Bittersweet Days

Sorry it’s been a little while– school is keeping me extremely busy.

We had an egg-cellent Easter holiday weekend and I had a busy day at work following that. Then yesterday evening ended with some news  that my husband’s grandfather (91 years old) had fallen and was in the hospital.

Today, when the Moose came home from work, we headed to the hospital and were delayed due to trying to get Papa an MRI and some other technicalities so the Moose, Lil Bit and I headed to do a little shopping. The trip to the hospital was a little disheartening following the MRI results and Papa’s quality of life has taken a dismal turn. Lil Bit did the Empress proud and was on her best behavior and even gave Papa good-bye kisses.  It’s terribly sad to me when I see an obstinate, intelligent mobile man reduced to bed-ridden with a c-spine collar on for the rest of his life.

As often as you deal with patients as a nurse, and as much as you try to treat them as if they were family members, tragedy and grief are much different when it’s your kin folk.

As we were driving home from the hospital the Moose didn’t say much. Grief is a very unfamiliar emotion to him having only ever lost his grandmother to mortality and he rightly considers himself to be a strong man.  I offered my apologies and hope that Papa was kept pain free. He said nothing. And then, suddenly:

Moose: Let’s go to the beach

Me: Ok, we can go Sunday

Moose: Let’s go now

Me: *reluctantly* Ummm…well, I guess we can (spontaneity is not my bag)

So we drove to the nearby beach, stopped at a gas station. The Moose came out carrying a bag with two bottles of water, a bag of the delicious yet taboo crunchy cheese puffs and a beach towel. This is why I married this beautiful man, as I would have never added this kind of stop into my borderline-OCD schedule. We then drove to the beach which was still pretty empty as tourist season has not picked up yet and with it being a week day. The weather was gorgeous and Lil Bit was heartwrenchingly-adorable playing tag with the ebbing waves.  There is no antidepressant as good as beautiful weather, family and a little bit o’ beach.

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I had some time to reflect as little bit frolicked in the sand on school, work, family and happiness. I should do this so often, we live so close and we have an annual pass. It’s only the second time we’ve been since we bought it! My thoughts were interrupted as the Moose sat back down beside me after helping Lil Bit build a make-shift sandcastle. I started with my typical “if I had known we would have packed her sand toys, bathing suit, etc. etc. ”

My list was interrupted by the Moose: “If we had planned it…”

Me: “it wouldn’t have been so perfect, I know, I know…thank you honey.”

Moose: “Your welcome, now relax and enjoy it.”

The couple of hours was an unexpected treat that was much needed for the soul and as we drove home with Lil Bit’s unwelcome snore (late-in-the-day napping never equates to an easy bedtime) and the beach music still playing on the Moose’s mobile, I felt such a joy and gratitude for my family and the time I have been allotted with them.  I also can’t help that to me, a mostly-optimistic Empress, a bittersweet day such as this is still–sweet…and we just have to hope for the bitter part not to overshadow the savory moments.

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