Yes, I know. I haven’t posted anything in the past 3 weeks. I’ve missed 3 Tuesdays of new blog posts. And you know what? That’s okay. Because the last 3 weeks have been jam-packed full of family and friends, food and fun, and I just haven’t thought twice about opening my laptop.
So please forgive me. I fully intend to resume my blogging schedule, if not by next Tuesday, the week after. But right now, I’m enjoying our time in SC. How I love being home for the holidays :)
Thursday night, huddled close to each other around the hospital bed that has been in our dining room since June, Trey, his mom, his sister Lori, and I watched Pop take his final breaths. Robin was on the phone with us the whole time as she and her family were driving to us from their home in Washington DC. It wasn’t like I thought it would be. It was impossible to determine the exact moment of his passing because it was that peaceful. For a long time, I was genuinely concerned about the effect Pop’s death would have on me – would I be able to eat at our dining room table again knowing that a man had died there? Would I be able to be everything Trey needed me to be while dealing with my own issues of being overwhelmed by crowds and clutter when his family arrived? I can’t explain it any other way than our house and our family were covered completely by a peace that passes all understanding.
The chaos that comes with 14 people trying to get fed and dressed and expel energy seemed to be blurred – almost as if it were in slow motion. Amid everything that needed to be done, there was peace. There was time for hugs, and some pretty deep conversations with young nieces who were missing their Pop. They had even wanted to search the house to make sure we weren’t hiding him anywhere. There was laughter and tears, and lots of joy. Because I think we all were dealing with the sadness of his passing, mixed with the relief that this very difficult season is over and the joy in knowing he is no longer bed-ridden and he is singing and dancing in Heaven with Jesus and all those who went before him.
I cannot express enough gratitude for the love and support we have felt over the past few days. We have been fed and cared for, we have been hugged and supported, and we have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have reached out to us this past weekend.
For those who haven’t read it, here is the link to Pop’s obituary. Right now, we’re planning two additional memorial services: one in Beamont, TX for Pop’s family and the churches they served while they lived there, and one in Spartanburg, SC where Deb’s family is and where Pop’s ashes will be interred. We have tentative dates scheduled, but they will of course be contingent on when Pop’s ashes are returned to us from the funeral home. My prayer is that each service will be more and more of a celebration of his life (and that’s going to be tough to do, because this past Sunday’s service was amazing). I know that after a very long road, Trey and I are looking forward to putting Pop to rest in Spartanburg, and taking a few weeks of rest for ourselves to spend with friends and family.
We love you all and cannot thank you enough for the prayers, support, hugs, food, and love we have felt. Thank you.
Last weekend I super sneakily flew to SC to surprise Amy for her 30th birthday. Mission accomplished! She was totally caught off guard.
Adam (my awesome brother-in-law) left a key to their house where I could find it and Mom and I snuck in to wait for them Friday night while they were out. When they came in she screamed…and cried. And it was awesome. Mom caught the whole thing on video, but as it’s not super flattering for either of us, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I got to spend the entire weekend with some of my favorite people in the entire world – family, friends, and some pretty awesome animals as well.
In addition to a weekend of awesome birthday fun, Amy and I also got hooked on watching American Horror Story. Seriously? That’s SO not my style – I always have to watch some cartoons after seeing a scary movie. But for whatever reason AHS sucked us both in. Shame on Amy for watching the rest of the first season without me! I still can’t figure out how I’m gonna catch up cause I’m pretty sure Trey’s mom won’t want to watch it with me!
Sometimes you don’t realize how very much you need a break from your own reality so you can just go home for a while. It was a much needed visit. And THAT is the only excuse I can offer you about why there was no blog post on 8/13. But lucky you, because I feel ever so slightly guilty about it, there’s another one coming up right after this!
Seriously? Three weeks in a row? Shame on me. Even so, I still haven’t broken my “blog weekly” resolution and wasn’t even late until after the half point of the year. So there.
You know how kids, when they’re learning to talk, mispronounce things? The result is occasionally unintelligible, but every now and then, the mistake is an adorable blunder that works itself into your family’s vocabulary. Bisketti. See, you know exactly what that is. And I didn’t even have to tell you. That’s because I’m pretty sure that every child since the dawn of noodles has mispronounced it that way.
Our family was no different growing up. For some reason, I attribute all these new vocab words to my awesome younger sister (who’s turning 30 this weekend!!! HOLY COW), but that just might be because I’m certain that someone once told me that my first real word was “refrigerator.” That can’t be right…but I digress. Here are some of my favorite Muffinisms from way back when:
- shuppy to jink means “I want something to drink”
- babing shoop means “bathing suit”
- I bordot means “I forgot”
That last one, folks, still lives in my frequent vocabulary to this day.
I posted a different sort of blog today. It’s officially been two weeks since Trey’s folks moved in with us, and today, I got to post Pop’s Caringbridge update. So I’ll just leave you with the link: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/piercehendon/journal – you may need to login in order to view his page.
In the mean time, our amazing nieces moved away this week. And since they’re so stinkin’ adorable, here’s a pic for you to enjoy:
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Happy Tuesday.
Right now, I’m sipping on my pomegranate black tea with honey while Nana is getting Pop ready to start the day, Trey is on his way to work, Mary Beth is asking (for the eighty-bajillionth time) if it’s okay to pet Frank, Bella and Mak are finishing their breakfast and we’re watching Enchanted. Frank is asleep on the chaise, Jack is asleep at my feet, Roger and Rufus are seeking solace under the couch or upstairs.
Right now, the house is pleasantly quiet – like on Saturday mornings when you’d scramble out if bed to watch cartoons before your parents wake up.
Right now it is calm and soft and snuggly. For now.
And right now I’m soaking in every moment because in about 15 minutes the girls will remember that I told them we could go feed the ducks again today and the chaos of trying to wrangle three girls under the age of 9 (until Friday at least) will ensue…
But right now? Right now is perfect :)
This week we have had two beds delivered to our house.
The first is a king-sized memory foam mattress that is currently sitting on the floor as we eagerly await the arrival of our new bed frame. It arrived around 2:30 yesterday afternoon and Jack was super excited to greet them at the door (almost as excited as I was!). After some coaxing and wrestling, I finally got him in the back yard to give the delivery guys an obstacle-free walkway. At first I was really concerned about how they’d navigate our narrow stairwell and the U-turn at the top that leads to the master bedroom. The foundation (as opposed to box springs) came as two twin-sized pieces, so those were easy enough to maneuver. And the mattress, much to my surprise, came rolled up into a tight cylinder wrapped in plastic. One guy carried it over his shoulder and the other one steered. They got it in the room, sliced the plastic off, and unrolled it onto the foundation – I was told it’d take a couple hours to completely “inflate.” I thanked them profusely and they told me to “tell Jack bye for us!”
When I tell you that last night was the best sleep I’ve gotten in ages, that is by no means an exaggeration. We’ve been wanting to upgrade to a king for a while now. And Trey and I have always had different opinions about whether the sleep number or the pillow-top queen-sized bed was the comfiest (um, it’s the pillow-top, no contest) so we compromised on the memory foam. The first thing he said to me this morning was “why did we do this years ago???” Why indeed?!?!?! Yes, last night’s sleep – though the fact that we were bone tired to the point of not being able to walk straight when we got home at midnight (way, way, WAY past our bedtime) might have skewed our judgment – was GLORIOUS.
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The second bed we’ve had delivered this week is Pop’s hospital bed. It’s in the dining room facing the back wall so that when he arrives with hospice this afternoon he can look to his right and see the tv and to his left he can look out the window. When the first bed of the week was delivered, we moved our sleep-number (cause it’s collapsible!) queen-sized bed into the dining room so that Nana will be able to stay by Pop’s side all night. I hope she doesn’t mind though, Frank and Rufus have already decided it belongs to them.
I hope Trey’s folks are comfortable in their new beds tonight – we’ve done everything we could think of to make it so. But I cannot lie, if they’re not comfortable in the middle of the night, we won’t know…because our new bed makes us both sleep like rocks!
For those of you who have been praying for the Hendon crew this past week, I cannot thank you enough. Pop had a really rough day on Wednesday. So rough, in fact, that hospice said his status was “eminent.” So we doubled his steroid dose to help relieve some of the swelling in his brain…and boy did that make a difference! He went from being almost completely unresponsive to man-laughing and asking for steak and potatoes. Hospice has removed his eminent status and yesterday was the best I’ve seen him in months. We realize this could be his big rally before the end, but we also know his quality of life has greatly improved and we’re going to rejoice for every moment of it.
Okay, now that you’ve been updated there, here’s the next big thing: since the Watts family is being moved to Washington DC in a couple weeks, Trey’s parents will be moving in with us next Monday. Since their current home holds two households full of stuff there will be two shifts for the movers. The first shift comes to pack and load out all of the Watts’ things by Thursday – including the washer and dryer. Nana and Pop’s things will be packed and loaded out next week and sent to SC to Mama Jane’s house. However, since Pop is unable to travel right now, they’re coming to stay with us. Initially the plan was for them to arrive on the 15th, but since they’ll be without the comforts of home, we’ve invited to come as early as they like…even though Nana is hesitant to leave before it’s all packed up and cleaned.
So this week Trey and I are working to transform our dining room into a comfortable room for his folks. We’ll pack up our china, buffet, and dining room table and store them in the garage to make room for Pop’s hospital bed and a bed for Nana so she can be by his side during the night. We’re hoping to get privacy curtains set up soon as well. We don’t know how long they’ll be staying with us, but we’re doing our utmost to make sure they both feel at home.
For more updates on Trey’s dad’s condition, please visit www.caringbridge.com/piercehendon – you must be logged in to view his page. We are so thankful for your thoughts and prayers, especially in this season of transition!
So, it looks like I’ll need to either add a post category or rename one…because as of this Friday “cat tales” will no longer be an adequate description of stories regarding the pets under our roof. That’s right ladies and gents, we’re getting a dog.
Trey & I have been talking about getting a dog for years. We both grew up in dog households. We love dogs – cats are just easier when you know you’ll be gone for long hours during the day. But since I’m at home most days, that’s no longer an obstacle. A few months ago, Trey’s sister approached us about adopting their 8 year old Golden Retriever, Jack. They’re moving to Washington D.C. in June and since 2 of them are allergic to dogs, she thought this would be the opportune time to find him a new home. We love Jack, he’s a big, floppy, gentle beast and the most damage he’d ever do is beat you to death from wagging his tail so enthusiastically. We reluctantly agreed, but were genuinely worried about how it’d work out. Then Uncle David and Angie said they’d be happy to take Jack – so Trey and I forgot all about it and went back to business as usual.
Well, last week sometime, David and Angie decided that taking on a new-to-them dog just for the sake of keeping him in the family might be more difficult than they originally thought, so Trey and I were up at bat again. But this time, rather than moan and fret about how the cats would react to the furry intruder, we decided to do some research. We wanted to make sure we could afford to take care of him, first of all. So we priced food and meds and grooming and all sorts of things. Then we looked for information about how to introduce a dog into a “cat family.” And what we found was really encouraging. So much so that we made it official. After his vet appointment this Friday at 2pm, Jack will be coming home with us to stay.
I’m not gonna lie, we’re pretty excited. He’s such a great dog, and we look forward to afternoons with him out at Boerne Lake throwing a Frisbee or just laying in the sun. I hope to get him in shape enough to accompany me on my morning run before too long. Trey is convinced that Jack and Rufus will be come fast friends and will snuggle and take naps together (I have my doubts about that one). My prayer is that any disgruntled growls and hisses won’t last for too long and that he’ll be able to incorporate into our family quickly and easily…and that our sweet nieces won’t be too mad at us for taking their beloved family pet.
We brought his bed home with us on Sunday and the cats have sniffed it without hissing so far – I’m taking that as a very good sign.
Once upon a time, I married an awesome guy who has 4 awesome nieces…3 of whom came to stay with us the other weekend. Mary Beth, Isabella, and Makayla arrived on a Thursday. Here’s what happened on Wednesday:
I had all these awesome plans. I had asked the neighbors for ideas, I had searched the county website. We were going to go swimming, we were going to check out the Cibolo Nature Center, and gosh darn it, we were going to feed the ducks on River Road! I was so excited about all the outdoor activities I had planned that when it finally occurred to me to check the weather report, it pretty much made my brain explode: thunderstorms and a cold front. Crap.
Then I talked to my awesome mom, who suggested taking the girls to the library to pick out a book that we could turn into a skit. Well, that was the seed – but it needed to grow a little bit.
MB, Bella, and Mak love to put on shows. These shows usually consist of singing and dancing along to whatever song is on the radio at any given moment. But they take them very seriously and usually “have a show for me” every time I see them. And then I thought about Pop. As his cancer has progressed, it’s become necessary for him to remain in bed 24/7, and there’s just not enough room in Nana & Pop’s bedroom for the girls to put on a show for him. And then it hit me: we needed to do more than a skit – we needed to make Pop a movie!
So I spent that night and most of Thursday morning writing my very first screen play. I tried to think of all the little songs the girls sing on a regular basis, and some good old-fashioned Bible School songs and I let them guide the story.
The girls arrived late Thursday night, and Friday morning we got to work making posters and playing dress up to find the perfect costumes. We practiced and played, we had a photo shoot to have headshots to use for the DVD case (we’d make copies to present to both Nana & Pop and their mom & dad). We only had one curling iron related injury and for the most part, had a grand old time.
Now, without further ado, I give you: SADLANDIA
An Aunt Leslie & Uncle Trey Production