“Strange days have found us, strange days have tracked us down. . .”

~Jim Morrison~

The past several days have just been freaky!  First, Gaylon’s uncle, Charles, passed away last Tuesday.  His funeral was held Friday morning in Abilene.  So, of course Gaylon tried to get there.  The plan was that he would fly into Dallas, then rent a car and drive to Abilene and come home on Sunday.  Well, he got to Dallas.  And that’s where the trouble started.  He was unable to rent a car, because the credit card was in my name, not his.  Period.  We spent a lot of time on the phone trying to make arrangements, but nobody would budge.  So, he called his mom, who was already in Abilene, and she said well, at least he’d tried, and he might as well catch the next flight back  home.  Only by this point, the main terminal was closed, and Gaylon couldn’t get back in.  We called all the friends and family we know who live reasonably close to DFW.  Nobody answered their phone!  The hotel Gaylon tried to call also didn’t answer their phone!  So, he ended up sleeping on a bench outside of the main terminal, and catching a 6:40 a.m. flight back home!  It was a night from hell for all of us.

Then I got an ambiguous email from my cousin telling me that our aunt is in the hospital, and she’d tell me all about it when she called me later.  I called her first.  Get ready for the weirdest story.  Ever.  First some background:  My Aunt Bobbie is the most amazing woman ever.  She has been my hero for as long as I can remember!  She drove a hippie van around during the ’70s and she has travelled to the four corners of the earth.  I’ve never heard her utter an ill word about anyone.  She is a teacher/librarian by trade.  That is how she has travelled to a lot of exotic places, to teach English.  She also went to the Bahamas four years ago to take care of my dad when he was dying of cancer, and endured a thrashing from a Category 3 Hurricane while they were there.  (Let me assure you that if you’ve never experienced a hurricane in a Third World country, you’ve got a lot to be grateful for!)

Anyway, she is truly amazing.  She is also 82 years old.  And she decided to go with her daughter-in-law, Jane, to Russia a few weeks ago.  I am still unclear as to why they were going to Russia, but that is not really important at this point.  Bobbie fell on the boat on the way to Moscow, and gashed her leg open (to the bone, I’m told) from her knee to her ankle.  Well, this injury was more than the ship’s doctor was prepared to deal with so when they got to Moscow, Jane checked her into the hospital.  Apparently, Bobbie insisted that she go on without her.  So, Jane did.  No sooner had Jane left, Bobbie fell again, in the hospital, in Moscow, in Russia, only this time she broke her wrist!  Within a few more days, she fell yet again (still in the hospital in Moscow, in Russia!!!) and gashed her head open.  (I don’t know how/why she kept falling, btw.)

At this point, her son decided to take action, and he hired a nurse to fly with her and get her back to the States.  He met her at the airport in Midland, Texas, and they checked her into the hospital there.  My cousin, Pattye, met them, and was shocked and horrified. (I am sure her son was, as well, although he didn’t express it in quite those terms.)  Bobbie didn’t know where she was or how she got there.  She didn’t remember the trip from Russia at all!  Well, upon testing, they discovered her sodium levels were rock bottom, and her potassium was low, as well.  So, they gave her a saline IV, and she perked up right away. But she is still beyond exhausted, and in a tremendous amount of pain.  They moved her two days ago to the Rehabilitation Hospital, to begin physical therapy.  Pattye told me that in this case, PT means helping her to sit in a chair.

I called her last night, but she was already sleeping and couldn’t really talk.  I wasn’t even completely sure she knew who I was, or would remember me calling.  But apparently she did, because she called the house today and talked to Mom.  Unfortunately, I was out, but am just so glad she called.  She told Mom that she is just so TIRED.  Well, I imagine so! Just one of the things that has happened to her would be enough to shake anyone up! Let alone that whole nightmarish chain of events!

So, Mom, Alex, Faith and I are headed for Texas on Monday.  We had to stay here long enough to get things in order before leaving town.  But honestly, my knee-jerk reaction was to throw some clothes in my car and head west as soon as I got off the phone with Pattye that first night!  Logic and Reason slowly sunk in and prevailed, but I’m still getting out there as soon as I can.  I love my Aunt Bobbie. . . did I mention that she is absolutely amazing??

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