As of yesterday, "I am retired." It feels strange to say that and I imagine come August it will feel stranger not to be among the workforce. Back to school has been such a part of my summers for so long, I wonder how it will be to not return. I hope to enjoy a nice long summer before finding out! I am excited for this summer despite the extreme heat we are experiencing. We have lots of plans for family trips, visits and home improvements. Stephen King is willing to take some short roadtrips with me to places we have visited before and even some new spots we have always wanted to see. Of course, a reduction in gas prices would help those trips be more frequent, but probably not gonna happen.
Our Mackenzie got the word from her nephrologist that we will be meeeting with the transplant team next visit to Riley Hospital. He assured her that doesn't mean a transplant is imminent, just sometime in the near future. We have all known this was coming, but just like Dr. Draper's "elephant in the room" we don't discuss a timeframe. Mack is showing some anger at this right now. She has handled her illness with dignity and poise for so long, but hasn't decided how to deal with this latest announcement. She is focusing on our Florida trip in July with so much eagerness, it cannot get here soon enough. She will be staying the whole two weeks this year. Last year her family had to leave after 8 days so Mom and Dad could return to work. Mom isn't working now and Dad will go back to Indiana with Stephen King after the first week. Yes, HE has decided he might just come along this time. Of course, that is subject to change!
The kids are doing well overall, the boys are growing into big guys, no sign of babyness left there at all. They are full of themselves; Cabe is such a storyteller, I do believe he will write or be on stage and Gavin is a thinker, a questioner, asking "what if" about everything. I have always been partial to little boys and these two are no exception. They can just grin at me and I melt. Gavin is taking tennis lessons this month and I'm excited to see how that turns out. I'll be taking him a few days and plan to stay and watch him learn. He is alot like me and his dad, as children we were somewhat awkward physically. Clumsy, maybe in my case. Gavin is long limbed and tall and frequently gets tied up. Tennis will be good for him, I wish we had offered lessons to Trent at his age. Caleb is playing baseball this summer, but spends most of his time talking to his team mates or the fans in the stands. Is there anything cuter than a first grader in a catcher's mask? He has to take it off to talk, it is so big on him. At that age, games are entertainment not competion. I laugh through all 7 innings.
Madeleine is growing up too, she is moody and becoming a preteen. Scary! Her silence is deeper, but not as frequent, she argues now, a new thing for her. And must have the last word, even though it is usually said under her breathe while she glares. Where did sweet Maddie go? I always assumed she would not be as affected by teen angst...wrong, Gma, wrong. She followed her dad up a 35 foot ladder to the roof of their 2 story house last week. Stephen in his work boots, Madd in her flipflops, Stephen wearing safety harness, Madd wearing her glasses! She is so quiet, he had no idea she was behind him until he stepped on the roof and looked around. Smiling her smirky grin, Maddie says, "I'm going to help you, Daddy". Now, our oldest is a big man, 6"7' but he is afraid of heights and chickens (no chickens on the roof, thank goodness) and he about fell off when he saw her standing at the top of that ladder. It ended well with no injuries and was so typical of Maddie. The child has no fear. Heart surgeries, heights, even chickens can't slow her down.
A lot of my time will now be spent with Mom. She is a surprise every day. Some days she answers the phone sounding like Mom, other days she is someone we do not recognise, old, confused and scared. Mostly good days though! My sister and I will divide up duties, as well as spend time together with Mom, the three amigos. We were inseparble when our kids were growing up, doing everything as a group. Our brother, Rob, wa a surprise baby and is only 10 months older than Stephen, so all three of us had kids together. Rob, Stephen, Trent, Josh, Courtney, Stori, Joe and then later Michael. Our sister-in-law, Carol was always there, too with her babes. We were blessed to all be so close. The cousins are more like siblings and continue their relationships as adults. Courtney's move to Australia and Joe's to Chicago have made it a little difficullt, but with email and FaceBook, they chat frequently. They are all parents themselves now, except Court and Michael, the older grandkids babysit for the younger. Family is precious.
My last week of work was strangly surreal - almost as if I were already gone. I just felt tired, not real emotional at all. I'm taking that as a sign I am ready to be done with it. The work, the politics, the complaints, the tears, and the laughs, the inside jokes, the practical jokes, the caring and the kids. I've done my best to help where I could, and offer support, rational thinking and the truth to all I served. I will miss the kids, my co-workers and the everyday routine. But I know I will continue the relationships I have with those who matter most to me.
I do want to make a swing through the noth to see you all in your environment soon. Just give me time to setttle. Talk to me, Ladies.