Monday, August 03, 2009

"Vacation" Recovery

So, our vacation was supposed to be the last week in July. We were going to stop by VNB's folks for the night on our way to the swamp where my dad was Rangering this summer, followed by a few days at Myrtle Beach with my fam (including my younger siblings), followed by a few more days with VNB's fam.

But then VNB's grandfather went into the hospital just after 4th of July. He was still in full control of his faculties, but organs were slowing and shutting down and he wasn't expected to ever go home. But hospice had him on their "six-month plan," so we bumped our vacation up by a week just to make sure we got there while he was still functioning, but fully expected that he'd make it several months after we visited (if not longer). Moving our vacation up by a week threw our plans all out of whack, but everyone understood. We even called my younger siblings to see if they could move their trip up by a couple of days so that they'd still get to see us.

So we arrived in Cary, NC (where VNB's parents live) Friday night (the 17th), planning to make the 1.5 hr trip to Greensboro (where his grandfather was) the next morning. Before we (in our "we're on vacation" mindset) managed to get all of us dressed and ready to go, my father-in-law got a call from the nursing home that VNB's grandfather (and my FIL's dad) had died.

Now, we hadn't been told how much pain his grandfather was in, and he was an old man who'd lived a good, long life. We know he was a believer too, so there's no doubt in our minds where he is. All in all, it was hard for everyone to be too sad. I'm sure it'll hit VNB when the holidays come around, but in the meantime it doesn't really affect our day-to-day too much. We're all doing surprisingly well. And really...he's out of pain now. And in heaven with both of his wives that he outlived. And he'd lived a long life (just turned 86). It's hard to be too sad about that.

VNB, my FIL, and my bro-in-law hopped in the car to take care of things in Greensboro while us womenfolk (and the kids) stayed in Cary for the day. VNB was very proud to bring home his grandfather's WWII medals (he was a Marine) and we spent the evening Googling to find out what each of them was.

Anyway, our plans being in even more disarray, I called my mom to tell her what was happening and she told me that my younger siblings had not only been able to change their plans, but they were actually already on their way! So we called them and got them to stop at VNB's parents' house for the night since we'd be tied up with the funeral for most of the time they'd be in town.

Sunday, VNB, the kids, and I went to his home church while his family went to Greensboro to clean his grandfather's house and make all the arrangements. Sunday night, we got to hear VNB's former youth pastor talk about his family's missionary work in Indonesia.

Monday morning was spent. Literally. We'd found a few jackets and pants that VNB could fit into between friends and family, but not a suit befitting his grandfather's funeral, so we happened upon an S&K that was going out of business and bought VNB a new suit for 60% off! We also got a few other odds and ends that we needed (all told, we spent about $400 that morning!), then came back to his parents' house in time for lunch and the trip to Greensboro for the viewing. On the way there, I typed as Ryan dictated what he wanted to say in his eulogy for his grandfather.

While a friend of VNB's sister watched the kids, we went to the viewing and I shook the hands of and hugged a lot of people I know marginally and a few more that I've never met before. The funeral was the next morning. VNB did great giving his eulogy (although we didn't get as many laughs as we were expecting), then we all packed into the car and drove to Myrtle Beach.

We spent the evening introducing AJ to the ocean. It started out with him not wanting to get near it and ended up with us having to keep him from running into it! Unfortunately, my dad had taken off of work for the week that we had originally planned to come down and couldn't change the dates, so he had to go back to Columbia, SC very early the next morning to Congaree National Park. But we spent the late morning and early afternoon at the beach, then came back for naps. That night the kids went with my mom and siblings to play mini-golf while VNB and I had dinner.

VERY early the next morning, my younger siblings had to head back. My mom and our family went to the Ripley's Aquarium in the morning, then spent a little more time on the beach in the afternoon. By the end of the second day at the beach, I think everyone's expectations of what "AJ going in the water" meant finally matched up, so everyone had a good time...until AJ got tired and sunburned and wanted to keep walking south along the beach rather than coming back north to where our stuff was. That wasn't particularly happy, but at least he'll probably enjoy the beach when we go again (up here) in mid-September.

Since AJ hadn't gotten to see much of his "PawPaw" (my dad), since my mom assured us there was a GREAT children's museum in Columbia, and since my dad didn't have to be at work until 2 that day, we drove Friday morning to Columbia (3 hrs), met my dad at the museum, and played until he had to go to work. Then we played a little longer, ate lunch, then met him at Congaree to take a tour of the boardwalk they have over their swamp. It's only about a 2.5-mi loop which we totally could have done, but AJ was melting down, VNB had hurt his foot, and my mom was having trouble keeping up, so we turned back after about half a mile. So then we said goodbye to PawPaw and headed back to Myrtle Beach.

The next morning we packed up what was left of our stuff and headed back (4 hrs) to Cary. We went to church with his family Sunday morning, had lunch, then drove back home to MD. All told, we were in the car for about 27 hrs over the course of the week. With an infant and a toddler. It's a wonder we're not all crazy. Oh, wait... ;p

I would have updated the blog from the road, but my dear husband has something against me telling everyone on the internets that our house is unoccupied for a week (well, except for the cat and fish). Something about the crazies on the internets taking all of our belongings and us not even knowing about it for several days. Sweet man. It would never even occur to me to think about something like that. Good thing I've got him around to take care of me!

Anyway, in the week _since_ we got back from vacation, we've gotten into the car as little as possible, Joanna has cut her first tooth and started sitting up on her own (not only unsupported, but I'd leave her lying on her back, blink, and she'd be sitting up on her bottom - pictures of both to come), and AJ has started potty training (don't worry - no pics of this one).

Wait...when's vacation again?

1 comment:

Toby said...

I have never been on a Turner vacation that I would describe as "relaxing." I suppose this has been ingrained in my subconscious to the point that it explains that when Elizabeth says "We should go somewhere on vacation," I whine "Do we have to?"