Monday, May 11, 2009

Marathon Weekend

Do you ever just feel tired?

I have been just plain tired.

My mom would tell me “well, if that is what you claim then you will be tired.” This is bigger than that, I move, I try to skip a little, walk. I think endorphins will align and I will feel a boost of energy. A shot of adrenaline. I push I set goals, and then I have to sit for a minute or two.

I do believe it is stress. But I will share about that at another time.

It did get pushed aside a little the end of last week.

Thursday I scrambled to finish what I could not leave undone at work, so we could head to Traveler's graduation on Friday. For those that are newer, Traveler is my step-daughter, and I have a step-son, I call Ocho.

Traveler had been to the beach and returned Thursday, with plans of heading up for graduation the next morning.

Will and I got home from the shop a little after 7:00p.m. Demolition D had, thankfully, started dinner. Ocho was working, The Man and Traveler were doing their thing on their computers.

As dinner was finishing, the phone rang. It was Will's ex-wife (Traveler and Ocho's mom). She was crying and she shared with Will that Pat, her brother, was not expected to make it through the night.

Pat had arrived at Emory a week earlier to have opened heart surgery. A year earlier he had been airlifted out of Afghanistan (he worked for a contractor) with an infection. In Germany they found a problem with his heart. His wife, Stacey, flew to Germany and got him back home. We attended the same church, and sat behind us with Pat brother Bobby and his wife. He always had a smile and hug and kiss on the cheeck for all. Will has maintained a friendship with his "inlaws." They are friends and family.

The open heart surgery went great. The doctors said all went well and the recovery of the heart was better than expected. But he developed pneumonia a couple days after surgery. He was on the ventilator. Thursday they performed surgery to drain his lungs. Early evening, his kidneys began to fail.

In the call, she said they were on the way to get their mom and were heading to Emory. We ate first before sharing with Amanda, so she would have a meal in her. Ocho was still at work.

Such a hard thing to take in. The sadness and shock of losing a loved one, but at such an important time in a young ones life too.

She really wanted to go to Emory to be with the rest of the family. Will told her he would drive her up there, but they needed to wait so Ocho could go too if that was his decision. Which turned out to be wise.

On top of the bad news, Traveler then shared she still needed to buy a dress and shoes for graduation.

Will and the kids left about 10:15 p.m. for Emory. The plan was for me to bring up my SIL and MIL on Friday. I busied myself around the house trying to get the rest of work related items finished.

A little after 11:00, Traveler called. Her sorority had a reception planned after graduation and they needed pictures to set out of the graduate, so she needed me to go through and find pictures of her with family and receiving awards and from her pageant. So I scrambled. There were a few that were only on the computer, so those could not be included.

I finally laid down close to 1:00 a.m.

Up the next morning, got the boys to school, finished up bank runs for the shop and got ready to load up family and head to Brenau. I had checked my email first, figuring Will would have sent me an email. He had, he had sent it at 4:00 a.m. saying they had made it to the hotel. That was all that was said, Pat must still be hanging on.

As we headed out the door, the phone rang, I didn't make it back to it before it stopped ringing and did not recognize the number. So I headed to my MIL to get her. She was on the phone when we arrived. She had just received the call, Pat had passed away during the night.

I hate it. Too young. 57 years old.

I did not call Will because I hoped he was still asleep and did not want to wake him. He called about 20 minutes later. He sounded so bad.

They made it to Emory, about 30-45 minutes after Pat had died. But there was no family there. Stacey, his wife had just left headed back home to tell his mom and siblings. It turned out they DID NOT, go to Emory after all. So heartbroken and exhausted, they headed on over to Gainesville where we had rooms reserved for the next evening. The Garden Hilton Inn, got them into a room and were very kind!

Heavy burdened, Will and the kids got moving, headed to Traveler's sorority house to pack what she had left. Oh wow! It was a lot more than had be relayed. But they got it finished, room emptied!

They got in the truck to grab some lunch, with the truck full, Traveler tossed her tassles (for graduation) into the truck and they landed in Will's coffee!! So now the white strand was being coffee stained. They get back to the hotel the same time we arrived, Will rinses the tassles, hoping to wash the coffee out and hoping they will dry in time for graduation- it was 3:00p.m. then and we had to be at the center at 5:00p.m.

Traveler had wanted the family to eat together at a Chinese restaurant she had found that she loved. The goal was to eat at 3:00 but that did not exactly happen. We did not realize the restaurant was 21 miles away at the Mall of Georgia! We quickly changed for graduation since there would not be time afterwards. Traveler and Ocho were off before us so she could buy a dress and shoes (Will had had her grab a dress from her room when packing, but she put it in a bag with an open bottle of perfume - then could not wear it).

We arrive at the Mall of Georgia and the directions Traveler gave us were not really clear. So after a hike, we find the restaurant and plop down at the table. Orders are not taken until 4:00p.m. (remember, we have to be back at graduation at 5:00). Food is delivered scarfed down, Will and the kids head out before the rest of us hoping they will make it at least within a few minutes of the time expected.

We did not see Traveler's robe when we left, so they had to go by the hotel for that and for Traveler to put on the new dress. Well we had the shawl thing and tassels with us!

Gainesville Georgia might not be big, but they still have 5:00 traffic! At least enough to slow you down when you are late! Parking was a nightmare. I dropped off those with me and went in search of where to park.

We made it. Traveler graduated.

(MIL, Traveler's Mom, Traveler, Will)
Those are the tassles, and they were still damp

BUT, she did not receive her diploma yet! When she opened the diploma, in place of the diploma, was a notice of library fees due! LOL! She had actually paid it, but apparently not in time for the business office to get the information to the department handling the diplomas. But she is a graduate!

We attended the reception. And headed back to the hotel close to 10:00p.m.

Traveler headed to a friend's house to stay the night before heading to another friend's wedding the next morning. The fatique and the emotions hit late Friday night and she notified the bride that she would not be able to sing with all that had happened. We are so glad that decision was made and the bride was so understanding.

Traveler set out to attend the wedding, though, but she ran into a problem. She was headed to the wedding using a GPS. When she stopped for gas, it reset and she did not know it until it delivered her to the wrong church!!
She reset the GPS and headed home instead.

Meanwhile, we were up earlier and headed back to Atlanta for Ocho to attend an open house at the Atlanta Art Institute. We made it, no hitches. Will and Ocho attended the program, it was fast, only an hour and a half - and we were on our way to lunch and then home. Lunch: bison burgers, very yummy!!

The marathon was over when we arrived safely at home around 5:00 p.m.

I would like to say the hurdles were all due to the loss of Pat, but this is our life! Traveler marches to the beat of her own drum, and unfortunately, it at times takes the rest of us on a roller coaster ride! But the adrenaline pushed the fatique aside for a little bit of time. And we all got to see her through this milestone in her life journey.

We attended church yesterday morning, and to our surpise, Stacey was there. She had decided she needed to be out, and not at home alone. She decided she needed to go ahead and try to go to church to get past that first time. She did well! Stacey decided to have his funeral on his birthday, which won't be until Thursday.

Pat told his mom, before going up for the surgery, that if things did not turn out and he died, that would be fine. He had no regrets in his life. Anything he ever wanted to do, he had done. His wife, Stacey even joked after church about having had a bumper sticker that Pat's brother had printed "honk if you have been married to Pat." See, Pat loved life, and loved women and had been married more than 5 times, but he was bigger than life.
The peace he expressed in that statement to his mom, is also evident in those that he left behind.


Sniffles and Smiles said...

You deserve the Mom of the Year award...and that's just for this week! Whew! Hope you can take some time out for yourself soon...So sorry to hear about Pat...your family will be in my prayers this week especially! ~Janine XO

Gayle said...

Lailani, just reading that exhausted me! You deserve a good rest! I'm so sorry for the loss of Pat. I will be thinking about your family.

Aleta said...

I agree with Gayle, just reading this post was exhausting, but to have gone through it.. you're an amazing person. I'm sorry about Pat, but loved the ending about the bumper sticker ~ what a wonderful way to remember someone, larger than life.

Congrats to your daughter for her graduation. She looked happy and cute cake for the celebration.

Finding Pam said...

It would seem like Pat lived a good and happy life and his wife honors him in all she does. I really admire her attitude.

Lailani, I know that you are so glad that that weekend is over. Whew! Rest when you can, and take care.

Anonymous said...

wow Lailani, what a week! so admire you for holding up through such stress, and the emotional roller coaster you've been on. the end of a journey, and the beginning of another. will keep your family in my prayers.


Jules~ said...

OH my goodness! Can we jut all jump up right now and give you a huge round of applause. It is so interesting how the energy level changes by adding one person to the mix.
You did amazing. She will look back on this time and remember how you were there and so supportive.

That is quite humorous about the library fines.

I am so sorry about Pat. That is really sad. He sounds like he was an amazing blessing to have around with his sense of humor (the bumper sticker). How encouraging though that he was at peace and was giving encouragement to those around him before his surgery.

Today I hope you can relax and press in to God for His comfort and peace.
Blessings to you my friend.

linda said...

Wow, I'm exhausted after reading this post! Your weekend was crazy busy! Congrats to traveler!

I'm so sorry for the loss of Pat. He was so young.

Sandy Toes said...

What a wonderful graduation cake...I love it!! Great pictures.
sandy toe

JANE said...

Girl that's alot of Ga road traveling!!
Yea for Traveler!
Prayers for your family.

Sandi McBride said...

Congrats to Traveler...but this post made me so tired...I'm sure you are about ready for a long nap! I hope that Stacey is getting through this, with her family and friends I'm sure she will...but how difficult for her! Now, try to take a deep breath and destress!

Anonymous said...

Those are really lovely pictures. I real shame about Pat, 57 is no age to go. Do take time out for yourself, recharge the batteries.

CJ xx

The Muse said...

WHEW! I dare say I see why you entitled your post Marathon Weekend!

But my, what accomplishments....of faith, of love, of hope!...My heart reaches out to you with the loss you and your family have had...and it soars with you for the joy that has also greeted you.

May your week be blessed! And the Spirit fill your soul :)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Congratulations to Traveler!

I hope you can get some rest. Blessings to you and your family.

vchelle said...

I'm so glad you are able to write about all of the events that took place and it seems that you are handling all of it with such a beautiful spirit!! My prayers go out to Pat and I wish Traveler and all of you peace and wellness!