Saturday December 27, 2014

I am tired of looking for silver linings.  Today just sucks and there's no way around it.  Erin is suppose to be on a Disney Cruise today, swimming with the dolphins in the Bahamas.  Instead, she is back home after a long, traumatic day yesterday.

Grandma and Papa Harkins flew with Erin to Orlando Christmas night in preparation for their 13th birthday adventure.  Yesterday morning, they shuttled from Orlando to Port Canaveral and boarded the ship.  After a quick peek around, they headed to get some food.  Upon sitting down at the table, Papa lost sight in one of his eyes.  Just like that.

Off to the ship's doctor who said they needed to disembark and head to the local hospital.  Erin was on the cruise ship for 2 hours, 90 minutes of which was spent in the hospital.  Then, to the local ER for another two hours.  While talking to Erin on the phone, she said, "Mom, out the window of the hospital I can literally see my ship sailing away."  She was on the ship long enough to take 5 pictures with her new camera she bought with her own money.  She showed them to me last night.  There's a really good one of Grandma and Papa at the beginning of their grand adventure...

It was obvious that Papa would be in the hospital and there would be no vacation, so the next goal was to get Erin home.  Nothing else could be done.

On the phone with Delta, one way ticket back to MSP for an unaccompanied minor.  Grandma and Erin cabbed it 45 minutes from Port Canaveral to Orlando, got Erin on a flight and then Grandma got back in the cab and headed the 45 minutes back to the hospital.  Erin sat alone on a plane for three hours and Dan and I were at the gate at MSP to meet her.  She finally cried when she got to us.

The initial diagnosis is that Papa had a stroke to the optic nerve.  Recovery of eyesight is an unknown at this point.  Life altering for he and my mom.  My mom is currently working to get him cleared to fly to Minnesota so he can be seen here in Rochester at Mayo Clinic.  Tests are being done to make sure there aren't other clots or concerns before he can be released from the hospital.

Erin was, of course, a trooper.  She handled it as well as any 13 year old could.  I am so tired of life lessons for Erin and for her to keep having to put things in perspective. She's gotten way too good at saying, "It could be worse."  Guess what?  It could be better, too. How about some unadulterated fun for that kid for once?

She's up this morning, coping, making plans maybe to go to the mall shopping with a friend.  She's resilient.  I know that.  I just worry how many times she can bounce back.

So, we are in Rochester.  My parents are in Florida.  Everyone is scared. Papa's life was altered yesterday. So was Erin's.  Papa and Grandma feel awful.  My heart aches for all of them, and there's nothing I can do or say to make it better.