Saturday, September 20, 2014

Life is strange

I've been somewhat missing in action lately.  I've been trying to mentally process some things occurring in life.  I planned to write today on what's been happening and what I plan to do post-recovery- like a "to do list".  I wanted to write this and share it with you because sharing things then makes me more accountable.  However, life is strange and my post plan has totally changed.

Recap- real quick- to get you all caught up.  I had confirmation that I did indeed re-tear my ACL.  I also found out, via MRI, that I have stage II arthritis (commonly seen in people who have torn their ACL), my meniscus was likely surgically cleaned up a little too much (surgery and science changes and they now know save the meniscus or repair it as much as possible- 22 years ago I had the first repair so things do change).  I also have a varus right knee (my knee turns inward instead of straight ahead) so I will undergo a high tibia osteotomy (realignment so my knee will be more straight and less impact on my knee and new ACL).  So off I go for surgery in a couple of weeks- bummer is no weight bearing for 6 weeks and some readjustment to my physical life- likely no 1/2 or marathons or half ironmans in my future.  Besides this fun stuff my son fractured his left supracondylar (elbow/humerus) and is in a long arm cast.  Fun times.  So I'm trying to be positive and take my time off work and my "non-weight bearing" days as a way to motivate me to write, read, and read with my kids.... then last night occurs.

We were walking out the door to head to my daughter's soccer practice, grandparents and hubby's brother are here for the weekend and heading along to.  When I heard the phone ring and looked at caller ID and saw it was my dad.  I thought, I'll just call him back when I get to soccer fields.  Well I went to get in the car and my cell phone rang and it was my dad.  I answered and he said "Natalie I have some really bad news.  Uncle Wayne passed away".  I still can't really process these words or what the words stand for.  He is the second oldest in my dad's family.  My Uncle, despite living on the East Coast and my sister and I growing up in the Midwest, was very much part of our lives.  He was one of those special people who just knew when and what we nieces needed.  He came out for my birthday, I believe I was in 3rd or 4th grade, as a surprise.  He knew I loved horses and so purchased the black beauty horse set and brought it on the trip for my birthday.  I still have that set and am looking at Mary Legs and Black Beauty right now as I sit and write this post in my "reading room". 

The year he came out for my birthday.
 
He never had children, but had 5 nieces who he spoiled and loved on.  He would have us spend the night, make us yummy pancakes for breakfast, or better yet take us out to breakfast. "Shoney's" was a favorite breakfast spot.  My cousins, sister and I had fun trying to set my bachelor Uncle up with the waitresses.  He would find his soul mate in his late 40's and marry her.  For both their first marriage.  They really were a perfect match.  He loved my Aunt very much and this love was even more evident when she became ill with cancer. She passed away this past March after battling cancer for 3 years.    During this time of caring for his wife he was also caring for his father, my grandfather, whom I wrote about in posts this past spring.  My grandpa passed away about 2 months after my Uncle lost his wife. 
The cousins and Uncle Wayne following my grandfather's funeral.

My Uncle, to me, has always been the caretaker.  He took care of my grandma, my grandpa, my Aunt, the farm (as best as he could) while trying to live his own life.  He cared for people at church and has a very strong church family and love of God.  He really does embody what you think of when you hear the word "caregiver". 

There are so may memories I have of my time on the farm and my Uncle is a huge part of these memories.  The time I was sulking about something in my early high school years during a summer vacation to the farm and so he took me down the gravel lane and turned the car around and said "you want to drive".  I had never tried driving before and at age 14 wasn't quite sure what to do, but he trusted me and better yet he knew giving me this opportunity would then help break me of my foul mood. 

My sister and I with my Uncle at his house.      Hanging out with Uncle Wayne at the farm.       
                                                                    
I feel that this is the true ending of my time and life on the farm.  I'm horribly sad, but part of this sadness is for the tears I heard through the phone last night when hearing the news from my father.  The loss of a sibling and one who is a good friend/best friend seems unbearable to me.

So I am again reminded to put in perspective what is really a "big deal" in life.  Yes I'm having major knee surgery, and of course no one ever wants to see their child hurt and be in a long arm cast, but all of these "health issues" are really a blimp in the grand scheme of our lives.  We will prevail and hearing of my Uncle's passing is a reminder that I need to "get over myself/suck it up" and be happy for all that I have and those I have and had in my life.  Life is too short!

 Love you Uncle Wayne!