Busy days with lots of caring, lots of sharing.
Stan called at 7 a.m. last Tuesday ... since most of you don't know Stan, this might not shock you as it did me, but Stan doesn't do 7 a.m. He barely does 11! I didn't even waste breath on "hello."
"I'm sick," the words sounded like they were painful for him to utter.
"What do you need me to do?"
"Come here. Call my doctor."
I tried to make the shower quick and wished later that I might have taken a bit more time on the face, because when I left the apartment to dash across the parking lot to his condo, I wasn't going to see the place again for a while.
We were told to go to the emergency room and two hours after arriving there we got a triage room. Seven hours later, I knew he was about to get a real room and I could leave without worrying there would be no one there to hold the tub if he had to once again throw up what little was left on his stomach.
I told him at one point that he'd given me enough power that should there be a question of pulling any plugs, I was in control!
He told me, throughout the day and in so many ways, that we were family.
Easter weekend the family gathered at my place. The meal was a West meets South adventure. My new friend Brittany brought her California cuisine to my kitchen. As she added dried cranberries to wild rice, I opened the Cheese Whiz for the broccoli cheese casserole. When she was dicing carrots that would be covered with orange juice, zest and pistachios, I was adding a half cup of Crisco to the red velvet cake batter.
I couldn't convince her that a lick of that blood red mixture was tasty. She declared that food was not meant to be that color.
On Easter Sunday, she ate not one but two pieces! Ha! We Southerners might not win battles with ammunition but we can do a number on your arteries!
The activities that day included all the grown ups around one table -- which had to be extended to handle the collection of souls. Then we dyed eggs for the Long children and three of our elders hid them. Later the children returned the favor for the adults, some of whom got in a throwdown about just who had more in their makeshift baskets -- I recylced Christmas gift bags for the occasion to add to the festivity!
A few folks determined we hadn't allowed eggs to be the subject of fun quite long enough so they suggested an egg toss. Two completely mature individuals agreed it was worth their efforts and we cheered them on in the parking lot.
People kept coming throughout the day and by the close of the door, I'd insured that I wouldn't be eating leftovers for the next three weeks. Baggies of takehome were the party favors and eagerly embraced by all.
The next day I received at least four calls calling it "one of the best Easters ever."
That's what families are for.