jump to navigation

Life Is What Happens June 23, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

I’m home . . . but probably not for long.  

We did the best we could in the time allotted, but my parents have more to cope with than their combined coping skills can manage at the moment.

Things are, to put it bluntly, a mixed up muddled up mess . . .

For much of the week, the ground beneath our feet felt like shifting sands as the focus of our efforts and priorities changed with the rapidity of a strobe light in a 70’s Disco:

* Dad started the week at Sunrise, an assisted living facility; he ended it in the hospital ~ non-responsive since last Monday when admitted for evaluation.

* We took mom to a spine specialist and learned she has two compression fractures of the spine. Surgery is recommended.  Understandably, she wants to see what happens with dad before making a decision. 

* My sister’s puppy, Chess, started limping after stepping on an unidentified object during a walk and had to be taken to the vet.  She recovered. 

* My sister-in-law got broadsided on Broad Street after visiting dad in the hospital. Her minivan had to be towed from the scene.  Thankfully, she did not.

* Et cetera. 

Despite the bass tones, we found things to celebrate in the midst of the mess.

* A Father’s Day barbecue at Sunrise:

* A Gathering of the Clans at my older brother’s home:

Where we all enjoyed a cookout . . .

And chocolate wine which smoothed the edges a bit . . .

I must confess, the arduous adventures of the week caused me to feel a bit discombobulated . . . as if my head had taken a vacation, leaving the rest of me to fend for myself:

The trip ended on a high note.  After 18-hours on the road and a short night’s sleep at my sister’s, I met up with BFF and his sister’s family for fun in the sun:

And lunch . . . complete with indoor thunderstorms at the Rainforest Cafe: 

We ate, supervised and overseen by trumpeting elephants and funny frogs:

Who kept their eyes on what and how we ate to see if we cleaned our plate:

Life is full of twists and turns . . .

Ups and downs . . . 

High notes and low notes . . .

Shared smiles and laughter makes the pain more palatable.  Keep breathing.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. creatingreciprocity - June 23, 2012

Good luck, Nancy. Sounds like you are having a hard time.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Patricia. It’s been a roller coaster of a week.

2. Maggie - June 23, 2012

You’re in my thoughts and my prayers. 🙂

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Maggie. You’re sweet.

3. Judson - June 23, 2012

“Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans.” I’ve always loved that saying. So sorry to hear about the down notes in your symphony, but if anyone can pull the entire arrangement together into a happy composition, it’s you! Thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Judson. This has been a tumultuous time . . . full of tears AND smiles. Inner peace is always ours for the asking.

4. Piglet in Portugal - June 23, 2012

What an awful week! My thoughts are with you…

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, PiP. Both awful and awesome. We all had a chance to visit with my parents and celebrate one last Father’s Day with dad. He passed away this afternoon. He’d had enough.

Piglet in Portugal - June 23, 2012

I’m so sorry.
Hugs from afar x

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, PiP.

5. brendamarroy - June 23, 2012

I enjoyed the story and love the pictures.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Brenda.

6. Don - June 23, 2012

Words always sound so empty and inadequate in moments like these. I can’t even begin to imagine how you feel. Strength to you all.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Don. A quote I found this week seems appropos:

“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” ~ Winston Churchill.

Don - June 24, 2012

I like that – as long as the string holds.

7. Pocket Perspectives - June 23, 2012

Oh, Nancy, my heart goes out to you and your family…. sometimes those bizarrely compounded difficulties arise…bizarre….oh my…….my thoughts are with you for steadiness, strength, nurturing and the continuing of your wonderful ability to see, and live, the positives, too…as shown in this post…isn’t life so strange at times???

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

As it turns out, our timing was perfect . . . dad enjoyed seeing everyone for “one last look” before passing away this afternoon. Mom has agreed to move in with us and begin a new chapter in her life.

Pocket Perspectives - June 23, 2012

Oh Nancy….I’m so sorry…timing sometimes really is unusual…
Thank goodness,what a blessing…that he saw all of you…his loved ones together….what more could a person ask for than that?…what a precious gift for him and all of you. My heart goes out to you and your family.
And how wonderful that you mom will be moving in with you…I’m sure it’s been a long and tiring several months for her, and the rest of you too….And Florida…what a wonderful place to begin a new chapter…I’m guessing that walking your beautiful beaches will be wonderfully healing and restorative for her…and being with you and bff, too…blessings to you….Kathy

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Kathy. Dad had a GREAT life . . . with a few BAD days at the end. Being with us should benefit my mom.

8. Booksphotographsandartwork - June 23, 2012

Wishing better moments to come soon.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Linda. “Sorrow is the price we pay for joy.”

9. kateshrewsday - June 23, 2012

Nancy, you are in my thoughts: I know what it is for life to suddenly start sprinting ahead so you have to run to catch up. Hope each step reveals itself in good time for you. Missed you lots while you were away, but Spirit is in charge, leading the way as always, and if he brings you away again we will all be here when you get back. All the best to your folks as they face these challenges x

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Perfect synchronicity from the Universe. We enjoyed several visits with my dad through and including the barbecue last week at Sunrise. After being admitted to the hospital on Monday, he never regained consciousness before passing away this afternoon under the care of Hospice.

We’re going back soon for a Memorial Service for dad. After the service, mom is returning to Florida with us.

10. Andra Watkins - June 23, 2012

Nancy, I’d wondered how things were going with your parents. I’m sorry the transition has been harder than expected. I wish them both the best, and you the strength to get through it. You’re in my thoughts every day.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Andra. Dad passed away peacefully this afternoon. Mom is “okay.” We’ll go up in a few days, help to plan the Memorial Service and gather some of her belongings, then bring her back here with us. It’s been a sad AND happy two weeks . . . with plenty of smiles to balance out the tears.

Andra Watkins - June 23, 2012

Please let me know if I can do anything at all for you. I’m so glad you got to see him when you did and so sorry that he’s gone.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks so much, Andra. If I think of anything, I’ll let you know. I’m still trying to process his passage. It feels “odd.”

11. Crowing Crone Joss - June 23, 2012

oh my, the ups and downs and groupings of worry. Keeping you in thought and prayers.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Joss. Things changed so fast that we had very little time to worry . . . allowing inner peace to surface.

12. Patricia - June 23, 2012

Whoa–a lot to happen in little time. As difficult the downs are the lovely ups ease the soul.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Yes. The smiles counterbalanced the sorrow and sadness. And, now, dad is at peace.

13. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - June 23, 2012

Glad your sister-in-law’s OK. I hope things pick up though in general.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Greg. It’s been a tumultuous few weeks . . . but our timing was impeccable. Last Saturday, dad said a few words at the Sunrise Celebration about how happy he was to see all of his kids and grandkids again. He passed away, peacefully, this afternoon, under the compassionate care of Hospice.

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - June 23, 2012

I’m sorry to hear that, but glad you can take some solace in his words.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Yes, the last visit was “picture perfect.”

14. sufilight - June 23, 2012

Nancy, my eyes were wet, as you have experienced a roller coaster of ups and downs. Life does challenge us at times! I wish your parents the best;that everyone in their time of vulnerability be kind and supportive, so you also can have some peace of mind and support. Hugs~

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

My eyes are downright soggy, Marie. This past week has been a roller coaster of epic proportions. Dad passed away this afternoon. Sad. Mom agreed to move in with us. We’ll be heading up soon for the Memorial Service and to collect her and her “stuff.”

Thanks for the kind thoughts and wishes. Through it all, inner peace prevailed. _/!\_

15. katecrimmins - June 23, 2012

Wow! What a trip! My condolences and it is so great that he waited until he had a chance to see everyone.

nrhatch - June 23, 2012

Thanks, Kate. I agree. No matter when he ended his life’s journey, we would be sad to lose him. But knowing that he enjoyed spending one last Father’s Day with us has helped to stem the tide of tears.

16. Three Well Beings - June 24, 2012

I’m just now reading your post and saw the mention of your dad’s passing. I’m so sorry Nancy! I was just about to comment that you show in this post how you find the highs amidst the lows, and that seems to be how you live life. This will be such a true test, and I know it will take time for those tears to stop flowing. Let them flow! It is fully appropriate when your heart breaks! oxoxoxo Debra

nrhatch - June 24, 2012

Thanks, Debra. I cried a boatload of tears yesterday . . . today, my eyes are dry and I’m making plans to ease mom’s transition from THERE to HERE.

Dad was 84. A good man who lived a good life. Living longer only to suffer would not have added quality to a life well lived.

17. aawwa - June 24, 2012

Hang in there! The bad times always pass…

nrhatch - June 24, 2012

Yup . . . even if the dark clouds loom longer than we would wish.

18. sweetdaysundertheoaks - June 24, 2012

Goodness Nancy I wasn’t expecting this. You know you and your family are in our thoughts here. Oh Nancy! I just read comments and see that your Dad passed away. We are so sorry! Prayers go out to you. I am so happy you made the trip. Those memories are so valuable tucked into our hearts.

nrhatch - June 24, 2012

Thanks, Pix. We are all glad that we had a chance to spend time with dad before he died. I expect that seeing us for “one last look” is what kept his heart beating as long as it did.

19. klrs09 - June 24, 2012

A wonderful post, despite all your concerns. Hope things go well with your parents.

nrhatch - June 24, 2012

Thanks, klrs. Dad enjoyed celebrating one last Father’s Day with all his kids and grandkids . . . and mom is amenable to starting the next chapter in her life.

20. klrs09 - June 24, 2012

I’m so sorry, I just the post previous to mine —

nrhatch - June 24, 2012

I watched The Lion King the night before dad died. His passing is all part of the Circle of Life. Hakuna Matada. _/!\_

21. Julie - June 24, 2012

I’m glad your week ended better than it started. And chocolate wine??? How have I not heard of this? 🙂

nrhatch - June 24, 2012

Spending Thursday with Thomas (age 8) was a wonderful way to recharge my batteries. Of course, dad’s death (yesterday) knocked the wind out of our sails again. So, I still feel as if I’m running on “Empty.”

A few bloggers had mentioned Chocolate Wine (including Patricia of Today, I Think). I took a bottle up with me to the reunion. Definitely a lovely nightcap or quick nip. 😉

22. jannatwrites - June 24, 2012

I’m glad you had some highs to get you through the lows. I’m so sorry to read in your comment above that your dad has passed away. To a distant reader, it seems so sudden, but regardless, it’s never easy when they go. At least you were able to spend Father’s Day with him. Good luck with the next chapter of your lives. It will certainly take some adjustment.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Janna. We are glad we had such a lovely visit with dad before he died . . . but saying good-bye is always hard.

23. Cecelia Futch - June 24, 2012

What a tumultuous time. I am so sorry to hear about your father’s passing. May you all find comfort in the days ahead. It is wonderful that you were able to spend father’s day with him. My best to you and to your family.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks for your warm words, Cecelia. Having a chance to celebrate one last Father’s Day with him has helped.

sufilight - June 25, 2012

Nancy, just caught up with your comments tonight, and I am so sorry about your Dad’s passing! . My thoughts are with you, your Mom and your family. Wonderful she is staying with you. Makes me teary eyed that he lived a full life and got to see his entire family before leaving. Beautiful.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Marie. Writing his obituary last night reminded me of the full depth and breadth of his life.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens . . . as the path continues to unfold before us.

24. suzicate - June 25, 2012

You’ve got a lot on your plate. Sounds like a rough time for your entire family. I’m glad you’re able to spend time with your parents. It is so difficult for them (and those caring for them) as they go through these changes and challenges. I wish the best for all, Nancy. Know we’re here thinking of you and sending positive energy your way.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Suzi . . . I can use an infusion / transfusion of positive energy right about NOW!

25. spilledinkguy - June 25, 2012

Holy moly – I’m so sorry to hear about all that, Nancy. Just ONE of those things would be a lot to handle… talk about a case of when it rains it pours. I just hope the rain ends quickly and the sun keeps shining on you and your whole family for a very, very long time!!!

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Very apt choice of words since Debby is dumping a deluge on us at the moment . . . when it rains, it pours. Fortunately the sun appeared on the horizon for a short respite this afternoon.

26. Perfecting Motherhood - June 25, 2012

When it rains, it pours… I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, you must be very sad. It must have been wonderful for him to have the opportunity to see the family though. I’m sending good vibes your way and hope things get better.
On a “happier” note, I took my kids to the Rainforest Cafe for the first time last summer and they got really scared by the thunderstorms! They still talk about it today, in a positive way, so I hope they do better next time. And I remember running to the gift shop to buy myself a sweatshirt because I felt like I was sitting in an icebox and suffered major hypothermia. But we still had fun!

Take it easy, one day at a time.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Milka. It’s been sad, but the clouds are beginning to reveal a silver lining or two.

This Rainforest Cafe is open to the outdoors. Temps are quite comfy . . . and the thunderstorms rock and roll.

I’m taking it moment by moment at the moment, while allowing the path to unfold.

Perfecting Motherhood - June 25, 2012

It’s an interesting coincidence I watched the movie Beginners yesterday, where Ewan McGregor grieves his father’s death. It was a very real, sweet movie (actually based on the movie director’s real life experience). I barely knew my father but it didn’t stop me from feeling a void when he passed away a year and a half ago.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

I watched Beginners a few weeks ago. Definitely a film to spark thought.

27. You Were Born To Succeed - June 25, 2012

I feel your pain, and I like your attitude. And in the midst of all this ….

Just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blogger Award and tell you that I really am enjoying your work. I was happy to take the opportunity to pass your blog on to the people that read mine. Keep sharing! Go here http://youwerebornthatway.com/?p=1836&preview=true to accept the award.

nrhatch - June 25, 2012

Thanks, Nancy! I’m focusing most of my attention on getting ready to return to NJ, but I’ll try to swing by if I have a chance.

You Were Born To Succeed - June 25, 2012

Good luck, Nancy. Perhaps when things calm down….there is no deadline. My good thoughts are with you.

28. viviankirkfield - June 26, 2012

Oh Nancy…I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Your attitude towards life…and death…is uplifting! Your use of the photos to augment the post was a celebration of your dad’s life.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Vivian. Dad’s essence remains, locked in our hearts. Acceptance allows us to celebrate his life instead of resisting his necessary passage. Every rose that blooms must also fade.

29. souldipper - June 26, 2012

I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing, Nancy, but what a blessing that you all congregated when you did – for every one of you.

Oddly enough, you walked through my meditation this morning and I made a mental note to catch up with you. I’m sending your family and you lots of golden light.

Thank goodness for BFF…

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

Thanks, Amy. I’m taking it moment by moment at the moment. Peace prevails.

30. bluebee - June 26, 2012

Love your photos, Nancy. Life is full of twists and turns – it seems it gets more twisty and turny as we get older.

nrhatch - June 26, 2012

It is a long and winding road, indeed.

31. Christine Grote - July 1, 2012

Life is full of twists and turns and it sounds like you’ve had a few doozies. I wondered what happened to you. I’m glad you’re still able to enjoy the finer things. Sending good thoughts for you and your family.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Christine. These past few weeks have seemed quite surreal . . . more dreamlike than real life. 😯

32. cuhome - July 17, 2012

I especially like your last statement: “Keep breathing.” You’ve managed to include so much in this post, with pictures to help bring the story home.

nrhatch - July 22, 2012

Thanks, Janet. I suppose this blog will serve as a photo journal for me and the rest of the family. A time capsule of these challenging days.

cuhome - July 22, 2012

Family storytelling, in whatever form, is so important to future generations. You never know who will harken back to your journal, in the future, acquiring inspiration or encouragement from it — perhaps just when they need it. And storytelling is one of the best forms of teaching that I know, one that preserves family history that would, otherwise, be lost! I’m glad you’re doing this!

33. eof737 - July 29, 2012

Peace and blessings to you and yours Nancy… Sounds pretty muddled but all will be well. Life is what happens. 😉

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: