This week I feel like I’ve spent all my time either counting or waiting. It started on Sunday when Paul and Joelle went to our church’s sunrise service at 6:30 AM. Since the congregation was planning a shared breakfast afterwards, and I didn’t have the energy to climb up and down the church’s many and difficult (for me) stairs, I chose to stay home. At that point I began waiting, and counting the hours until Paul had had breakfast and returned home to pick me up for church. After that the next session of counting began. Paul was leaving early (and I mean early!) Monday morning, and this would be our last meal together as a family until the following Saturday. With that thought in mind (and Paul’s help to prepare it!) we carried out our plans for a lovely holiday dinner. That too, though, was just another way of marking time, or counting until the next session of waiting arrived.
Paul had chosen not to fly out on Sunday afternoon because he wanted to spend the holiday at home with us, but the alternative was to fly out of the Albany Airport at 6:30 AM the next morning. For him that meant getting up at 3:00 AM to be out of the house and to the airport with enough time to spare before the flight. For me, who’d awoken and then gotten up early to write when I couldn’t get back to sleep, that meant I could start counting and waiting out the hours and days until the next event in our lives. Paul was on his way to Denver for a week, and it would be Saturday before he’d be back. That meant a long week for Joely and I alone, and even longer for him because after a week of training/classes the only flight he could get home was on Saturday.
Paul has seldom, if ever, had to travel on the weekend for business reasons before now, and most of this Saturday will be gone before he even gets home. For me, I just continue waiting, knowing that next week isn’t going to be much of an improvement. After he arrives home late Saturday evening, he’ll only have Sunday off before he has to leave again early Monday morning for Boston. Neither Paul or I imagined this much travel time when he took this new job, and we’re both just holding on and hoping things improve after all these ‘job training’ events are over. If we had known how much time would have been required for travel these first two months we (or at least I) would have pushed harder to get us to Texas before he’d started, so at least this part of the wait for me would be over. Instead, and ‘circumstances’ being the Providential happening they always are, we are left counting and waiting and learning patience along the way.
Meanwhile, I have been counting–and waiting on the Lord–where my sister is concerned. My mother was also counting the days over the phone with me this week when we talked, and made mention of the fact that a month has passed since my sister first entered the hospital. An entire month. And though after three weeks she began responding to touch (she now holds hands and plucks at people’s clothes), there is no real recognition; she will hold a nurse’s hand as tightly as a family member’s. I am happy to say she has been moved to a nursing home, where the better care (and more timely medication) seems to have eased her pain, but the situation has not really changed otherwise. On that front, it just feels like another waiting game.
Little things have been accomplished this week though, and there are things that I can ‘count’ that are lining up for our trip to Texas. Paul made reservations at the hotel down there and a friend referred us to a kennel close by where I made reservations for the dog while we’re gone. Exact dates have been clarified for feeding our cats and picking up our mail too, and summer clothes are being brought out and prepared for travel to a warmer place. Today is the last day of April and that means there are only three weeks left until we leave.
Three weeks. Twenty-one days. You know I’ll be counting each and every one of them, too. And waiting.