Cat (willowisp) wrote,

Today happened in three parts. Act I began when Aunt Eileen and Chuck invited us to breakfast. I need to remember that with my family the invitation does not imply that you'll be treated. Anyway, Mom had already gotten stuff to do breakfast at our place, so it looks like I'll have to eat cheese on bread (old family recipe and comfort food extrordinaire) for the next few days. The horror.

Then we went to Gerry and Julie's to meet up with our cousins and Steve. Hilarity ensued as they packed the car and got into a fight which had Julie dissolving in tears of laughter. She thinks they should just start a sitcom. Anyway, they spent most of the time packing the car, but Pamela got to spend lots of time holding Justin, Kim's baby (who is still appreciably smaller than CJ), so I think she considered it worth the day off. They left at about 13:00 and got home safely.

Part two has to do with Uncle Rich. I don't think I've ever spelled it out before, but Mom was the second of four children. Aunt Eileen was the oldest, Uncle Rich was the third, and Gerry (aka Uncle Doug) was the child who wasn't supposed to be able to be conceived, I believe due to complications from Uncle Rich's birth which nearly killed Grandma. I could be wrong on that one; I've mostly pieced it together by listening to various conversations. Anyway, the astute may notice that Uncle Rich has not been mentioned at all with regards to the wake(s) and funeral.

The reason for this is that Uncle Rich, Aunt Mel, Christopher and Susanna started off on a cruise on Mom's birthday. They had discovered that if anything happened while they were on the ship, they 1) couldn't do anything until the ship landed and 2) the flight would be prohibitively expensive and they'd have to deal with nasty customs stuff and such. So Gerry and Mom decided, along with Uncle Rich, not to tell him if Grandpa died since nothing could be done anyway. Grandpa died some twelve hours after the cruise ship launched.

The boat docks tomorrow. We'd originally decided to ask one of Aunt Mel's relatives to meet them at the airport and tell them to call Gerry or Mom first. Today we discovered that they won't be flying home until Sunday, and Uncle Rich will certainly have tried to call someone by then. The problem is who he calls. Gerry or Mom will somehow be able to break the news, so we're hoping he calls here or there. The problem will come if he calls Mary first in order to talk to Grandpa. I'm not sure how her relatives would break it to him, but we do know one thing: if Mary answers, she will tear into Uncle Rich, accusing him of being a bad son for not attending the wake and funeral and for going on a cruise (which he'd booked last year before Grandpa was so very obviously waning) when Grandpa was on his deathbed (Never mind that she had more or less said this every weekend for the past two months, and there's a story about boys who shout "wolf" too many times). It's going to be hard enough for him; he does not need to be on the receiving end of one of her diatribes.

On a side note, I just thought of a way which might just work. Tomorrow morning first thing Mom'll call Uncle Rich's cell phone and leave voice mail to call her first.

Part three involved my youngest cousin, CJ. He's had bronchitis since before we arrived; it's not responding to any treatments, and it's actively getting worse. Gerry went skiing today while Julie took him to the doctor. The doctor tried something new and said to call at 21:00 and tell her if it had started getting better or if it'd stayed the same/gotten worse (both are equally bad at this point). Since Mom had the day off, Julie asked her to babysit while she did two hours' worth of skiing and then maybe went out to dinner. She dropped CJ off at 14:00 and went off.

One of the treatments CJ's on is called a nebulizer (though I'm just as likely to call it a mertilizer, with a salute to Bill Watterson). Neither Gerry nor Julie have gone into the details, but essentially it's supposed to help him breathe easier. He needed to be mertilized at 17:00, and we were honestly hoping she'd be back before then. No such luck. At 17:00 Mom mertilized him, so he wouldn't need another treatment until 21:00 (when Julie was supposed to call the doctor, for those keeping score).

At about 20:00 Julie called. She'd been waiting at the slopes for a friend to meet her so they could go to dinner, but the friend was waiting at the restaurant. Julie had finally given up on meeting the friend and went to the restaurant, meeting her there and laughing, etc. She now expected to be home by 21:30.

A few minutes later Gerry called. He'd come home from skiing and figured we were babysitting. I briefly updated him, then he went to call one of the people Julie was with. A bit later he called us up and asked Mom to bring CJ home. Julie had left the car seat, but Uncle Doug had been drinking and didn't want to drive. After we figured out the car seat we took him home, and Gerry agreed that he sounded much worse. We don't know if the doctor decided to hospitalize CJ, since they didn't call back.

Babysitting CJ was very interesting. He's about 5 1/2 months old, weighs 23 pounds, and is wearing clothing for 9 month to year-olds. He is a very happy baby, so he'd cough a few times and then smile at whomever was looking. He was pretty much spitting up everything we fed him, poor little guy. He and I played peek-a-boo (he even started lifting up and lowering the blanket at appropriate times) and random baby games and, all things considered, he spent a lot of time smiling and not much crying, despite the coughs and the wheezing. I hope they don't end up having to hospitalize him.
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