Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Catching up: Five weeks at home, broken wrist, and a wedding!

[23 May 2016]

Well, we’ve got some catching up to do.

We left Bolivia on April 18th due to the wedding of our daughter Emily. The intent was to spend two weeks in Utah, culminating with her wedding on the 30th, returning to Bolivia on May 2nd.

But, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. So did ours.

Week 1
We arrived in Salt Lake City at about midnight on the 18th, grabbed a rental car, and headed home to our condo in West Valley City. Emily and Sam were there waiting for us, which was very fun. We visited briefly, then went to bed.

On Tuesday, the 19th, we went up to Woods Cross to visit our daughter Becky, followed by a trip across town to Centerville to visit with Matt and Lisa (our son and his wife) and their family. They added a daughter to their family last August, whom we had obviously not been able to hold and love. Molly really wanted to get to know little Violet.

We arrived, and Lisa and Matt came out to greet us with Nicholas, their 3 year old. We had only been there about 5-10 minutes when Molly, after kicking a soccer ball to Nicholas, fell backwards on the driveway and broke her wrist. It was a complete fracture of the radius, with a displacement of the bone. Fortunately, Matt knew exactly where to go, having broken a bone in his hand only a few weeks earlier.

We went to the Centerville Urgent Care clinic, where they X-rayed Molly’s wrist, gave her some pain killers and a splint, and sent us on to the Emergency Room at the University of Utah. While there, they set the bone and splinted it with a more permanent splint. Both before and after setting the bone, they X-rayed it at the ER, and the X-Ray technician spoke Spanish, which made Molly a bit happier.

In setting the bone, they had to numb Molly’s forearm, wrist, and hand with Lidocaine. To get enough in her arm to numb it completely, they put a tourniquet on her upper arm. That prevented the Lidocaine from getting into her system and causing other problems. According to Molly, the tourniquet hurt worse than the broken wrist.
Molly's hand and wrist just before getting the bone set in the ER.
That was Tuesday. Not as successful as we had hoped to be. We had yet to visit our newest grand-daughter.

We spent the rest of the week visiting family – Molly did get to hold Violet on Thursday, which helped ease the trauma from Tuesday. Wednesday was spent visiting with my parents in Orem, our daughter Stacy, Emily, and her fiance, Scott. We had dinner at the Brick Oven restaurant in Provo.

Thursday, as indicated, we visited Matt and Lisa again. We held Violet and played with the boys. Finally!

Molly holding Violet for the first time! The splint and sling
got in the way a bit, but they both loved being together.
On Friday, we visited Molly’s Aunt Lilly. She lives in Draper in a care center. It was nice to see her.

We filled spare hours helping Emily get ready for her wedding and visiting family. Sunday, we went to dinner with Scott’s mom and his step-father, then went over and visited with one of Scott’s brothers and his family and his dad. What a sweet family.

Week 2
On Wednesday of the second week, Molly got her wrist evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon, who informed us that she really needed surgery to place a plate in her wrist to align the bones correctly. We scheduled that for May 2nd – the day we were supposed to return to Bolivia. The follow up for the surgery would require us to stay here an extra two weeks, after which, if the doctor felt good about it, we could reschedule our return. We contacted our Temple President, President Jensen, and requested a three week extension to our stay, which was granted.

Molly's hand before the Dr.'s evaluation.
The big reveal. The bone alignment was not optimal, thus surgery is required.
We were also able to visit with a good friend from American Fork, Miriam Alvez, and her kids. She fed us a wonderful lunch. We were also able to visit my parents again.

Thursday night we had dinner with all our kids and their families, short Seth’s wife, Shalana, and their three children. Seth had come out from Wisconsin, and Holly and Jeff and their family had come from Missouri to be with Emily.

Friday evening was Emily and Scott’s “Pre-ception”. Stacy helped decorate, and we all helped set up tables and chairs. Sam provided the music. Scott’s nephews and nieces helped in the kitchen – it was fun to watch their interactions. Many friends and family came. It was fun to see many of the members of our old American Fork ward, and some dear friends from our Jordan Meadows ward.

Saturday was the wedding at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. While we all waited in the sealing room for Emily and Scott to come, Molly went around hugging everyone. When Emily and Scott came, she was still hugging and kissing folks, and the sealer asked what had happened to the mother of the bride. We all indicated that she was just doing missionary work.

The wedding was very special. It was so fun to see family and friends their to support our sweet Emily in her new life. Seth took pictures of everyone afterwards, and in his usual way, made it really fun. We had a nice luncheon afterwards.

The new couple with their moms at the temple.
Holly and Jeff and their family had to leave right after the luncheon, and as always, our sweet little Dani cried, which made all of us cry. It was so fun to be able to visit with Holly about her farm in Missouri, and talk to her children about all the fun they are having.

We visited our Jordan Meadows ward on Sunday. We hadn’t informed the Bishop that we were going to be there, so he was surprised to see us. In the afternoon, Molly’s sister, Mel, and her husband, Duane, came by to visit us. We hadn’t seen them in about two years, since they were serving a mission in New Zealand when we left for Bolivia.

Week 3
Monday, May 2nd, instead of flying back to Bolivia, was spent at the U of U hospital with Molly’s surgery. As they finished, and she started to wake up, the nurses kept reminding her to speak in English so they could understand her. When I first learned Spanish in Bolivia forty years ago, I was told that you could feel successful in your learning when you realized that you were dreaming in Spanish. Nobody said anything about waking up from surgery, but I figure that Molly must feel very comfortable with her Spanish since it has become the language of her subconscious!

Post surgery.
On Wednesday, the post-surgical splint was causing a lot of pain in her pinky finger, so we called the doctor, and he said it was OK for me to loosen up the wrap on her wrist. That helped a lot. We also got a sweet visit from our daughter-in-law, Shalana (Seth’s wife), and their daughter, Zoey. If we had gone back to Bolivia on Monday, we would have missed them. It was so fun to see them.

On Friday, we went up and visited with Matt and the kids. Lisa was at her chemotherapy appointment with her parents. They came home in the afternoon, so we got to see them, as well.

On Saturday, we got to go to the new Provo City Center temple with Stacy. It is very lovely. The restoration of the old Tabernacle was so beautiful.

On Sunday, we got to go to Becky’s ward and I got to stand in the circle while Paul, her husband, ordained their son, Gordon (our oldest grandchild) to the office of Deacon. It was sweet to hear his special blessing on their son. Another blessing of the broken wrist. We also got a visit that afternoon, from another of Molly’s sisters, Jo, and her husband, Pat.

Week 4
On Monday, May 9th, we drove to Fallbrook, California, to visit Molly’s mother. We got there late, so we just got a hotel room, and went to visit her Tuesday morning. We hadn’t told her we were coming, so it was a surprise. Molly’s mother just hugged her and cried.

Molly and her mother, with Sissy.
We spent the whole week there, just visiting, except for a brief trip down to the beach in Oceanside, just to get our feet wet in the surf and walk on the pier. One fun thing about Fallbrook was the market there. The announcements overhead were in Spanish, and there were products on the shelves that we have seen in the ICNorte market in Cochabamba. It felt a little like we were back in Cochabamba.

On the Oceanside pier with a friend.
Saying goodbye. Molly with her mother and sister.
On Friday, we returned home to West Valley. On Saturday, we tried to go to a Spanish session at the Mt. Timpanogas temple, but got the times confused. So we went to a regular English session. Since Molly was still in a cast, she needed help, and it was sweet for her to have sisters in the temple ready and willing to lend her a hand (literally).

On Sunday, we went to church with Stacy, where she sang in a mixed octet with other ward members. She has a beautiful voice. The number they sang was truly beautiful.

Week 5
On Monday, May 16th, we had lunch with Marina Valdizan, with whom we had served in the Temple in Cochabamba. She returned from her mission in February. It was fun to see her again and visit. Her brother owns the La Carreta restaurant in Orem, which serves native Peruvian food. It was very tasty.

On Wednesday, Molly had her follow up appointment with the surgeon. He said everything was looking very good, and gave us permission to leave the country. Hooray! The Occupational Therapist in his office made a brace for Molly's arm, and gave her a bunch of exercises she need to do five times a day for the next four to six weeks to get her mobility and strength back. Her brace is purple!

The purple brace - looking much better.
The brace is two-toned. Molly's favorite color.
On Thursday, we tended Matt and Lisa’s kids while Matt took her to her chemotherapy appointment. They also found that the spots on her liver have shrunk, but have not disappeared. Matt came back while Lisa’s sister-in-law stayed with her at the Hunstman Center. He went back in the afternoon to pick her up and bring her home. It was good for us to be there with them.

On Friday we had dinner with my brother, Richard, and his wife, Karen. It was very good. We all went together to the viewing of my Aunt Barbara who passed away this week. She was 85, and my memories of her and her family are very sweet. We talked at length with my cousin, Bob, and his wife, Diane.

On Saturday we called my mother, who celebrated her 87th birthday. She has been such a strength and help to Dad through these past years with his physical struggles. They make such a good team, and such wonderful examples to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Sunday was spent listening to Emily and Scott speak in their Sacrament Meeting, and then visiting with Matt and Lisa again, along with her parents. Matt gave her a very special priesthood blessing.

And here we are on Monday, May 23rd, in an airplane flying to Dallas, Texas, on our way back to Bolivia, finally. We have really missed being in Cochabamba, and serving in the Temple each day. We have missed all the sweet associations we have with the missionaries, and all the temple workers. It will be nice to be back to our Cochabamba home.

At the La Paz airport, at 5:00 in the morning, with a nice
cup of hot chocolate to warm us up.

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