Saturday, February 9, 2013

Life is like a box of chocolates

Life is like a box of chocolates. I always loved that line from Mama Gump that Tom Hanks would repeat. (Insert Southern Drawl...) "Mama always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

The year has started off much that way. You never know. One day things are smooth sailing. The next, you're in a room in ICU wearing a facemask. That's how the new year started off. Three days in, the kids had been off school. We'd just returned from a nice little family trip to Amish Country right after Christmas. It had been a nice holiday. I made some resolutions (all related to my foodie blog), so hubby and I had gone out for a nice dinner using a gift card I'd won for an online recipe contest. Things were going good.

Then as I was waltzing through KMart with two of the boys who were eager to spend their Christmas Cash, I noticed I had a voice mail. My husband was taking my father-in-law to the hospital. He was conscious, but just not responding to anything. He has stage 4 lung cancer and had just finished up his chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but we'd seen him on Christmas and he talked about how he hadn't seen much as far as side effects other than some weight loss. I'm sure there was more to it, but he didn't say so. Anyway, it turned out he was dehydrated and we thought some fluids would get him back on the right track. But then there was an infection he was fighting. And chest pains. And very low blood counts, causing the need for transfusions. And just more and more bad news. He wasn't eating, was terribly thin, had lost much of his hair and I suspect as a side effect of the medications was in a scary state with eyes rolling all over, not talking. Things gradually got a little better, but it was apparent that he wouldn't be back to the guy he was before he went into the hospital. He's improving little by little, but after more than 3 weeks of laying in a bed, getting up and moving again is moving slowly.

He's in home hospice care and improving a little with time. Although we know he has cancer and know that it isn't curable, you just don't expect someone to be walking and talking and going about life one day and barely hanging on the next. And it's been difficult for the kids to witness.

Yes, life is like box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. But it is full of sweet stuff that you need to sink your teeth into while you have the chance. Those chocolates might not be there tomorrow. But right now they're in front of you to enjoy. Seize the day and don't let that box of chocolates get away even if it throws you some curveballs.

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