Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

I had intended on updating our faithful followers daily, as the weekend progressed, but alas, it didn’t happen. So, flying at 39,000 feet, I’ll type the events of the weekend, before I forget them. Don’t worry, all you safety nuts out there, the wireless is off on my computer, so I’m not breaking any major laws. (If you don’t think you can stick around for the whole story, highlights are below.)

We arrived on Friday in plenty of time to make a pit stop at Target (where, by the way, they sell wine AT THE REGISTER!) for a few things we forgot, and a few things we didn’t know we needed, before we picked up Yiayia. Once she arrived from Jackson, we piled into the rental mini-van (nope, still not converts) and made our way to the nursing home to pick up Demetri’s mother. It was the first time Yiayia had seen the place where Irene was staying, so we were both a little hesitant on what her reaction would be to seeing her daughter in a nursing home, but she was up beat and really very excited to see Irene. We did the math and figured it had been about 2 years since they’d seen each other, so that was sweet. Made more so by Yiayia’s comment to Irene that she wasn’t as big as she thought she’d be…no lie.

Once we picked up Irene and her stuff, we headed to Ft. Worth to the hotel. The Radisson where we were staying was one exit down from Maria Christina’s house. We were on time enough that there was some slightly awkward time with the four of us in our hotel room before Maria Christina and Stephan got home to let us in. Maria Christina picked up Damian from DFW and we eventually all met up at the house. They’re house is brand new, and they’ve lived there since Christmas, so we got the grand tour and sat down just long enough to rest before we all piled in to the mini-van to head to downtown Fort Worth for dinner at PF Changs.

I’d like to take a moment here to describe what I mean when I say “pile in” to the mini-van. Demetri’s grandmother has had a hip replacement and uses a cane to walk…the woman is 86, so I’m just happy she’s still walking. Demetri’s mother is showing signs of being on medication for most of her life, so she doesn’t walk really well either. Forget walking, neither one of them got in and out of a mini-van really well, but it was either that or the convertible…Getting into the van: Yiayia uses the door behind the drivers side because it’s just easier for her to push up on her leg and slide her butt on to the seat. Demetri’s mother uses the passenger side, which involves putting both feet in the van before she can sit down, It’s pretty obvious she doesn’t get much exercise, because she can get one foot up into the van, but can’t push up on that leg to get herself into the van. So, who ever is closest ends up pushing her up by her bum just to get her in…then has to help adjust her so her whole bottom is on the seat. Whew.

So, back to dinner…PF Changs was lovely and no one choked on their food.

Saturday was errand day. Maria Christina and I took Irene to Target for some summer clothes. This is eventful as it marks the first time (I think) she shopped at Target for clothes, instead of Macy’s. Her income is much more restricted now, so we’re trying to get her to understand that she can’t spend money like she used to. So, 5 pairs of pants, 4 tops and 2 pairs of shoes later, we depart. The day does include a Macy’s stop, however, so Irene could get Yiayia some earrings for Mothers’ Day. Sometimes, it’s just easier to cave. Two for two – no one choked Saturday night either.

Nothing eventful Saturday evening, except that Demetri and I crashed pretty early in our hotel, so neither one of us saw Kyle Busch win the Darlington race…stupid.

Sunday was Mother’s day, and the day we celebrated Maria Christina’s, Irene’s and Damian’s birthday. MC and Stephan had all of us over again for brunch, in addition to Stephan’s family, so we had quite the houseful. Only about 15 times was there awkward silence…but who’s counting. So 2 mimosa’s, 2 glasses of wine and a trip the airport for Damian later, we found ourselves sitting around the table to eat (again), but this time it was no fuss pizza and beer…yum-o. Three for Three – no choking!

We left today – Monday – and it was pretty much how I had it playing out in my mind. Although Irene started the “please don’t leave me” and “I don’t want yall to go” a little earlier than anticipated, we marched on. We collected the ladies from the house around 10:30 then piled into the mini-van (see note above) and headed back to the Nursing Home. Demetri chatted with the social worker while Yiayia and I got Irene’s room a little more organized. I don’t think Yiayia really came to terms with the fact that Irene really can’t do for herself the way she should until today…for example – Yiayia kept fussing at Irene, sometimes in Greek, to be more organized and to fold her clothes and to keep up with herself, and when we got to the car, she confessed that she didn’t realize how bad things had gotten. That was sad – to watch the two of them cry together before we left, Yiayia with the nurses, Yiayia with Irene – it was like a timewarp…you could almost see the two of them interacting this way 40 years ago. The parent and the daughter that needs her mother.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, except that Yiayia got wanded by the TSA, which is always funny to watch.

If you’ve hung in this far, thanks. If you scrolled down to see the photo’s here are the highlights:

~No one choked on their food
~ We got some great family photos
~I confirmed with my mother-in-law that it was, in fact, okay to call her Irene
~Yiayia didn’t say anything inappropriate to Stephan’s family
~I had 2 mimosa’s and 2 glasses of wine in the same day
~Demetri learned how to e-mail blogs to his site – more to come on that little invention