Sunday, January 16, 2011

Remembering Midnight

Ignoring the date on the photo, because it is wrong, this is the last photo I have of Midnight. I took it on Dec. 30th, 2010, before our Christmas celebration here. He had had a terrible day, was stumbling around, didn't seem to be seeing anymore, and was very weak and out of sorts. We didn't think he'd make it through the night, but he surprised us, and actually lived almost 2 weeks beyond this date.  He finally gave up the battle on the afternoon of Jan. 10th, 2011, shortly after Brie got home from work, and Rei got home from school.  He had been in the living room sleeping most of the day, and had been moving minimally when  I was in and out with Skye. When Brie got home she noticed that he looked dead, and when the kids (and I, from behind) checked on him, we were with him for his final breaths. Patrick and Rei wrapped him in a blanket and we put him in the front room, so that Eric and Aurora could say their goodbyes, and it was a heartbreaking day for everyone. He had had a long, full, life, and was a faithful friend and companion. We shared memories of him with each other, and laughed through the tears.

Some of my memories: the first time Rei and I were down here visiting, we went for a walk after the kids left for school, and Midnight wouldn't let us in the house further than the front door/dining room area.  He growled and snapped at us so that we climbed over the gate at the stairs and hung out in Eric's room and the loft until Eric (fortunately for us) decided to come home early for lunch and rescued us!  We had a tv and a bathroom, but no access to food prior to that, as Midnight was standing guard over the kitchen and family room and wouldn't let us get close!  Another memory is of the night we were awakened by the smoke detector beeping at us and Midnight got scared and jumped up onto the bed with me.  I was just shocked when he got on the bed, and wasn't sure who was protecting whom! At some point in the time I was down here, Midnight adopted me and followed me around throughout the day, lying down whereever I parked myself, and even slept on the floor on my side of the bed, sometimes even when Eric was home.  In the latter days when he was having a harder time getting around it made for some interesting late night bathroom runs.  He was so black he blended in well with objects, and without my glasses on, I often found him there blocking my path to the bathroom... He wasn't fond of being nudged to move!

That started our week off to as sad start, and it just snowballed from there.  It was Eric's long week, between work and school, and Brie too had a crazy schedule, so it was a juggling act of balancing housework, homework, and activities.  Aurora had a girl's high school bowling tournament on Saturday that Skye and I went to. The first half was run as most tournaments I have been to, and at the lunch break Aurora was in 14th place out of 230 girls, and the team was in 6th place (the top 8 teams went on). The second half of the tournament was following Baker's rules (which I was unfamiliar with). Aurora was the anchor bowler, and she was struggling a bit, as were the other girls, and unfortunately the team dropped to 10th place (out of 32 teams). They were disappointed, but Aurora was thrilled with her placement, especially since she didn't feel she had bowled her best that day.

We have an extra kid staying here this week, beginning this past Friday, because his parents have gone to a bowling tournament in Las Vegas.  We had to sit down with all the kids and go over house rules, as Jared is Rei's buddy, and Aurora's boyfriend.  Given Jared drives, we needed to remind all of them that parents need to be notified BEFORE any road trips/running around, that each night would NOT be a massive slumber party, and that school curfews and bedtimes still applied during the school week, and they all said they understood.  So this morning I went downstairs, and both couches, the floor, and the chair were filled with sleeping boys--Rei, Jared, Patrick, and Ryan were all sacked out.  Oh well, there is no school until Tuesday, and they were quiet, so it was fine.

I started my online class this week and am already seeing it's going to take some careful planning to get my reading, research, and assignments done.  The first two, due by midnight, were posted around 11:30 pm on their due dates, and that bothers me, because it means I don't get the class feedback (from classmates) as one of the last to post, and I am typing when I am tired. This week anyway, it was because there were so many things needing to be dealt with during the times I had set aside for homework (primarily Skye needing minding), and I have had to put my foot down that MY school work time is as valuable as everyone else's and I am going to need some consideration. This week will be interesting because Brie's classes will be starting for her on Tuesday, and she is going to need to learn to balance her time better herself.

This week is again going to be quite full. We have appointments scheduled throughout the week, along with the normal day-to-day schedules.  Skye has her 4 month appt. on Tuesday, and we are eager to see how she has grown. Rei saw the cardiologist over at St. Louis Children's on Friday and he has been given the all-clear.  His fistual is there, and is measurable, but remains small, so the doctor feels it is a "non-issue" that shouldn't cause him any problems in the future. That has been a huge relief to me and I am so grateful to Dr. Murphy, who has been with us since we moved down here and the fistula was discovered.

One last major piece of news: Aurora received her acceptance letter to the University of MN, Twin Cities campus, and she is thrilled!  It is the only place she has applied to, but she has had her heart set on going there, so we are all glad it worked out.  Now, I have to go--baby needs a diaper change!

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