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Archive for "Family"

Goodbye, Grandma

Posted on April 5, 2024 by under Family, Life.    

Brian picked up grandma’s ashes from the funeral home yesterday. It reminded me of how I haven’t written about her passing. Honestly, it feels weird writing on here knowing she won’t be reading it. Grandma was literally the only person who ever read this blog. At least until the last year or so when Brian decided it wasn’t worth fixing her computer anymore each time she messed it up because she couldn’t see, anyway. I actually think that’s why her computer would get messed up. Brian had set it up so she had large icons on the desktop that she could just click on and easily open things like her email and our blog, etc. I think it got to the point where she could barely see and was clicking on the wrong things and then she would get lost and couldn’t figure out how to get back to where she needed to be. Every time this happened, she would call Brian in a panic because she thinks she’s “broken” her computer. Brian would be there almost every other day just resetting everything back to normal so he finally was just like that’s it – time to let the computer go. He was like, “I’m just going to tell her it’s broken to the point it can’t be fixed.”

Grandma loved sending (and receiving) emails. And she enjoyed reading this blog. Her face would be an inch away from the screen just to read the text but she did it anyway. She liked to keep up with what Brian and I were doing – what fancy parties (before COVID) we were attending, what food we were eating at various restaurants – and I think it helped her stay connected with the outside world given that, due to her age and frailty, we couldn’t just take her out to a restaurant on a whim. We could only take her out on special occasions. And, when I would post her pictures and write about things we did together, she really enjoyed reading those recaps. When I get completely immersed in pickleball and mostly wrote about tournaments and games and other pickleball-related things, she would tell Brian that she felt that I played pickleball too much. Grandma was never one to beat around the bush and she always would tell you what she was thinking.

Every year since grandpa passed away, there would be whispers of “I think this might be grandma’s last Christmas with us” or “we need to make this X-holiday special because it might be her last one” and every year she would prove us wrong and make it to another holiday and another. This last year was a little different, though. Grandma fell and hurt herself around Thanksgiving and spent the weeks leading up to Christmas in rehab. Her only goal was to recover in time so she could spend Christmas at our house. While she achieved this goal, we were all very concerned that this would be her last Christmas with us – more so than ever. She barely had enough strength to hold herself up in the chair while we exchanged gifts. Brian and his dad struggled to get her in and out of the car when they picked her up from the home to bring her to our house. In fact, they both made a point to say that we wouldn’t be taking grandma out anymore. Instead, we would come to her for the holidays so she wouldn’t have to be transported (which proved to be quite an ordeal, specially this last time).

Our next holiday would have been Easter. I was already thinking of how we would bring Easter to grandma this year instead of our usual brunch buffet at YaYa’s. Alas, it was not meant to be.

A few weeks before Easter Sunday, Brian got a call from Victoria Falls requesting hospice care. They said grandma was fine but they just didn’t have the staffing to fully provide the care she needed. Hospice would provide that additional assistance (to move her from the bed to her chair and bathe her stuff like that).

When Brian went to visit grandma on St. Patty’s Day, she was still talking and everything. On Monday hospice told Brian that grandma didn’t get out of bed so they requested that a medical bed be ordered so she could be moved to it instead. The medical bed was delivered on Wednesday and Brian went over there on his lunch hour to get the bed situated. At that point, grandma could no longer form words or communicate. Brian said hospice told him she hasn’t been able to speak to anyone since Monday.

On March 21, Thursday, hospice called and asked us to come because they didn’t think grandma would make it through the night. So we skipped dinner and spent most of the evening there. The soonest Brian’s dad could come up is Saturday so I told Brian I hoped that grandma would be able to hang in there at least until his dad could say goodbye.

The next day, I asked Brian for an update and he said there was no change to her vitals. Later that day, the hospice nurses said she started talking again. It was the darnedest thing. I was thinking, wow — she really is hanging in there, waiting for Brian’s dad to come. On Saturday afternoon, March 23, at around 1 pm, we got a call that she was gone.

Grandma would have been 102 had she made it to her birthday in June this year. It feels so strange now that she’s gone. She used to asked me to end all my posts with GNG for “Good Night, Grandma” and I don’t know if you’ve noticed that I hadn’t been doing that of late. I stopped shortly after Brian took her computer away so you won’t see GNGs at the end of posts going forward. She’s no longer here to say good night to, so I guess it’s time to bid her farewell. Goodbye, grandma.

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Thanksgiving 2023 – All’s Well That Ends Well

Posted on December 11, 2023 by under Family.    

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this already but earlier this year, my childhood friend from the Philippines moved his family (consisting of my friend Manny Miranda, wife Jenny, and daughter Aria) from San Diego to Wichita. They’re starting to meet more people but, prior to moving to Kansas, they didn’t really know anyone here besides our family. Mom and dad don’t typically host Thanksgiving because that’s not really a thing that we do I managed to talk mom into hosting Thanksgiving this year to commemorate the Mirandas’ first Thanksgiving in Kansas.

It was originally planned as a Thanksgiving dinner because Brian and I always take Brian’s grandmother to brunch at YaYa’s for Thanksgiving. I say always but really it’s just been the past several years since Fresh Market closed because that’s where we were getting our Thanksgiving whenever we’ve hosted at our house.

Anyway, grandma ended up falling and hurting her hip the Saturday right before Thanksgiving, and subsequently had to have hip surgery. She’s been recovering at Regent Park (and Brian has been visiting her there everyday) since the hospital released her. That meant she couldn’t go to brunch. A couple of days before Thanksgiving, Brian and I realized there was no reason for the two of us to go to brunch since we mostly just do it for grandma so then I asked mom if we could move Thanksgiving at her house to lunch, which is what most people preferred anyway. Jenni had another Thanksgiving to attend so she couldn’t have made dinner but she could join for lunch.

I’m glad it worked out and that we could all be together. It was great catching up and finally meeting Manny’s family. Brian actually met them on Mother’s Day weekend but that was the weekend I was playing APP Cincinnati so I missed out. Here are some pics from Thanksgiving:

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Everyone is so busy with their own lives (and many hobbies) that we don’t really have the opportunity to get together as much as we should. It took the opportunity to invite Jenni, Jenny, and mom to my first class back at the YMCA (I didn’t go back after COVID so I haven’t taught for the Y in nearly four years) and Jenny and mom actually came. Jenni ended up getting busy with some other things and bailed. I also had a couple of other friends I invited who came and provided moral support for my first class. Andrea even led “Todo el Mundo” which is one of her “signature” songs back when she was teaching Zumba as well.

It was nice to see some familiar faces, specially since I don’t have a regular Zumba group anymore. I’m hoping to build a new Wednesday night Zumba family at West YMCA. Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday are enjoying this wonderful Christmas holiday season. Maybe at some point you’ll be able to join in for Zumba. Now that I am back, I’m there every Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

Hope to see you all soon!

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Naples Pier with Mom and Dad

Posted on May 24, 2023 by under Family, Travel.    

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It was a little chilly for a beach day but mom and dad wanted to check out the Naples Pier and so we went.

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There were surprisingly quite a few people at the beach that day having cookouts and hanging out.

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And then there was us.

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We didn’t stay long. We just walked around and stayed long enough to get a few pics. We might have to build in a beach day on the schedule next year. And hopefully it will be warmer.

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Until next time, GNG.

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Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted on December 9, 2022 by under Family.    

David and Donna were in town over Thanksgiving and so, along with mom and dad and grandma, we all got together at YaYa’s for Thanksgiving brunch.

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We like going to YaYa’s because then no none has to spend several hours preparing and cooking our meal, there’s no clean up after, and we aren’t stuck with a ton of leftovers that we have to eventually throw out. Also, the food selection at their brunch buffet is quite extensive. They have ham, turkey, beef, pork, seafood, a wide variety of sides and desserts — there’s something for everyone.

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Brian always fixes grandma’s plate for her and then tells her what all he got since she can’t see very well these days.

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Brian and I don’t really do the whole Black Friday thing anymore but we did swing by Bradley Fair on Friday morning to deliver a cup of hot chocolate to our friend DJ Carbon. He was spinning tunes outside Lululemon to keep the shoppers waiting in line to get into Lululemon entertained.

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Brian actually had to work on Black Friday so my time with him was very limited. Also, I left for Oklahoma City on Friday afternoon to play pickleball that evening with some OKC friends. More on this in the next post.

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Until next time, GNG.

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Celebrating Grandma’s 100th Birthday

Posted on July 28, 2022 by under Events, Family.    

cen·te·nar·i·an noun: a person who is one hundred or more years old

Grandma officially became a centenarian last month. We celebrated the momentous occasion with Brian’s parents David and Donna Brubaker, who drove up from Oklahoma for the weekend, by having dinner at Rio Grill & Cantina.

Here are some fun pictures from her birthday dinner…

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Pictures of food…

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I got fried ice cream but also got to have some of grandma’s tres leches birthday dessert and it was delicious. Tres leches cakes are the best!

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Here’s a picture of our group after dinner when we dropped off grandma back at her place. I love birthdays when we can all get together.

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Until next year for grandma’s 101st! GNG.

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