Thursday, December 8, 2011

Florida Vacation: Day 3 & A Family Loss

We arrived in Florida on Sunday after driving 5.5 hours from Macon, Georgia where we stayed the night before.

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On the way down from Georgia, I received a sad call from my family regarding my Grandma who had been in the hospital with some serious, yet partially undiagnosed lung/breathing problems. She had been in the hospital over a week on different breathing machines (not a respirator) to help keep her oxygen levels up. Whenever she was off of a machine, her oxygen level would go down. Even to take her off the machines to feed her, her levels would go down. They were treating her aggressively with antibiotics and steroids, to try to knock out whatever it was that she had, and to make her lungs stronger. She ended up being diagnosed with three major lung issues: pulmonary fibrosis, Scleroderma and an undiagnosed lung problem.

On Sunday, my Grandma said “enough” and she asked to be taken off of the breathing machines, knowing that without them she would die. So Sunday afternoon our family all gathered around her (excluding my family who was driving to Florida and my brother-in-law, Mitch who chose not to join them), and they were able to say their final goodbyes and to be with her to her last moment.

It was a tough decision, but in the end, my Grandma was not going to get better and it was her own choice not to prolong her sickness but to go home to be with Jesus. As much as we will miss her I think she made a great choice, and I’m glad that she was able to be surrounded by family as she went.

I truly wish that I could have been there, with my Grandma when she passed, my mother and I had discussed previously whether or not we should cancel our vacation or not, and we saw no reason, at that time to do so. The doctors were optimistic, and at the very least we thought we had more time. I’m grateful that I was able to say goodbye to her on Tuesday before I left and that I got to spend some good time with her then. It breaks my heart to have missed her final time here on earth, it’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over, but I look forward to remembering my Grandmother, and honoring her through the very long process my family has in front of us, while we go through her many treasured belongings and family heirlooms.

I wanted to include all that we were going through on that day as we arrived in Florida, because sadly that’s what was on our hearts as we arrived to our Day 3 destination.

Celebration Florida, is a cute little town designed by Disney to represent an ideal small town. It has several shops, restaurants and lots of fun things to see and do.

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We arrived in town at around 3:00 pm. We walked around for a while, looking in a couple shops, checking out their Christmas decorations and then going to eat at the Celebration Town Tavern.

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At 6:00pm the town had a scheduled “snow fall”. Too funny for us “Wisconsinites” as it was basically soapy/sudsy bubble machines shooting soap out from above, onto a suds-covered ground. IMG_0242The kids thought it was a little weird at first, but soon followed the crowd around them in the “snow fun”. IMG_0240Celebration has a cute little water play area, that Treyton remembered from the last time we were here (3 years ago!!). The kids played in it for a little while on our way out of time. Treyton tried to outrun the water, he was really fast and did a surprisingly good job, but the water won a couple of times. :) IMG_0252Lexie had her own type of water fun…. running around in circles. IMG_0251As did Audrey…. she couldn’t stop watching and pointing to all the water. IMG_0257After leaving Celebration we drove the 5 minutes to the condo we rented for the week. 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, private pool and Jacuzzi tub (both heated).      IMG_0230While it was tough knowing what was going on back home, it made me even more grateful now for the time we have to spend with family and enjoy our vacation and travels together.    IMG_0232

1 comment:

amanda said...

oh amber. i'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. i can't imagine the range of emotions you've had to endure through it. please know i'm praying for you, and i'm here if you need anything. ANYTHING! love you friend. ((and i miss you! it seems SO weird without you guys around.)) :)