Thanksgiving 2007… a disaster in the making (but it was great anyway)!

November 30, 2007


seasamestreetbigbird.jpgFor months, Sara has been making arrangements to host Thanksgiving vacation with all her family. For several days, 15 people would be sleeping in our house and we’d have an additional 7 for Thanksgiving dinner. This was the first time all of Sara’s family with spouses would be to together since Sara graduated from college.

It almost all ended when Titus and I had to fly out just a few days before. Sara wasn’t sure if everything needed to be canceled and if she needed to be available to come in case Mama died. I assured her that things should continue. The plan was for us to come back by Thanksgiving, regardless of what happened. Sara did get very nervous though when we didn’t come back on our original flight.

Sara’s sister Shayla and family came down to Oklahoma City a few days before Thanksgiving to visit some other family. The day before they were to come to Texas, one of the kids got sick… really sick. She was throwing up all night. At this time, the family all talked again to see if the gathering needed to be canceled. Sara’s Dad had been sick with the same thing a few days earlier. Everyone decided that the “show must go on.” Oh, and earlier that day, their van died. So they were forced to find a car lot, trade it in and get a new one.

Titus and I arrived just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great time as everyone was there and everyone felt great. Francie had a blast with all the kids and they had a blast with Francie.

The next day was a full day of hanging out, eating more food, and having an early Christmas exchange. Near the end of the Christmas exchange, I got the phone call that Mama had just passed away. Although it was expected, it was a pretty good punch in the gut.

A little later we had a fantastic steak dinner that was absolutely delicious. After dinner, we had a family recital. All the girls had been working on things. There was singing, dancing, piano and flute. I even did a little juggling (definitely the highpoint)!

Just minutes after the recital, Sara began throwing up which she continued to do throughout the night. Almost immediately, Sharissa’s son (18 month old) began vomiting which he continued to do throughout the night. About 3 hours later, one of Shayla’s other girls began vomiting as well. Since Sara and I had been sleeping on the floor of Titus’ room, we moved her out so Titus would be spared. Sara took the guest bedroom and her parents moved out to a neighbor’s house for the night.

Our plans for Saturday was to go to lunch with Sharissa’s family and take them to the airport. We were all supposed to then go to Sara’s cousins over on Lake Lewisville for the afternoon. However, due to the sickness and stuff, Shayla and her family packed up to pull out that day as well. Plans were being made in Georgia for a Monday memorial service, so we bought plane tickets for later that afternoon.

By 6:00 PM on Saturday, the population at the Conley house had gone from 15 to 2. Even the dog had left. Sara’s mom and dad hung around for a few more days to get our house back in showing condition.

The family gathering didn’t exactly go the way it was planned, but a great time was had by all (at least when they weren’t throwing up)!



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