I am not a picture taker. I'm the person that sees the moment and then says, "Shoot, I wish I had my camera." I wish I had my camera this past week. I was up in Big Bear - one of my favorite places on earth!
My family - Mom, Kalie, Ashley, Austin, and myself went up the day after Thanksgiving for a little R & R. Todd stayed home to work. Little did we know....
As we headed out - I drove my mom and Austin, while Ashley drove her car with her sister. As we approached the one mile mark before getting off the freeway and starting the mountain ascent, Austin began heaving and throwing up all over himself, his car seat, and the backseat in general. Of course, being in the fast lane - God miraculously cleared all lanes as I beelined it toward the shoulder. Austin was throwing up so much that he was almost gagging. I jumped out of my seat as cars whizzed by and grabbed my son. I held him over my arm as I raced to get on the other side of the car. He continued to throw up a bit more and looked at me with pleading eyes. He wanted me to hold him close, but honestly, with throw up all over the front of him - I just couldn't see pressing him against me. So I did what any other loving mother would do - I yelled for my mom to get a quick change of clothes while I stripped him down and cleaned him off with my bottled water.
After he was settled, my mom held him and I began scrubbing his car seat on the side of the freeway. Of course, this is when the call came from my girls asking if they'd gone too far as they were now approaching Palm Springs..... I told them to stop at a gas station and ask for directions as I was busy cleaning up Austin's breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past 6 weeks. I hung up to hysterical laughter on the other end. Such compassion.
When I had done my best to make the car clean, we headed toward our destination. Ten minutes into the ascent, Austin threw up all over AGAIN. No problem, been there - done that. We had the drill down. Change Austin, clean car seat, disinfect car, start again. Poor kid. Needless to say, driving 5 miles an hour doesn't make you popular when there aren't many turn outs on the mountain road. But, ask me if I cared - not when my baby's health is in question. I politely smiled and waved back as they pointed their finger toward God and mouthed what I could only take as "I hope your son is feeling better!"
We finally arrived and started to unpack. Every floor to ceiling window looked out on the lake. It was magical. Austin seemed to be ok, but he was still looking a bit blue. We pretty much did what I intended to do for the whole week: nothing. We sat around and talked. But, Austin began the dry heaving and the doctor needed to be called. That 24 hour period was rough, but Saturday and Sunday turned out to be spent throwing rocks in the lake, driving through the village and window shopping.
The plan was for Ashley to drive Austin and my mom home on Sunday, while Kalie and I stayed until Friday. So when Austin was safely asleep, they headed down the mountain. All was well, and they got home with no problems!!!
A few hours later, my stomach started to feel a bit "off". By evening, Kalie was throwing up, and I joined her. Pins and needles racked our bodies and we could not keep anything down. Pure misery. But the lake outside my bedroom window did so much to ease my pain.
By 11:00 PM I called my mom to see how she was doing. Fine. Until we hung up - then she got it. Ashley called to say that she had just thrown up at her boyfriend's house and was heading home. Good Lord, this stuff is potent. We all suffered for 24 hours, and then it seemed to go away.
Tuesday morning, Todd called to tell me he was throwing up. Somehow this virus clung to Ashley and jumped on any unsuspecting fool that walked by. Not only was Todd now clinging to life, but her boyfriend called to say that he was also joining in the fun. I tried to be encouraging when I told them they would feel better in 24 hours. It was that "light at the end of the tunnel" I was hoping would soothe their beings. Really, though, you could care less about the end of the road while pins and needles are attacking your body at the present moment.
Carmen stayed and helped Austin with his bath and bedtime to give Todd a break. I fasted and prayed that she would not also get it. But, of course, she had a small bout with it the next day.
With guilt piling up, Kalie and I decided to leave early and come home. I looked at the beautiful lake with trees surrounding, saw all the duck families contently swimming along, and envied all the boaters out on the glassy water. Until next summer -
It was quite a week -