There is Always Room for More


There is Always Room for More

raspberries-215858_640"You sure have your plate full!" How many times have you heard this phrase? Always accompanied by a sympathetic shake of a head and pat on the hand. Yet I learned this week, no matter how much you have on your plate, there is always room for more.

To say this was a hectic week is putting it mildly. Besides the two appointments for my husband, one to the cardiologist and the second to his primary care, I ended up at the doctor's office with a severe sinus infection which spread to my left eye. Yep! I got pink eye! So I closed the day care Monday and Tuesday until the antibiotics take hold. In the meantime, Gregg went to the cardiologist to make sure he can handle the planned hip replacement and then to his primary care to come up with a plan to alleviate his present pain level. I was so thankful that this was going to be a short week. I took off Friday for the Fourth of July weekend, looking forward to a huge Family Reunion celebration on Saturday. My dad's side of the family--aunts, uncles, cousins--all coming together on Saturday to celebrate the 4th. And then my plate overflows!

7 a.m. Thursday July 2: Phone rings: "Colleen, this is Darla Dee." (Darla is my dad's niece who lives in North Platte. My dad is visiting her.) "I hate to call so early but your dad is in the hospital!"


My 78-year-old dad is five hours away in the hospital with pneumonia. Well, I will be there! I'm on my way! Right after day care kids leave I am on my way! This is how my brain initially started working. But then I spoke to my dad. "What are you going to do when you get here? Darla's staring at me. Ursala (his wife) is crocheting and then staring at me. Do I really need you sitting here staring at me too?!"

Okay, so I will wait. I call his nurse frequently. In the meantime, Gregg--oops almost forgot him--is more sore than usual from the doctors poking on him. He is relieved I am staying, and I resign to the fact that I am needed here more than there. My dad is a very stubborn man. He claims he is determined to come to the family reunion on Saturday. The doctor says perhaps but most likely he will be released on Sunday. Dad scolds me when I ask the doctor if it is wise for him to come to this elevation, "Why would you do that?" the still dominating voice comes over the phone. "But Daaddd," I'm still incurring that adolescent whine.

So I leave the rest to my cousin Darla, trusting her to make the right decisions. She calls Friday night, he is coughing up blood and wasn't going to tell the doctor, she jumps in and negate this plan. By Saturday morning, the doctors relent; they are releasing him. They leave North Platte, Nebraska at 10 a.m., heading to Denver for the Family Reunion. I still am suffering from the sinus infection but I still have to go. I leave Gregg for the reunion after noon, settling him in his bed, getting him all he needs for the few hours I will be gone.

It is after three when my dad arrives, my sister helps him out of the car, he is struggling with the oxygen tubing so I help him. He is shaking, I help him into the house, as we enter the party his presence is applauded. So many family were waiting for him. He is surrounded by loved ones. Gregg calls, "When are you coming home?" "Dad just got here. Soon, I will be home soon."

I stay for another hour, he is weak, I don't like it. He gasps for breath, "I'm fine!" he demands.

Gregg calls again.

"You need to go take care of Gregg."

"But I can stay a bit longer..."

"Go!" he scolds me. "You have enough on your plate."

I concede but as I give him a farewell hug I whisper, "but there is always room on my plate for you."

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Oh, gosh, Colleen, I'm so sorry about your dad! How wonderful you could be at the reunion and witness your dad's arrival. What a special moment.\r\n\r\nI love how you responded to the \"full plate\" comment. There is always room for more! And, I love that you remind us that we can choose to add more.\r\n\r\nI hope today brings calm and quiet. :)