Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the Web Things Last Forever

Well, here we are un- expectedly in Florida with only winter clothes. As long as I crank up the air conditioning in the car, I am fine. I can't get over how flat everything is, but I have to say that the Spanish moss in the trees is quite beautiful. This is an infrared picture taken by my husband.

While I am here, I thought I could get in another installment of LNS's. But it was not to be. Although the internet (and Charles Craft) thinks that Roman Tales is still at 121 N. Kings Avenue, Brandon, Florida, there is nothing there but an empty storefront there. Just Stitchin' -- Across America thinks that Cross Stitch Cottage is still at 1307 N. Kingsway in Brandon, but there is a barber shop there now. So I can only gift you with some beautiful pictures taken by my husband instead of information on local needlework shops. But how did we get to Florida?

On Christmas Eve morning I got a phone call from my father claiming that my mother was dying and that I should come to Sun City Center, Florida, immediately. That is about all that he said before he hung up. I haven't seen either of my parents in over 20 years, as my father does not want anything to do with his two daughters and will not even let us in the house. My mother goes along with his wishes. My only contact with her has been sending her gifts for her birthday, Mother's Day, and Christmas. She does not call (she claims that my father refuses to let her call long distance) or write (she has no money for stamps). We are not close. But if a parent is ill, you go. So we spent all of Christmas Eve trying to find flights (and could only find expensive ones), rental cars and hotel rooms for Christmas Day. Needless to say this completely disrupted my in-laws' plans. Christmas is my dearest mother-in-law's favorite day. She hadn't seen us for over a year and here we were leaving before she barely got a chance to visit with us.

We got up and left before 8 am Christmas morning, took a plane from Lexington to Charlotte, then on to Tampa. Our bags arrived successfully, the rental car and hotel room were ready, so we headed down to the nursing home where my mother was getting rehabilitation. Yes, she had had a stroke and could not stand up. But her speech was not slurred, her arm strength was normal, and she seemed completely alert. There certainly was no crisis. She had been in the hospital since October 3rd and had had this stroke some weeks before. According to her nurses her rehabilitation is proceeding normally. This was the first time we had been summoned. My sister also came down from North Carolina, but I never saw her or my father. I tried to let my mother know that she had disrupted my husband's family's Christmas plans, but she didn't seem to think there way anything special about Christmas. She was just glad to see me. I did point out that if she had really wanted to see me that she had had the previous twenty years to invite me to visit. I guess since she would not invite me into her home, then the only way she could see me was in a hospital. I don't know what she expected, but there can hardly be a deathbed reconciliation when the person in the bed isn't dying and the person summoned no longer has any relationship with the family member. We head back to Nevada early tomorrow morning.

At least we got today to visit some botanical gardens and a nature preserve. This is another infrared picture taken by my husband. I simply love these picture. I think the palm trees look especially feathery. We have a three hour and a four hour flight tomorrow, so I hope to have most of the baby announcement done. I will post how far I have gotten on Monday.


Kendra said...

What a mess! Sorry your holiday got disrupted...maybe you can get a trip back to Lexington sometime soon to visit with your IL's to make up for the abbreviated visit this go 'round.

mainely stitching said...

Oh my gosh. What a ... something. I don't really know what to say. I went 5 years estranged from my family, and then my Dad "surprised" me by sending my mother to Holland to visit me. Hmm. Well, it did break the ice and we are all close again, though there are subjects we will never, ever discuss. Anyway, I am awfully sorry that your beloved in-laws' Christmas plans were ruined, but I do hope you've managed to salvage something (in addition to your husband's amazing photos) from the experience.

LODY said...

If I read your post when I was new here in US, I have to admit I will be shocked.

One time on my first year in US, me and hubby were at a mall and a man passed us by... when that man was far away from us, only then my husband told me that it was his first cousin. I was stunned and immediately asked him why they didn't greet each other, and better yet why he didn't introduced me. DH said they're not close and doesn't really talk to each...:( I felt like a pail of cold water poured over my head after hearing that. Then I told myself "Welcome to America".

Coming from a very close family in Asia, the first thing I noticed in US is the family traditions. Back home, we even treat our aunts and uncles as parents... family reunion (from 1st to 5th degree relative) is common and we meet in a regular basis. So I'm sorry if I find it weird to have a strange relationship with your parents in 20 years. I can't believe there's a father who can do that...:(
It sounds like your MIL/in-laws' amazing and I hope you'll be able to spend sometime with her/them soon.

Frontrange Stitcher said...

Your story is sad to me. It is unimaginable that any parent could be estranged from their children for 20 years. Your dad will need many prayers when he finally realizes what all he has given up by carrying a grudge all those years. Things like that shorten lives. You seem to have moved on though and I am glad you did go to your mom regardless of her actual state of health; you did the right thing IMHO. Good luck in the coming year.

Ruth said...

Well, I love that Jim got extra nifty photo ops, but I'm sorry about how they came about. Families.

Meari said...

Sorry your holiday was interrupted. It's so sad when families are like this. At least you have your in-laws. :)

Mel in Dubai said...

Truly awesome photos!!

It has been many years since I've spoken to or seen my biological father. We simply live in different worlds and really don't have anything much in common except blood.