I really had an awesome weekend. On Friday, I drove the younger boys out to my parents' house for a much needed rest.
It had been an absolutely grueling week after Justin's father had his heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. I've never seen my husband so completely exhausted and overwhelmed before, even when his dad lost a kidney to cancer six years ago. When my FIL arrived at the emergency room on Sunday night last week, the doctors gave him a 20% chance of survival. His lungs were filled with fluid, his one remaining kidney was not working, and he had had a massive heart attack. They did catheterization and discovered four entirely blocked arteries. He needed a quadruple bypass surgery and if he didn't get it, he was going to die. But first, his body would have to tolerate almost 24 hours of dialysis, which might kill him.
All of these horrible things that have happened in the last few months really make you slow down and appreciate what's important. Like metal chickens.
On Friday, upon arriving at my parents' house, I saw this:
Oh my God. My mother had metal chickens. If you haven't read my post about the 5' metal chicken over at Jenny Lawson's Website, please go look for the one that's entitled something to the effect of why you should pick your battles. Apparently it went viral and shut down her server. Now, I am all about metal chickens. And my mom had two. I wasn't leaving without them.
I spent a good bit of time in one of the spare rooms, going through old portraits, removing them from frames and putting the old frames in boxes to take to Goodwill. We ended up with several piles and the boys walked things to the separate donation areas that had been set up in the dining room. This was my favorite:
I had told Jamie on the way out that since his primary reason for living this summer seems to be to argue with me, he needed to argue about absolutely everything I wanted to bring home except for black picture frames, in conjunction with my desire to decrapify my house. If I couldn't justify it, it wasn't coming home. But metal chickens were an exception - they were coming home no matter what he said and no matter how much he argued that the metal chicken blog wasn't funny. I know a few thousand people who thought it was.
My pile ended up looking like this:
My dad spent a good bit of Saturday and Sunday with my boys, taking them to the lake to swim and taking them to the shooting range and out to lunch on Sunday. Joey and I spent quite a bit of time in the hot tub, just watching the deer wandering at the bottom of the long hill that is my parents' back yard and I truly relaxed for the first time in months. I realize that life could be worse in so many ways. My mother got cancer, but she didn't die and they don't think the cancer will be what kills her. I still have both of my parents and so does Justin. We are so grateful that they were able to save my mom and that his dad survived both dialysis and the surgery.
And really, with the internet, Mom keeps saying we can talk every day. But you know what? We don't actually talk every day now and sometimes weeks go by when I don't see my parents. The 600 miles is indeed a great distance and I will be very sorry and probably very tearful on moving day, but I realize that this is not the end of the world that I thought it was a year ago. They are going somewhere they love and that will make them happy and isn't that what life is all about?
You should do what makes you happy and live where you are happy. Life really boils down to those two simple rules, doesn't it?
And the metal chickens are a bonus. Not only do I get to move them around and pose them obscenely, as suggested by my mother, I got to scare the dog:
How often can you say your metal chickens made your dog nervous?