July 2020
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Tough Christmas

So, remember when I said I was going to take the time between Christmas and New Years to relax and rejuvenate?

Yeah, not so much.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were wonderful. We spent time with Kristian’s family and my Mom’s family and had a lovely, lovely time.

(I’ll write about this some other time.)


The day after Christmas, we drove down to Bourne, to spend the weekend with my Dad’s side of the family. We were just settling in when my step-mom said “Hey, your dad’s not feeling well… I’m taking him to the ER.”


(Spoiler alert! Everything worked out ok in the end!)

We thought it was a sinus infection, so I got very confused when she started talking about things like “blood tests” and “CT Scans” and “more tests.” It turns out my Dad had a subdural hematoma (you can go ahead and google it if you want, but I steadfastly refused to). They couldn’t handle his case at the regional feeder hospital that he went to originally, so they transferred him by ambulance to MGH.

(Hey, if you’re gonna get transferred, you might as well go to one of the best hospitals in the world.)

We ended up hosting all of my step-siblings and some other relatives from that side of the family for dinner, and then they all headed back home. So, it was just me, Kristian, LJ, and my grandmother in a verrrry big house where we were all supposed to be together. We spent a lot of time reassuring my grandmother that everything was going to be ok. It was a pretty surreal experience.

We got up the next morning, packed and cleaned the house, sent my grandma back home (via car service), and headed off to see the rest of my mom’s family. It was really freaking hard to not be heading straight to the hospital, but my Dad just wasn’t up for visitors.

At least Lilian had a good time with her cousins:


(We didn’t really tell her what was going on.)

My Dad ended up having a minor operation to release the pressure (so minor, my sister-in-law the pediatrician did one back when she was a resident). We were all reassured that it was very routine, very easy, very good prognosis. Not gonna lie, I still kinda freaked the fuck out.

Lucky for us, freaking the fuck out has no correlation with actual outcomes. My Dad came out of it all just fine. My sisters and I drove straight to the hospital to see him. He was very glad to see us. We made a lot of jokes about the hole in his head. We knew he was going to be just fine when he started calling people nitwits. He ended up staying in the hospital until this afternoon, but I was at his house to help him get settled and he looked great. Walked up the front stairs completely unassisted, like a champ.

So, yeah, I guess I’m glad that I didn’t start a new job today. I was able to help get Dad’s house all cleaned up and ready for him to come home. Plus, make lots of visits. And I still have the rest of the week to check up on him and help out. It’s not exactly the relaxing week I was planning, just like it wasn’t the family christmas that we were all planning.

But, you know what? When your Dad winds up in the hospital, Christmas just doesn’t seem quite so important. I think I was more disappointed last year when Lilian got Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease and we had to cancel our Christmas get-together. Something, something, perspective, something.

I’m not entirely sure how small talk is gonna go at the new gig (“How was your Christmas?” “Uhhh… how about those Patriots!?”), but I think everything is going to work out ok. Dad’s already looking better, and I have it on good authority that this is all very easy to recover from.

But, yeah, this wasn’t exactly the world’s most awesome Christmas.

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