My wife's cousin had taken a turn for the worse so we left early for our Spring Break trip to Wichita to meet with the gathering family from the four corners of the nation for vigil and support.
We didn't make it.
We were in Oklahoma City when we got the call. Our support mission had just turned into a funeral run. Thankfully, my wife had the foresight to have us pack for such an event "just in case" so at the bare minimum, we were prepared in that respect. With so many family and friends already in place and enroute for cooking and cleaning and coordinating, I offered my services as chauffeur and all that next day, from morning to night, ferried the family all over the city in preparation, sharing stories of the recently departed; Laughing & crying. It was one of those stressful times in which the extreme physical and emotional exhaustion was also very therapeutic.
That morning my son, defiant as he was at grandma's (and thus assuming he was no longer subject to my rules), decided to - I shit you not - run through the house *and* slide down the banister. Well, at least he attempted to slide down the banister. I nipped that shit in the bud.
And got called "grouchy" by the other adults in the house.
Undermined, I went about my day until we go a call from my hysterical mother-in-law. My daughter had "fallen" and cut open her head. Learning quickly from my experiences with my son I chose to NOT go to the emergency room, rather hit one of those "Emergency Care" places you usually find in strip malls ($20 co-pay + seen immediately vs. $100 co-pay + 3-hour wait). This one came highly recommended and the doctors were fantastic. Also, during their assessment they interrogated her as to how the injury occurred and it won't surprise anyone here to discover she admitted her and her brother were sliding down the banister when she fell off.
What a long day.
The next morning, my wife's maternal grandmother was rushed to the hospital and a massive gathering of the other side of the family was underway, which also included us - we were caught between the two eddies and there we remain. At least according to most mythologies and principles these things only come in threes so we should be safe for the time being.
In all of this I did manage to pop into Dillard's and walk away with four (4) of my precious $145 Polo Rugby shirts on clearance for $30 apiece. Problem is the XXL's were too large. I'm down to a XL :)