God, now I remember why I never go home ;). That was kind of a prayer, if you were wondering about the God thing.
The Good: I had a lovely time with my hosts, Erica and Keith, who put up with me and my brood of sometimes good, sometimes bad, children. We left the house mostly intact, although I don't know about their future desire for children! We also got to attend a wonderful BBQ party that they held.
We got to visit my hometown and "do" the carnival and Memorial Day festivities. Jude didn't like the cannons going off, which surprised me but he was an awesome traveler for the first two days (see The Bad for an udpate). My mom bought the kids some carnival ride tickets and so did I, and we splurged on junky carnival food one night, but brought our own food the rest of the time. Thank God for the fact that there's a Wegman's in State College now. I am so spoiled.
We got my mom's shed cleaned out and came home with some nice garden stuff, a flag, and a bunch of clothes that are too big for me ;).
We had three nice visits with my dad.
Central PA is as beautiful as ever.
My meditation before I left was patience and compassion. That was enough. And it held me in good stead. I was patient and compassionate. I didn't kill anyone (even though I wanted to), and I didn't even get in an argument with my mom in 4 days, which has to be a record.
The Bad: The first day of my visit with my mom went well, but as expected, it went to hell in a handbasket from there. We didn't end up visiting at all on Sunday or Monday, as she wasn't feeling well,, but then I got a huge guilt trip for not coming over on Monday, even though she was supposed to spend the day with us and wasn't well enough. I figured since she wasn't well enough to go out, she wasn't up for visitors with energetic small children, and that she would call me if that changed, which she didn't but I was wrong ;). As usual.
We stopped there this morning before leaving, and she was worse - the "not feeling good" that precluded visits the previous two days had turned into more headache and flashing lights in her left eye. She was supposed to have Mohs surgery on a skin cancer this morning, followed by surgery to remove a small tumor in her tear duct, but she had to cancel this morning.
She called to get a ride from the Helpmates organization and they were a huge pain in the ass, so she ended up getting a ride from her new Office of the Aging caseworker. I have to say that although my mother is impossible, judgmental, bigoted and classist, and doesn't deal with the agencies gracefully, they are also a pain in the ass, and made her feel like shit for needing a ride. I saw her get teared up and frustrated and know that she deals with this all the time. Guilt, guilt, guilt.
Anyway, she canceled her surgeries because she couldn't safely drive with her vision problems, and made an appointment with her eye surgeon for a visit today to see what was going on. Turns out that she ended up sent to the ER, she has something going on in her occipatal lobe - bleeding, stroke, vessel spasm...who knows. I'm waiting for her to call with MRI results. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. I feel like I should have stayed.
She was off the oxygen a lot on Saturday - I wonder if that stressed her, or if she's having a reaction to the chemo, or if her brain just can't take anymore. In any event, I'm waiting for news of the tests. She's being admitted to the hospital for sure.
The Ugly: I can't really think of much besides my son's behavior the last 36 hours. I am sleep deprived, still hungry, and I to pull over three times and eventually move his carseat on the way home. He tortured my 10 yo daughter to distraction and woke his 2 yo sister from her nap twice. He is without TV privileges until Thursday, and is lucky not to have had to ride on the roof for the last part of the trip.
It's good to be home; I was homesick for my house and husband, but i was also homesick for PA the whole time I was there. I wish there was a way to move back that wasn't purely selfish. It would only be good for me and my parents; everyone else would have to give up everything they love.
Oh, and I missed my dogs like crazy.