I sleep really well in the office. The bed is the one I used throughout grad school - a full size pillow top mattress that fits Chienne and I just perfectly if we snuggle. I tend to find a comfortable position and stick to it since any shifting causes a paw to end up lodged in my stomach. I was deep in a dreamless sleep when my phone rang. Blinking rapidly as I untangled myself from blankets and pillows, I hurried down the hall to answer it.
I had taken enough time that I missed my early morning caller - at exactly 5AM, the time I'd planned to head home - and cocked my head at Friend's name on the screen. I called her back, convinced it had been some sort of mistake, and wandered out to the car to see if her wallet was, in fact, inside. It was. I told her I'd drop it off later and headed back to bed.
The ride home - once I left a very disappointed dog behind - was filled with sunshine and beautiful words. If you haven't read The Thirteenth Tale, I can't recommend it enough. It's captivating and exquisite and all kinds of wonderful. I'm about halfway through and it made the drive - always unpleasant - enjoyable. I was thinking that the trip could be a good omen - perhaps the time at home would be short and lovely.
I finally made it in time to see Mom finish throwing up, Aunt hovering around while I put down my overnight bag and laptop and other assorted crap.
"I'm sick." Mom announced sadly, and I murmured in sympathy and helped her to the bathroom to clean up. She's able to move while using her walker, painstaking and slow as the process may be.
"You're doing great." I said softly, smoothing her hair when we resettled her on the couch, arranging extra cushions and ice packs and blankets.
"I don't know why people keep saying that." She whispered, eyes filling with tears. "This is awful."
"I know." I said, keeping my face close to hers as I knelt on the floor. "It's hard and painful right now, but you're doing very well. It'll keep getting better."
She's resting right now, making sure I write down each pain pill she takes so she knows when it's OK to take another. Brother brought dinner while his wife was her usual useless self. Little One ran around, being cute but loud.
"Baby's grumpy." She announced, holding the doll on her shoulder and patting it on the back. She sighed, sounding more than a little put out while she shushed the plastic creature. "Baby, calm down!" She finally said, exasperated.
"Maybe you should be patient with baby." I suggested, thinking of her little sister, due to arrive mid-September.
"I'm putting her to bed." She said wearily, then tried to speak soothingly to the doll on her shoulder. As she headed out of the room, she said one last word quite distinctly.
I raised my hand to my mouth to hide my grin while Mom huffed out a tiny bit of laughter.
"Little One!" Brother's wife gasped and got up to scold her as she headed down the hall.
"I think she gets that from her mom." Dad called after Brother's wife down the hall.
"I've said it once." Brother's wife explained upon her return and we all rolled our eyes, restraining the laughter we indulged while she was gone.
I did dishes and helped Dad put away laundry he'd been busy doing when they all headed home.
"I don't know where things go." Dad said, bemused as he carefully folded shirts. "Does she hang these up? Or which drawer should I pick? I'm tired."
So I handled the clothes and unpacking the suitcase they brought home from the hospital. Mom is currently sleeping but needs to exercise at least once more today. I don't think she rests at night, pressing the call button the walkie talkie to page Dad while he's asleep down the hall. I'll take tonight so he can rest and look forward to hearing how things are going at therapy tomorrow. I can't judge how fast this is supposed to be going, but it's not looking fantastic.
But I'm home and relieved to be here. So at least there's that.