A brief delay…

Well, we were hoping it wouldn’t… but it was bound to happen.

Not sure who else out there has elderly family, living somewhat alone, and on the decline. If you do, you’re probably half expecting to get that phone call every time it ring. “Hello, your Uncle Billy isn’t doing well. He’s in pretty bad shape, but he might be fine… we’re just not sure yet.”

For those of you who don’t know, Uncle Billy is my 87 year old great Uncle. He’s my Dad’s, Mom’s Brother. He was born deaf and lives in Tarboro North Carolina. He lived with his mother until she got to be too old and then he lived with my grandmother who took care of him until she passed away last year. This is his first time living alone. Ever. Kind of a miracle, kind of torture.

Being born deaf, in rural North Carolina, in the early 1900’s didn’t bode well for any type of education. Between his cognative and developmental disabilites he functions on most levels as that of a child. However, he’s done unexpectedly well since his sister/best friend/caregiver left him last year.

But anyway…back to the point. Dan and I are in AUSTRALIA. We were  just there this summer to take him to the beach! We knew it was a posibility that he would get sick, but we were hoping he’d go the six months and be fine.

So he’s in the hospital. Do we come  home or do we wait and see what happens? Here are the things running through my mind…

1. Did I mention we’re in AUSTRALIA!? It’s not exactly a short (or cheap) flight.

2. He’s alone and scared

3. I’ve done this before. Someone is horribly sick and not going to make it through the night, and then the doctor says the next day that they’re progressing quite well. This goes back and forth a few times until something actually happens.

4. It’s my responsibility. It would have been my grandmother’s and then it would have been my dad’s but they’re not here, so it’s mine. And I want to do it right.

5. So many people are willing to help! Billy’s helper has been staying at the hospital with him. A family friend has been checking in with him. My mom booked a flight to go check on him, and my sister will go if she needs back up.

6. Is it fair to ask my husband to leave this place? After he gave up his job, our dogs… our life at home?

7. Even with all of the distance, and the help, and the unpredictable outcome…I know I should go. I certainly am not having fun in Australia these past couple of days trying to decide what to do. I know I’ll regret not going if I don’t.

So on Monday morning, we caught a 5:15am flight out of Cairns, Australia. We flew to Brisbane, and from Brisbane to LAX and from LAX to Raleigh Durham North Carolina. And 30 hours later, we arrived on the same Monday at 5:30pm. strange. But we made it. And you know what… it wasn’t even that bad.

One Response to “A brief delay…

  • Steve Spivey
    2 years ago

    Guys, I know I said it on FB but Gary and I are sending lots of love. You two are good doobies to fly all the way home for Uncle Billy. Wishing you a holiday full of love ( and perspective). 🙂