Thank you all for your prayers and kind words. It's been a bit of a rough end to this year, and truth be told I'm not sad to see it end. I am hoping for a much calmer 2007. We'll see how it goes. I'm sure that old Father Time is having a good laugh on my behalf.
I finished my breakfast Christmas morning, and turned because across the other room I could see a burst of color out the window, and this lovely cardinal had come to visit the yard. He normally has his lady friend with him, and has for several years now, but this time she was no where to be seen. I'm hoping she just stayed behind or was in a tree close by. He stayed out there for a good 20 minutes, just sitting and watching. Often he turned his head in a manner that suggested he was watching me.. watching him but I'm not sure. And no, that isn't snow on the ground, just the street through the hedges.
Turns out that The Boy's grandmother is fine. Seems that a part of her stomach muscle weakened and separated some, and a bit of her intestine got clamped in between the parts of the muscle.. so they released the intestine, fixed her stomach muscle and last I heard she was going to come home today (or head to a rehab, I'm not sure what the final decision was).
My Sister in Law is home now as well. She left the hospital on Christmas Eve, and headed home to a house anticipating a baby's arrival. This is a very hard emotional time for her, and she is still in quite a bit of pain from her Cesarean, so she's doing the best that she is able, which is all that anyone can expect from her, or any of us right now. I talked to my FIL on Christmas day and he told me that he wakes up every day crying. That right there almost broke my heart. The day he called to tell me that little Max had died, his voice quivered and broke on the phone and hearing him on the brink of crying was almost more awful to me. My FIL is a rock. It takes a lot to break him down, and this surely has.
But despite it all, life goes on. You pick up the pieces, and patch them back together the best you can.. and move forward. Christmas has come and gone, and now we look forward to Mr. Man's birthday tomorrow. The kids are enjoying their time at home with their new gifts (Santa sure nailed those gifts this year) and I'm enjoying the time away from the stress of my job. The Boy is home on vacation with us, so while it's chaotic and crazy around here... it's warm. And safe. And home.