This past weekend Sister K, Husband and I drove home for the weekend. It was “Celebration Station” as my sister called it at our house- a belated birthday for me with my family, Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby all rolled into one.
Our Plan: Sister K and I began the afternoon pulling the cover off our patio table and chairs. Mom had bought a new one and wanted us to change them out. This was a very small task that took less than 5 minutes. We were then going to wipe the table off and spend the day relaxing with the family outside by the pool with homemade margaritas. For dinner we were planning to grill steaks and eat outside for the first time this year. Sister K and I had told Mom we would take care of getting everything out there because we know that usually is a stresser on Mom to deal with moving things from the kitchen to outside. Eating outside is relaxing and creates a positive mood for everyone that it is worth the extra effort.
Reality: My family is learning to go with the flow becuase of MS. I say my family, really I am learning more to go with the flow. Plans change on a whim, things don’t work out and you have to roll with it. Well our plans got turned upside down but this had nothing to do with MS. It had to do with wasps.
After taking off the table cover we were setting up the lawnchairs and I began to notice 2 bugs flying around. They seemed to be almost circling the table. I thought they were moths and didn’t pay much attention but then Sister K said, I think those are wasps. We were confused and then thought to ourselves, is there a wasp nest on the table cover? So what do two girls who are grown adults in their 20s do? Try to solve this for themselves? Absolutely not. We yelled inside for Dad.
He comes out and upon further inspection of the cover we realize there is in fact a tiny wasp nest attached to it. There weren’t any wasps near it because we had already moved it away so Dad crushed it. But, we still had the issue of what we thought were 2 wasps. A typical family is probably prepared for these things and has RAID or some other powerful product laying around. Not mine. But determined to not ruin pool day Sister K begins googling and realizes furniture cleaner will kill them as well as most household cleaners. So we get a bottle of Windex. We then proceed to corral our dogs and watch as Dad kills these 2 wasps. Success. We are in the clear. Let’s resume pool day.
No sooner have we layed one towel on a lawnchair does another one appear. Once again, what do we do? Yell inside for Dad. He reappears, Windex in hand. We kill another one. We go back to lay out our towels. Another one appears. We call for Dad again. This time he and Papa (our Grandpa was also over for Celebration Day) both come out. Sister K turns on the camera of her iPhone just as it disappears. So instead of just going back inside, I begin interviewing Dad about this experience and “mid-interview” a wasp appears. He goes after it. I am sitting here starting to laugh just remembering the sight of Dad strategically moving with a Windex bottle. All of this while Papa just sits silently with a little smile. A chuckle. A chuckle I think he has because he knows we can do this all day. The wasps are going to keep coming back. This was their home base. There will constantly be another one. Finally we declare pool day has been a bust. We go inside to eat chips and queso, drink our margaritas and laugh.
While all of this was going on Mom was asleep because she is on some strong medicine for the spasms in her legs that have been causing her painful leg cramps. The medicine makes her very dizzy, tired and sort of “out of it” for lack of a better description. She knew there was something going on with wasps because she couldn’t help but hear it from the bedroom but she was in and out of sleep during this.
At our steak dinner (in the kitchen, not outside) we were describing the afternoon to Mom when we remembered we had the live video Sister K had taken. It was the most special thing in the world watching her see it, reliving it and laughing hard with her over how funny it was: Picture a 28 year old girl with a sombrero on her head and blue mumu dress (that would be me) interviewing her Dad, then watching him with a can of windex trying to kill wasps and chasing them around, strategizing about where they are going. It was a sight to see.
The point though is we live day in and day out with Mom’s MS being in the background of our thoughts at different points everyday. We are concerned she is struggling in so much pain. We could focus on this. Sometimes we do. We actually had been discussing it Saturday morning. But Saturday afternoon we chose to focus on laughter. Today as I am reminded of my weekend, I am not sitting here sad because Mom didn’t feel well this weekend. I am sitting here smiling and laughing because of wasps. I am sitting here feeling a large amount of love for my family. I may even have a little love for wasps, as twisted as that sounds.
Lesson learned: Be silly. Be funny. Remember to laugh and laugh hard. Take advantage of technology. Record these funny moments when Mom may not be there to take part . She can relive them later. Today she is reliving this memory. She feels just as much involved in it as she would’ve had she been standing out on the patio seeing it firsthand.
At lunch today we had gotten off the phone and I was reading for a little bit before my lunch break was over. Mom called back and said, “You are never going to believe what I just saw while I was sitting here at the kitchen table- a wasp just flew by on the patio.” And we both laughed.
Do you ever have days of celebration that end up in a series of funny calamities? Are you good at going with the flow when plans change? Does your family keep a spare bottle of RAID around?