In my recent blog silence, so much happened in our lives it's hard to know what to write about, or even if I should. The most notable thing that happened was the passing of Jason's grandfather. He lived just a few stone's throws from us, and we would often take stroller walks to MawMaw and PawPaw's house. He was always glad to see his great grandchildren, even though gradually he couldn't hold them anymore, then couldn't put his arm around them, and finally was too weak to even hold out his hand for a five. He seemed to perk up when his grands and great-grands were around, and in fact Jason and Owen were two of the last people he recognized, or was able to mention that he recognized. I will never forget the phone call early Saturday morning. We had seen him the night before, but still we wished for one more goodbye.
In a pathetic twist of plot, The Virus hit. I should say walloped. The morning of the visitation, cousin Juli had stopped by to visit, and as we were talking, Owen threw up all over me and the carpet in the basement. Juli, about to graduate from nursing school, took it all in stride like a hero! Of course we were hosting out-of-state guests, my parents included, and I felt terrible about exposing them. There was little we could do but keep to ourselves, disinfect surfaces, change shirts and wash hands frequently. Helen got it about 12-14 hours later. I heard a little whimper during the middle of the night, checked on her, and discovered her lying in her crib, covered in cold puke. Around the same time my kids were getting sick, it was hitting other extended family members in various manners and intensities. My father in law, though he had a meditation to deliver, even considered staying home from his own dad's funeral, he felt so awful! Jason got hit during the funeral, and had to force himself to fulfill his pallbearer duties at the gravesite. Following the funeral, others began to get sick, and like us, most local family members were hosting out-of-state family. So the gift went on. Lots of us holed up in our homes for quite a while, but some poor, poor people had to endure cross-country travel while they were ill. There are all sorts of pathetically hilarious events associated with this particular GI bug that I don't have the freedom to mention, and no fewer than 34 family members got the bug. (The number may still be rising, who knows?) Fortunately, Jack did not get sick, and the worst it got for me was some slight nausea and a few skipped meals. Recounting the tale makes me feel a touch ill, sort of like getting itchy when you hear of someone getting lice. And I just rubbed my ear in a scratching sort of way. I wonder how you are feeling just reading this?!
Just at the end of Grandpa's burial service, it began to rain. When we arrived home, what we saw in the sky was absolutely amazing. Not one full rainbow, but four! If you look very closely, you can see that the one on the bottom is a triple. My parents and I were outside. My jaw was on the ground. Poor Jason was too sick to get out of the bed. It was such a timely gift from God, a sign of peace over Grandpa's life and his family, arching over the land he once farmed.
Grandpa was a big part of our lives, and we miss him. We had a near front-row seat to the final stages of life, and it was saddening but strengthening to watch those before us face death with courage and dignity. We love you, Grandpa, and we'll miss seeing you on your golf cart. Owen thinks maybe you are running in heaven, and he wants to run with you too.