We've had the sickness at my house since late December, when a nasty little stomach virus hit us all at varying days and degrees. It started with Lena and then every couple of days another one of us would go down. It wasn't nearly as bad as some I've heard about, thank God, but it was exhausting and I'm over it. Seeing my babies sick and scared, sleeping on the bathroom floor with them, all the while feeling like a truck ran over me, but still having to clean and launder until my fingers cracked.
Yeah. I'm definitely over it.
Here Miles is demonstrating how the Coles rang in the first week of the new year - passed out from exhaustion in front of the fire. Could be worse. :)
This week is probably the first week we've all felt fully healthy again, except for my poor Rich. He has a nasty abscessed tooth that has caused him all sorts of pain and sleeplessness. This morning his face was so swollen on that side that he looked like he had puffy jowls...poor man. He needs a root canal, but has to get rid of the infection first. They moved his appointment up to today since he's suffering so much. We're praying for sweet relief.
Anyway, Saturday, the kids and I (sans poor sleep-deprived Rich, who stayed home to rest) met a whole gaggle of family at Der Dutchman in Plain City for Grandma's 92nd birthday luncheon! Oh what fun we had laughing and talking and eating and celebrating this strong beautiful woman's 92nd birthday.
I mean, just look at her. Does she look 92 to you? Not to me!
As I looked around the LONG table filled with cousins and aunts and uncles and kids and parents, I wondered at the series of decisions and actions and mistakes and surprises that happened throughout my grandparents' lives that allowed us all to come into existence, that eventually led to us all sitting there at that long table filled with a joyful family at that moment. I wondered if Grandma ever sits back at family gatherings like that and thinks that all this came from her and, before her, from our ancestors.
It's even more staggering to think of every single seemingly insignificant thing that had to happen in our ancestors' lives to get us to the place each of us is today. The things they overcame, changed, dreamed of, worked hard for. Their struggles and triumphs and failures and successes give worth and weight to our own lives. It makes our being born seem to have a purpose greater than any we can understand.
I remember gazing down at my newborn babies as they nursed feeling such a part of it all suddenly. Such a part of this family, of its history. So connected to my great aunt Lena, whose name lives on in my daughter. So connected to those ancestors I've only heard fuzzy stories about, and even to the nameless ancestors whose stories have been forgotten...
But they are never truly forgotten, are they? I might not have the names and stories from each of their lives but, because of them, I have Sam and Lena. And they are a part of them. And their stories live and breathe within them.
That's astounding. And humbling.
Grandma is our oldest living family member now. She is our history and our beginning and our past and our future all wrapped up in one woman who has added to the world some damn good people. I hope she feels pride in that. And peace in that.
We all love you and are so grateful for you, Grandma.