Some of the days that my dad was in the hospital were chaotic, especially at first. The second day, to help my mom out, we drove out and took my parents’ dog for a walk up in the mountains, then spent a few hours at the hospital. We’d kind of go in shifts–my mom was there a lot, of course, and if someone else was there, she at least felt like she could go home for a bit.

When he first went in, he mostly needed fluids and they felt they could release him, but my parents opted to keep him there overnight to get some rest. Somehow, though, he ended up getting worse. There were a lot of ups and downs–one day, he’d be doing a lot better and they’d talk about sending him home, the next he needed more care. And he started sleeping a ton at a certain point, to where visiting was mostly whoever was there sitting talking amongst themselves. After a few days, my mom told us not to worry about coming out during the week since we had an hour-long drive to get there.

The back and forth we did do, though, meant a lot of eating out. After the trip to the mountains, we realized we hadn’t really eaten all day and had dinner at a Mexican place in town before visiting Paul’s parents at home, because might as well if it’s all in the same area.

In the midst of this, our siding was finally getting redone, after having started that process in the spring. What was supposed to be a few weeks before they got started turned into months when they got backed up and when our original sales rep messed up our order, which another rep came out to fix. So our old, faded green siding got pulled down and replaced with nice, new light grey, with a dark-blue trim around the windows. And at some point, I remember going outside to admire and thinking, “My dad is never going to see this.”

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