Thanksgiving in TreyVille

Well, we made the trip to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day to spend time with the kids and grand kids and a WHOLE bunch of other folks at the Ronald MacDonald house. Long story that you may already know. Our little grandson, Trey, has been in the hospital most of his 8 months of life. I'll blog about that perhaps - another day. We left around 10am - after getting Bruin situated outside for the day. Bruin is our 14 year old Golden mix that is VERY crotchety and can barely walk anymore. He needs someone to carry him up and down the porch stairs and is old enough that when he needs out - he needs out NOW and it's getting to where sometimes NOW isn't even soon enough. Sigh. We probably would have gone up Wednesday evening and spent the night, but Bruin still couldn't/wouldn't (don't know which) negotiate the doggie handicapped ramp we built him that day so he could be more comfy indoors. So, it was a palate outside for old Brubaker and he ended up doing just fine - although he probably thought he had been ill treated.

Arriving around Noon-ish gave us a good amount of hang out time before dinner which happened about 3:30 and was a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving feast provided by RDH volunteers (Volunteers provide meals at the house every day). I heard that some local restaurants donated food as well and it was all good. (We're planning on having our own Patton Thanksgiving traditional fare - turkey tacos here at the house tomorrow - just so the holiday seems complete).

When we got there Trey was napping up in the ICU and there was a nurse Elfin and Cliff like and trust on the floor, so everyone was together as we arrived. RMH is just a very short car ride from the hospital and actually walking distance if you have a bit more time. After many hugs and delivery of the various items we'd brought from home we got out the guitar and sang oldies and Christmas songs for the volunteers working in the kitchen and the kids doing crafts on the other side of the dining hall. Elfin hadn't sung with us since before Trey was born so it was actually more like a rehearsal than a performance, but I think they enjoyed it anyway. We sure did. We miss our Elfie, her soulful leads and that 3rd or 4th harmony (depending on the song) that really makes the vocals lush, but we crash on regardless. Maybe someday the Lord will allow her to come back and sing with us again - at least occasionally.

After the singing, Trey was awake so we left Cliff at RMH with the 3 munchkins playing basketball outside and went with Elfin up to spend some time with the little guy. When we got there he was out of bed and sitting in one of those baby bouncy seats, watching Barney (the nurse was evil after all), trailing all his many tubes and hoses across the floor. We pulled out the guitar and sang for him right there in the ICU and pretty soon his nurse and a few others came to stand in the doorway and listen too. I think Barney would have been Trey's first choice, but we turned the sound down and finally got his attention.

It was so great to see him NOT SCRAWNY. He's now normal weight for his age - perhaps on the low end of normal, but normal nonetheless. We're so proud of Elfin and Cliff for sticking to their guns about what and when to feed him. We appreciate the hospital and staff and all they've done and are so thankful to the Lord for what He continues to do, but we think that God will give Elfin and Cliff direction and leading for this child along with the responsibility that goes with it. Seems fair and God is even though life may not be.

Before too long therapists of various persuasions began to show up to do their thing with Trey. Since he's on a feeding tube, tasting food is a therapy - especially since this age is about when he would be starting to eat solid stuff. It would be good if they could make it taste good in the process though :). After the "eating" therapist came the respiratory therapist and while Trey was getting his various treatments he went to sleep again - so we left him with the cute nurses again and made our way back to RMH.

We re-joined the celebration in the game room where the Cowboys game was on, kids were playing pool, air hockey and various video games and old style arcade games were all mooshing together in a cacophony of sound. 4 TV rooms in the house and every one of them had the Cowboys game on. It was great seeing the other kids having fun with their new friends some sick ones there for outpatient treatments and some, like ours - siblings of sick ones, doing crafts, playing games, engaging in minor skirmishes - normal. Right now, normal is good. I got to play Battleship and Connect 4 with Joli. Bree played Sorry with Micah and Jim. Off for more crafts and wearing funny construction paper turkey hats. Joli wanted to find grandmas lap and snuggle. I needed that fix too. The boys aren't so much into that so I take it where I can get it, but sometimes I will grab Braeden as he's running by to somewhere, and cover him with kisses against his will. He lets me hug and kiss him and laughs at me. Then he's off again as soon as I set him down.

When Dinner comes we try to all sit together, and get close. Braeden wants Bree to sit next to him so Jim ends up at the next table and Elfin has to move down make way for Auntie Bree. Other than that the meal proceeds without incident and we find out that another family sitting at the same table is taking their baby daughter (preemie) home the next day (on oxygen) after 6 weeks in the hospital. We rejoice with them and later see them taking stuff out to the car to make for an easier departure in the morning. I pray that things go well and they don't have to return.

After dinner things get a little sleepy. Must be the turkey. Cliff goes up to be with Trey. We take the kids outside where they join in a short but frenzied game of "Tag - You're it!" - the little kids just cant keep up - while Elfin runs Cliff up to the hospital. One of the girls finds a lizard in the playhouse. Jim teases Braeden by rolling him a hoola hoop, but putting so much back spin on it that it changes trajectory and comes back again right when he is about to lay hands on it. He stomps away mad for about 5 seconds. Grandpa is mean. But Joli thinks that a really cool trick and wants to figure out how it's done and Braeden's snit doesn't last long.

More games in the game room. Jim finds a TV that he can control now that the football game is over. I remember why I could never get anywhere playing PacMan, the beginning of all my video game addictions and try my hand at Centipede for a while. The big kids try to teach Micah how to handle a pool cue. We find ourselves hoping the felt on the table survives. Joli is looking everywhere for her "Dorothy" doll (Wizard of Oz). I remind her that she gave it to me on her way to do crafts earlier in the day and I put it in their room. Disaster averted. One of the volunteers asks if we are going to sing again. We think about it, but things are thinning out and slowing down all over the house and nobody seems to be willing to make an announcement so we pass on singing again.

We starting thinking, reluctantly, about the drive home, but Cliff comes back. Trey is asleep again and the nurse will call if he wakes. So Elfin, Cliff, Bree and myself, get in two short games of "Catch Phrase" while Jim dozes in the adult TV room, "preparing for the drive home". After that everybody is tired. It's almost 8pm and the kids need to get ready for bed. We gather our things from their room and spend the next few minutes trying to find how many ways there are to say goodbye. We give Cliff a lift back to the hospital. It's his night to sleep in the "not" bed. Braeden wants Daddy to sleep with him like last night, but it's Mommy's turn. He decides he's going to the hospital with Daddy and walks out the door. Cliff picks him up and brings him back in, handing him off to Elfin.

We drop Cliff at the hospital right at 8 - hit the freeway and make it to Hwy 80 before we get the text message from Elfin that we've forgotten something important. So, we turn around and go back again. Micah is waiting with the item by the front door and Bree fetches it. Then, back on the road again and home by about 10:30 with no further incidents.

That was our day in TreyVille. Thankful and tired, we let Bruin in from the cold and fell into bed. Tomorrow we'll start all over - missing them again.

Some of you may not have seen the article in the Dallas Morning News about Ronald MacDonald House and featuring the Morgans. Here's the link if you haven't seen it.

Another Thankful day in Pre-Paradise,

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