Hospital Stays, Milestones, and Road Trips

I’m finally coming up for air after a hectic few weeks. Some good stuff, some bad stuff, some planned things, some surprise things. Ultimately, I’m reminded how blessed our family is, and I’m coming out of all of this with relief and a lot of good memories.

Fulton Was Hospitalized

Spring is illness season in our home, and Tony and I were just saying we were due for a hospital stay when Fulton picked up a stomach bug at school. We tried our best at home, but things get dicey pretty quickly for Fulton and Teddy when they can’t keep anything down. We went to the CHOP ER Thursday evening April 25. Thankfully, with plenty of IV fluids he was able to be discharged Saturday afternoon. But now we had to wonder, how long until Teddy got sick??

Teddy Gets Sick and My Dad is Hospitalized

Tuesday April 30, Teddy came home from school and said he wanted to get in bed; HUGE RED FLAG. Before long, he was also throwing up. After cleaning him up, I got a call from my mom saying my dad was being admitted to the hospital with heart trouble. I knew he’d been sick for awhile and he’d finally gotten a doctor’s appointment the day before to check things out. It quickly led to a slew of other appointments and then an admission. As much as I wanted to go to Lancaster to support my parents, my priority was Teddy. If the vomiting continued, I’d be back at CHOP with him in less than 48 hours. Thankfully, Teddy seemed to have a much milder bug than Fulton, so while he wasn’t feeling great the rest of the week, he didn’t throw up from Wednesday onwards.

With Teddy stabilized, I drove to Lancaster on Thursday evening to visit with my dad in the ICU. He was doing better and making progress in the right direction. I spent the night at my parents house, and visited him again for awhile on Friday. I also tacked on a visit to see my 93 year old grandmother, before heading home. My dad remained in the hospital until Thursday, May 9. He’s doing better now, but he’s got follow up appointments to help tackle other symptoms and monitor his progress.

Sacrament Celebrations

On Saturday May 4, we attended the First Holy Communion Mass at our parish and celebrated with friends. Although I really wanted a day at home to catch up, I did enjoy being a part of the festivities as many families held one large party in the parish hall after Mass. Tony’s parents arrived in town for Teddy’s upcoming Confirmation.

On Monday, May 6, I picked Byron up at Kutztown. It was technically his finals week, but he could submit all his final assignments online, which worked perfectly since this was the only opportunity I had to retrieve him. I took him and his girlfriend out to lunch to celebrate her upcoming graduation before heading home.

On Tuesday evening, Theodore Anthony Procopius was confirmed! (First time a confirmandi at our parish chose St. Procopius. He’s actually been a favorite of Teddy’s for awhile thanks to this book.) It was a nice ceremony and our family’s last sacrament for awhile. The weather was ideal and we got lots of great pictures.

After Teddy’s pictures with the bishop, the bishop’s assistant came up to me and asked if I was Kelly. I said yes, and he asked if I was speaking at the LA Religious Education Congress. I said I hoped to in February 2025 (on behalf of my ministry Accepting the Gift). He said the organizers reached out to the diocese because all speakers at the Congress need the approval of their bishop! I had submitted a letter of good standing from my pastor but I didn’t realize (or simply forgot) that they would contact my diocese. Although I had sent a letter to my bishop about my ministry operating in the diocese when I did the OSV Challenge (and got his approval), I hadn’t updated him since. Thankfully, when his assistant investigated my ministry, they were very impressed with my work! Phew! I am overdo to send my materials to the chancery for review. Our bishop put in for his retirement years ago, but I think he’s being forced to stick it out until our diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings are completed. I kept hearing rumors of his replacement being named, so I figured, well I’ll wait to send things over, but I think I just need to drop the resources in the mail ASAP.

We had Confirmation celebration dinner back at our house for the grandparents (my mom did manage to make it over from Lancaster), Teddy’s godparents, plus Teddy’s sponsor and his family…so only two dozen people. Teddy requested lasagna and red velvet cupcakes, and his godparents brought his favorite tomato pie from a local Italian bakery. We managed to not get to bed too late, since it was a school night, and with Tony’s parents in town, clean up went a lot faster.

Wednesday I was wiped, and didn’t get nearly enough packing or laundry done before we went to a vigil Mass for Ascension. Thursday morning, we left later than expected on our way to Cleveland!

Addie’s Graduation

After three years in Cleveland, Addie is a college graduate! (She spent her freshman year at out local community college.) I was so happy we could all be with her for a long weekend to celebrate. We arrived Thursday night and met her at the Hofbräuhaus; because there’s nothing better than beer and schnitzel to unwind after 8 hours on the road. Edie went back to Addie’s apartment for the night, and the guys and I headed to our hotel about 30 minutes away. Long story short, it was not the clean, accessible room I reserved, but after some shuffling around we managed to at least secure a suite that had enough space to use our manual Hoyer lift. Despite a very friendly and helpful front desk clerk, I left a scathing review after our stay (being sure to call out her exceptional customer service as the one bright spot).

Friday we went to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton (minus Addie and Edie who had no interest in going and instead spent the day thrifting and dumpster diving). The admission prices were insane, but we all really enjoyed the exhibits. We were on a tight time schedule, so we didn’t see a couple rooms, but we saw all the historic exhibits and attended a live presentation on defunct NFL teams that was entertaining.

Fulton, the Saints fan.
Byron with the bust of Andre Reed (middle bottom). Reed played for Kutztown University before being drafted by the Buffalo Bills. He had a stellar career and now the football stadium at KU is named in his honor.

After a quick stop back at the hotel, we picked up Addie and Edie and went to a park SE of Cleveland for a cookout with the parents of Addie’s boyfriend Adam. It was a wonderful park with paved trails, and a large pavilion which Adam’s family reserved. There was even a fireplace in the pavilion where we cooked s’mores. It was the first time Tony had met Adam’s parents. It was a fun and relaxing evening, and while Teddy wanted to stay late to try to catch the aurora borealis, we headed back to the hotel to try to get some sleep.

Saturday we slept in and took our time getting ready. We arrived on Cleveland State University’s campus just before 1 p.m. and found a great parking space near the Wolstein Center where the graduation would be held. But despite arriving an hour before the ceremony almost all the accessible seating in the arena was taken! Thankfully, we did find a section with a few wheelchair spots opposite the stage. We were far away, but everything was also displayed on large screens, and Addie was texting me updates on her location so we knew where and when she would enter.

Addie achieved all sorts of honors and was in the running to be the valedictorian of her college. Although she wasn’t selected, she did attend a special dinner for the top candidates earlier in the week. She achieved the distinction of graduating Summa Cum Laude with her degree in social work, was recognized as an honors college grad, and a student athlete. (We got word today she’s getting a scholarship to put towards her Masters Degree because she had the highest GPA in the department.) To say Tony and I are proud is an understatement. And as much as I’m temped to say, “Look homeschooling works!” I know that these honors are the result of lots of hard work on her part and could just have easily been earned if she’d been a public or private school student. She has a temperament suited towards academia (even if she does stress herself out at times). She deserves all the praise, and I’m going to keep bragging about her achievements until people are sick of it.

Cleveland State University Class of 2024!
All of us were so happy for Addie.

After the ceremony, we all walked back to Addie’s apartment for a tour, before heading to the Goldhorn Brewery for a party with Adam’s family. (He graduated Magna Cum Laude from CSU’s College of Engineering.) His parents checked in advance to make sure the venue was accessible and it did not disappoint. The food and beer were great and there was even corn hole. arcade games, and UFL on the TVs. Everyone was happy.

Sunday we met Addie for Mass at the Cathedral (her new parish) before starting the long drive home.

After Mass (Mother’s Day) selfie before we hit the road.

So now I’m trying to catch up. I’ve got the usual smattering of random appointments, phone calls to the insurance company, and activities. I’m working on several big projects for Accepting the Gift, plus edits to a potential children’s book, and of course there’s the new business venture (which I created a page for). The days are longer, the weather is warmer and the school year is winding down (which means another graduation soon!) so that’s a plus. Keeping busy is how I avoid missing Addie. After a full weekend together, I felt her absence keenly on Monday.

I hope you are able to find a little peace amongst all the May madness!

3 Comments

  1. Wow; that’s a lot! But it does sound like you got to spend some good time with family members. Relationships don’t grow without investments of time; it’s just good to you hear that you all have gotten to do so much together. God’s grace to all of you as you continue to follow Him.

  2. Congratulations to Addie!!! Wow time really flies ! I remember when you would post your homeschool recaps for her !
    And yes she could’ve achieved the same with public schooling but I still think you deserve some credit and celebration as well! ?

  3. Congrats to your college graduate, she did soooo well! You guys have sure had a lot going on in May, which is typically the case for us moms 🙂 You always seem to make the most out of your to do lists by adding in fun experiences and I love that.

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