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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Michigan: Here Comes The Sun

Today I am in a good mood and despite many obstacles I am still ecstatically happy. I did not sleep a wink last night for many many many reasons. For one because both my father and I had to get up at an ungodly hour we opted to let my aunt (who is staying at the house to take care of grandpa) have the one and only other real bed in the house, that left me stretched out on the pullout couch, the horrible pullout couch that I voluntarily offered to sleep on, the bed in my grandpas house with the thin mattress and the big metal bar that seems to jab you right in the middle of the back no matter where you try and shift your position. But that was not the only thing in the way between me and sleep there was also the beautiful wooden grandfather clock that is about 4 feet from my very uncomfortable bed that chimes every 15 minutes, chimes LOUDLY every 15 minutes, that gives me just enough time between chimes to ALMOST fall asleep, that chimes so loudly as if to taunt me that sleep is just out of my reach that l wanted to grab the nearest cane and smash its polished elegance into itty bitty chimeless pieces. Then there was the fact that my grandfather is frail and old and insists that the temperature in the house needs to be set at 80 degrees, it was so hot in that house I felt like rotisserie chicken which is super uncomfortable, at least grandpa was happy. Then there was the snoring trio of my grandfather (which was the loudest) my aunt who took second place and my father who was a distant rumble in the background. Do you remember being a kid and sleeping in the woods on a camping trip, the frogs would yowl, the crickets would chirp, and the owls would hoot and since you were not used to this particular symphony it would drive you crazy. Well maybe I am more particular because of my noise issue but this particular snoring symphony/chiming nightmare was my own personal version of hell.

Then lastly because all of the above I was left there in the dark thinking, which then turned to brooding, which then turned to obsessively listening for every breath that my grandfather took because I was OBSESSED with the fact that he was going to stop breathing. In between each loud snore, in the pause it took him to take another gulping breath I was sure he was not going to take another and when he did my breath would rush out and then I would hold it again waiting for the next breath he took. At one point in the night he stopped snoring and I sat in bed for a full minute thinking that I was imagining it, and if I wasn’t then I should get up and check, because then I could call the ambulance and get him to the hospital in time. But I paused because could I really go through that again, walk into a room and find someone not breathing, I barely lived though it once could I do it again. And then I got out of bed to check, I stood in his room and tried to see the rising and falling of his chest in the dim light, and then I heard the soft whooshing of his breath and I realized he was fine, that he had just turned onto his side and was snoring so softly I could not hear it from the other room. Taking a moment I thanked god that I was wrong and then I cursed at this paranoia that I will probably have to live with for the rest of my life.

Exiting the room I ran into my aunt who had gotten out of bed also to investigate the non-noise coming from grandpa’s room. After I assured her he was fine I crawled back into my horribly uncomfortable bed and finally exhausted both mentally and physically I fell asleep. Next time I am going to just smash the clock, duct tape the mouths of my loving family and count sheep.

So getting up at 3:45 am I managed to get one hour of sleep and I am in a good mood because today I am getting up so early to brave the freezing cold because I am going to spend 11 hours traveling back home to my husband, my house, my animal menagerie, and temperatures that make me smile in anticipation. So today I will sing in my head “Here comes the sun… do do do do”.

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