My dear Aunt had her kidney removed yesterday. She's been in and out of the hospital for a couple months now and they've been trying to figure out what's up. She has lupus and has been dealing with that for years. But yesterday, after a week or so of them putzing around and trying to figure out whether they needed to take out the kidney, they took it out.
Today she is fine, or I guess as fine as you can be after your kidney is removed. My Mom says she has her color back and she's feeling a lot better. She actually just wants to eat something or have a sip of water but they aren't letting her. I guess this just hit home for me today because today, our Good Friday, I wasn't eating or drinking anything as a sacrifice symbolically mirroring Christ's sacrifice for us many years ago on the cross. Of course, I knew I was going to pig out at the end of the day but today was a long day. And, honestly for me not eating or drinking after EB was a pretty big strenuous. But, it's no cross. So, it was a small sacrifice in the grand scheme. It's also no big deal compared to what my Aunt is going through right now.
But, as I was eating, the typical "YUM this is so good" ravenous binge seemed to be overshadowed by - here I am pigging out and my aunt is in the hospital and they aren't letting her eat or have a sip of water. She lost her kidney. She's in a bed hooked up to IVs and dealing with hospital nonsense. It just sort of makes me sad, breaks my heart.
My family has a picnic every year (more or less) for Easter. These picnics are some of my fondest childhood memories. We had the best time. We always had been fasting and then on Easter we could eat eggs again (usually resulting in a very unfortunate experience with the runs). I learned after spending too many Easters on a beachside restroom's dirty toilet that consuming more than 1 egg was NOT a good idea. My Mom always goes nuts on Easter. So much delicious, traditional Greek food. The Easter picnic was always a special day - everyone would be there. Family and friends celebrating together. In college, my friends came and would witness the big Greek/Egyptian family first hand. The Easter traditions never have changed or wavered - fasting for 40 days (or hmmm...2 weeks), church the night before at 10 pm, Christos Anesti, keeping the candle lit on the car ride home, getting home, having a light dinner (mayeiritsa, cheese, bread, tsourekia) as a family (1/2 asleep), a breaking eggs contest. I love Easter.
My Aunt always comes. Her daughter would come. Then when her daughter had a baby and got married, her family would be there. My Aunt always makes this amazing chocolate cake with powdered sugar on top. I love me some of that cake. This year that cake won't be there and neither will she. It won't be the same. I think we'll all be thinking of her.
I think that this year won't be the bash it always is because my Aunt is a special lady who brings a lot without being obnoxious or overbearing. I have always loved and respected her because she worked so hard despite her illness. She is a class act that overcame a divorce from someone I consider to be an a-hole (shortly after being diagnosed). She really doesn't whine or moan. She is sweet and loving. I can tell she worries about her work, her daughter and grandson, her lupus, her life. But she gives so much. So, today, I prayed for her and her quick recovery. I ate with guilt instead of the usual gusto I put into the breaking the fast meal. I just hope she's ok and comes out of this with her light personality and wonderful laugh intact.
Hospitals can be lonely and I bet she is thinking a lot about how she wishes she wasn't there. I guess as much as I am praying for her quick recovery I am also praying that she is distracted by family, friends, the TV, good memories...anything. I want her spirits to be high so she can swiftly be back with us - bringing chocolate cake, laughing heartily, sharing stories, chatting with my Mom in the kitchen, holding one of my boys, getting teased by my Dad, eating her favorite dish that my Mom makes.
I know we all have prayers and we all have people in our lives we pray for. Some of us may even pray for silly things like, oh, that all the food they ate and extra WW points they consumed wouldn't actually "count" and result in a wide ass. I wouldn't do that, never. But, a little prayer for my Aunt today would mean a lot to me.
And though many of you celebrated Easter last weekend, Happy Easter. May you find reasons to celebrate this weekend because we are here and able to celebrate because of Someone's sacrifices.