frustrating babies and in-laws and 6 year olds that must have ears full of cotton because I can't imagine how someone could... oh sorry.

Yeah. Life comes along. I'm trying, though.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where To Begin?

I've posted several times about my friend, J. This summer, she found out she had leukemia. She went into the hospital June 26. Aside from a short 1 or 2 day visit to her home, she has been in the hospital ever since.

Until today. Today she left the hospital. To use MB's eloquence, "Janet passed peacefully into larger life this morning just before 8:00 a.m."

At the beginning of November, she had a stem cell transplant. Around Thanksgiving, we received word that Janet would be leaving the hospital the following week. There was much rejoicing. Then, there was a delay. Then another delay. And another. Turns out that the leukemia, despite rounds and rounds of horrible chemo, never completely went away. Add to that, her body was slow to accept the new stem cells, and you end up here.

Friday I found out that the decision had been made to discharge her to hospice care. I was devastated. The general feeling was that she would not actually make it to today, when she was to have left the hospital. I've been bawling all weekend. I'm not alone.

J was so thrilled about our adopting Sparkle. On the Sunday before we left for China, J grabbed me by the shoulders, gave me a big ol' kiss and said, "You are so loved. We are all going to China with you. Go bring that baby home." She was at the airport to welcome us home and to fawn over Sparkle.

I'm so not finished with J. We had things to do. Laughs to share. She and her husband had all kinds of plans. Her daughter just had a baby girl (after 3 boys) in September. We all knew that she was going to get through this in her tough British fashion.

But, she didn't. And now, we are left with a gaping hole in our lives. She will be SO very missed by so many people.