ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

There’s not enough time left in 2015 to elaborate on all that’s happened since my November post.  Details next year.  Hang in there.

Spent four days in  Harford Memorial Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit — Kieran visited me there on my 84th birthday  — in crisis after Dr. Sood increased my antidepressant medication. Now I know my persistent low spirits were caused partly by vitamins D and B12  deficiencies, as well as lingering shock after my dear sister-in-law’s sudden death in July — we’d assumed  of a heart attack or stroke.

I hadn’t connected the dots, but a caring social worker at the hospital called my son who told her I’d been even more upset after her wake, delayed six days by autopsy.  We had grieved with my seven nieces and nephews, Kieran’s cousins, standing next to each other along the far right wall, then with her husband, alone at her open coffin.  He volunteered that Peggy had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, he’d found here there when he came home from volunteer work that evening, tried CPR, and called 911.  Kieran stumbled as we walked away, and I put my arms around him.

A few days after leaving the hospital — smiling broadly, the social worker had announced  “I’m going to spring you” — I was afflicted by urinary tract  and upper respiratory ailments.  No trip to Pittsburgh with family for Christmas.  Still blurred vision in left eye.  Painful tendonitis in right hand. Had written newsy notes on cards and compulsively edited “More of My Story.” Thought it may be time to retire this narrative, and wanted to get last post right.

Transferred myself and voluminous medical records to new doctors: Primary Care, Ophthalmologist, and Gynecologist-Urologist. Had a peaceful, quiet Christmas with my Angel.  But first hoarsely belted out carols at beautiful Mass at St. Margaret’s, then ate Chinese food and went to the movies — timeless Jewish customs on December 25th, now being observed by many Christians.  Tendonitis healing  after wearing hand brace.  My odyssey will go on, God willing!

Life is good again.  Friends coming tomorrow  afternoon to toast the New Year and nibble what I like to call substantial hors d’oeuvres. Saturday  evening, while Kieran minds the boys, Bethany and I will be at The Grand Hotel in Baltimore, watching a preview of the first episode of the final season of  “Downton Abbey” — a reward for donors to public television. I’ll be stylishly dressed in tribute to Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess.

Am staying overnight at my family’s nearby home, and Sunday morning we’ll belatedly celebrate our Christmas together.  Joyful tidings —  Nolan and Jack’s baby sister will be with us next year — the newest member of the Gallagher Clan due to enter the world in July.

I pray you’ll be blessed with a mostly healthy, mostly happy Year of Our Lord 2016.  And a hearty welcome aboard to my thirty-third follower who joined the crew in December. Stay brave. But don’t miss daily lifeboat drill on the main deck aft.

 

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6 Comments »

  1. Kathleen said

    Happy New year Eileen!

    You summed it up beautifully Eileen and I am so happy you are feeling better and back enjoying life again! Stay well. Love, K

    Sent from my ASUS

  2. Chris J said

    Phew!! So glad you followed up with some wonderful ‘pearls’ after your streak of rough weather at the end of 2015. So excited for another Gallagher! And can you feel the envy rolling off me over your Downtown Abbey coup?!! Looks like I will need to take you out to lunch to get the full report. Happy New Year and may 2016 have only enough minor perils to help us appreciate our pearls.

  3. Amy said

    Eileen,
    I had a wonderful time meeting you last night at the Downton Abbey viewing in Baltimore. I look forward to following your blog! You are a great lady and a treat to be with!
    Amy

  4. Happy New Year Eileen – I hope it’s a good one for you.

    • Happy New Year to you B! I know “It’s [Mostly] a Wonderful Life,” but it’s freuently a rocky ride, whether on land or sea, (I may be belaboring that metaphor a bit, but it’s fun to do!) As I’ve suggested, why not write more about the inner Barbara in “Just Add Attitude” in future — not just your entertaining observations on your travels? (“Be Not Afraid,” B)

      I’m so glad we met almost five years ago in that Eden-like garden in Ireland. And I hope we’ll meet there again before too long. Meanwhile, let’s keep enjoying the foretastes God provides right here on Earth!
      Fondly, Eileen

  5. Stephanie Hogan said

    A new Gallagher, what a surprise! Glad you are feeling better and wishes for a healthy 2016!

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