Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday at the Table

I'm linking up today over at Debbie's wonderful blog, A Quilter's Table, for Tuesday at the Table. If you've never visited her, do stay awhile and see the amazing things that she creates.

I don't have a recipe to share (no time to cook over the weekend) and don't celebrate Valentine's Day as every day is an opportunity to show love in our household. Don't throw up or anything though, it's not like a cheesy love movie or anything. Chad and I both just crave the same sort of relationship after all the many failures before.

Instead, I have a story from Sunday. Now Sunday was when we drove to see his dying father and the day as a whole, was not great, all things considered. It was a gathering of close family members, including some that I have not yet met before in the almost three years we have been together. There was an aunt and uncle who just don't come to family events often, but do live nearby in North Dakota. And then there was an uncle who now calls Las Vegas home. His energy was over-the-top and I'm not sure if he normally is that way, or if the fact that his brother is facing the end was the cause. A day spent with him was a lot for me, and very draining. It just reaffirms that I couldn't deal with the energy of a large city and that living in somewhat seculsion is best for me.

I'll get the somber part of my story out of the way and onto the enjoyable part. Chad's father is out of the hospital and at home now. He is bedridden and under hospice care, though it is Chad's sister, a nurse at the local veteran's hospital, who has taken a leave from her job in order to tend to their father.

There was a bit of crying from almost everyone, especially as people left for the evening. His father burst into tears when we came to say goodnight, as he knows as we do, that we probably won't see each other again. I have never experienced this before; any family or friends that have died before have done so suddenly. I'm not sure which is better, having the chance to say goodbye but watch someone die, or to not have that chance. Both are quite unpleasant.

On the drive home I asked Chad if his father is still living this upcoming weekend if he wanted to visit again, but he's not sure he can do it again. Well, I'm not sure I can either, but I need to be there for him whatever his decision is.

There were bright spots during the day. Of course there were stories to be told, photos to look at, and a few home movies to watch. Food was supplied by family and friends and included the standard Midwestern potluck fare: hot dishes and bars, among other things.

It was between meals that we watched old episodes of Johnny Carson. I never really watched him on tv and had got to the point where I had to do something. I had brought with a few projects to work on if I had the chance, so I pulled out some embroidery. I set up camp at the kitchen table so I could lay out everything. As I was working, Chad's five year old niece came to get water and noticed what I was doing. She started asking questions which progressed to her "helping" me stitch. (I would put the needle where I wanted and let her pull it through.) Soon enough she wanted to do it herself. Instead of letting her take over what I was working on, I pulled out an extra towel and threaded a needle for her to practice with.

5 Year Old's First Embroidery

Here's her go at embroidery. I wanted to snap a photo before I cut out the stitches because I do need to use this towel for something else. She had wanted to keep it, or at least cut our her part. I told her that next time I see her, I will have fabric with that she can stitch on and keep, if she wanted to.

It was a bright spot to the day for me to sit down and teach her a little bit. Definately distracting as well.


Cindy said...

What a beautiful chain of events. Saying good bye often necessitates saying hello to something or someone else. Age and illness make way for youth and growth. Something lovely to hang onto during a trying time.

Debbie said...

What a precious telling of your day, Katie! As much as I love recipes, it's the experiences like these that are the crux of why the table is so meaningful to me. Blessings to you & your boyfriend in the coming days...hard but profound times....and thanks for linking up. Really.

Toni said...

I'm sure that little girl will remember you taking the time to sit down with her and let her stitch for a long time! Hoping for peace for you and Chad and his family!