And then Grandma had her stroke. We knew that my cousins who had been living
Dad stepped up to the plate. He moved in and cared for her 24/7. He did an amazing job. She was more active in the months after her stroke than in the years before. They went gambling, they went to bingo, they went to dinner. Dad seriously flourished in his role as a care-giver. For the first time in 25 years he had purpose in life.
Uncle DeVito, my dad's older brother, went to work fixing up Grandma's house to make it wheelchair accessible and safe for her.
Together, the two of them worked side-by-side day in and day out toward one common goal. To take care of the woman we all loved. My heart is so happy to see the new bridge built between Dad and Uncle DeVito. Thank you, Grandma Mary.
Sadly, my aunt didn't participate. She retreated and pouted and pointed fingers, but she didn't help. That's where the family fell apart. We attempted to reach out to her, but she chose to be the victim in the situation and took her sons and their families with her. My heart is a little sad over that, but it wasn't at all unexpected.
It was with some trepidation that I approached Christmas Eve. We'd done Christmas Eve at Grandma's house for my entire life. There was no question that we'd continue celebrating as a family at her house, but I wasn't sure what to expect.
It was AMAZING! With my aunt and "her" family choosing to do their own thing and not join us, the stress level was non-existent. I hadn't realized how much tippy-toeing around we did when my aunt's family was around. We all contributed to a potluck dinner and spent the evening enjoying each other's company (and a margarita or four). I can't say that I missed Grandma because she was there. The love she gave each and every one of us shone that night.
Dad and Uncle DeVito
Digger, RCC, Ashinator, Monster and me
My brother, Junior, and RCC. And I have no idea what they were doing. They were the stone-cold sober ones.
Me and Nebalee (1st margarita)
Asset, Nebalee, Kyzzer, Mr. Nebalee, Auto Bot
With Digger. Yes, I know the picture's tilted. So was I (marg #3-ish)
With Monster and Ashinator. Yes, I know the picture's blurry. So was I (marg #4-ish)
I'm not sure how I managed to miss getting pics of most of my family. Junior, Nonners, Chris, Uncle DeVito - I'm sorry. I'm blaming the margaritas for the omission.
I hope everyone had as great a time as I did. Love you all.