They totally redeemed themselves one day while I was at work. I came home to find that they'd raked the lawn, fixed the exposed insulation in the garage, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, did laundry and dishes, etc., etc. I was so happy, I almost invited them to stay till Christmas.
Because my parents divorced when I was a teenager, I always had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Dad and then a non-traditional dinner with my vegetarian mom. My parents get along quite well though, and this year they decided that we should have a group non-traditional Thanksgiving with a pan-Asian theme. I was in favor of having the family together - but it was also my first Thanksgiving in my new house, and I love turkey! I absolutely love traditional Thanksgiving dinners, so I got a little cranky. Dave's son, Gabriel, also freaked out when he heard there would be no turkey. But he's 11, and I'm 28... so the turkey-lovers agreed to the non-traditional meal, and were appeased with the promise of a more normal Thanksgiving on Saturday.
For the pan-Asian meal, I found a fortune cookie recipe and got really excited about making my own fortunes. Then I got lazy, so Mom and I bought the cookies and carefully extracted the existing fortunes with tweezers so we could insert our own. We also purchased pie tins and whipped cream (a departure from theme, I know), and after the meal we staged our very own family pie fight in the backyard, ala the Brady Bunch.
Today we had a meeting with Trinity Respite Care because Scott qualified for a grant that will pay for someone to be his companion for a few hours a week. The Trinity worker, who came to our house, was a young blonde named Mickey who wore a cross necklace. She was very nice, 6 months pregnant, and seemed pretty conservative. We started talking about babies, but then the topic moved to... (drum roll, please)
Death and funeral homes! Apparently Mickey is a bit of an odd duck; she once contacted a funeral home to arrange a personal tour. She told us all about the embalming and cremation processes. Did you know that your bones don't burn? They have to crush your bones in a silver meat-grinder thingy. She was even plugging the establishment and recommending that we do our business there. It was definitely a strange conversation, but the most fun I've ever had with a social worker! Mom and I have resolved to arrange a funeral home tour; mainly for educational purposes, but also to include in the annual Christmas letter (along with our Thanksgiving pie fight picture).
Later, Mickey told us about an old man in a nursing home who was missing his right arm, left leg, and some fingers on his left hand. He'd been in not one, but two farming accidents and had been disabled for years. Somehow, a mistake was made with his medication and he became a tad psycho/paranoid. He was convinced that the nursing home couldn't be in Lawrence, KS, because it was a brothel. A brothel wouldn't be in Lawrence! How uncouth! When Mickey asked him why the nursing home was a brothel, he gestured with his mangled hand to all the open bedroom doors, and to all the women lying in their beds. Whores! He also tried to convince her to trip the head nurse and steal the keys so he could escape. Mickey got his meds re-evaluated, and he was quite apologetic when he was normal again. He apparently remembered everything he'd said when he was drugged out of his goiter. I wish I could have met him. He sounded like fun.
On another death-related note, Adrienne's dad finally passed away last Friday evening. January would have been the 2 year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis, and it's been a long journey downhill since then. Adrienne called me afterward; her voice was clogged and teary, but she sounded relieved and a bit loopy as well. He didn't want a funeral, so Adrienne told Sarah and I not to come visit her. It feels weird not being there. I know I'll see her in a couple of weeks, but I don't want to neglect my best friend. She'll tell me if she needs me, I know that - and so far, she's only told me about how overwhelmed she is and how she's tired of dealing with people and death. The last thing I want to do is add to her stress.
I still feel like I should be there. Sometimes though, after such an excruciating ordeal, all you need is to be left alone to lick your wounds. Your friends will be there, waiting, when you're ready to come out.