Interesting Times

 Last weekend was interesting, in the “may you live in interesting times” curse sort of way.  First, there was the planned bit of interesting: my middle daughter is starting classes at the California State University, Northridge on August 17.  Therefore, Saturday, August 1 was scheduled as the move-in day into her apartment, along with her roommate.

            But before that, on Tuesday our pastor of the past twenty-one years called a deacon’s meeting at 7:00 PM to let us know that he and his wife had decided to move to Missouri; his wife, who had just lost her job at a Christian school she’d taught at for twenty-five years (the school suffered a significant drop in enrollment this year), had found a position there and it started on September 1. Coincidentally, a church there had just lost its pastor and asked for his resume.  So.  His last Sunday with us will be August 16.  This probably means that I’ll be doing some preaching for awhile until we can find a new pastor—and I’ll likely be part of the search committee, too.  So now I need to start planning for that.

            Then, on Friday, my youngest daughter—the one who is seriously mentally ill—had a violent episode.  Friday morning, my middle daughter reminded her that she would not have to come with us when we moved her into her apartment on Saturday.  My youngest daughter was upset with this, because “I don’t want to be alone.”  A few minutes later she threatened me with a spatula and then smashed a plate on the kitchen countertop simply because I suggested to her that she might want to start with taking just one cinnamon roll instead of two, since she’d already had a breakfast of oatmeal and had eaten a big bowl of chips.  She didn’t like my suggestion.

            My wife, who had been at her school at the time working on getting her classroom ready (since her third grade students return on August 10), heard her angry blow up, since she happened to be on the phone with my middle daughter at the time, who also happened to be in the kitchen.

            So my wife came home.  By then, my youngest daughter was less volatile and my wife asked her if she thought that perhaps she might want to get evaluated at the hospital. Her psychiatrist had just that week changed the dosage on one of her medications and we had been noticing an increasing anger in her day by day ever since.  My wife asked my youngest daughter why she minded being alone for a few hours on Saturday while we moved my middle daughter into her apartment.  “After all,” my wife told her, “You’ll have nothing to do.  There won’t be any TV or wifi.  You’ll just be bored.”

            My youngest daughter told my wife that she was afraid “of the voices” and that they might tell her “to kill myself.”  So, my wife encouraged her some more to have that evaluation at the hospital.  My daughter finally agreed, so off she went to a hospital about 45 minutes away recommended by my daughter’s therapist.

            My wife and youngest daughter left about 11:00 AM, and my youngest was admitted on a 72 hour hold about 3:30 PM.

            Meanwhile I continued helping my middle daughter get packed and ready for her move on Saturday.

            Saturday morning, we had the van packed and ready to go—and then it wouldn’t start: the battery was dead enough that it didn’t have the power to turn the engine over.  So, we borrowed a battery charger from our neighbor across the street and got the van started; we took the charger with us, “just in case.”  We thought perhaps we’d left something on, like maybe the dome light or something.

            We got to the apartment in Northridge later than we expected due to that delay and so my wife had to leave right away to go see my youngest daughter during visiting hours from noon to one PM.  Thankfully my daughter’s roommate was there, so we spent that time unloading a U-Haul truck.

            When my wife left the hospital to come back to my middle daughter’s apartment an hour later, the van nearly didn’t start.  Obviously we needed to replace the five year old battery.  So, we left the van running while we unloaded all my daughter’s stuff from it. 

After we finished getting all my middle daughter’s stuff into her apartment, we drove to an auto parts store and got a new battery.  We finally got home that evening around 8:30; I picked up a pizza for supper and we watched a movie on Netflix—that was interrupted by four phone calls: two from the middle daughter, one from the youngest daughter and even one from my oldest daughter.

            Sunday morning was church, where our pastor made his resignation announcement to the rest of the congregation; then after church, my wife and I went back down to middle daughter’s apartment, bearing the things forgotten on the first trip, along with a visit to youngest daughter during the evening visiting hours.  We got back home about 10, at which point I made supper: burgers and fries.

            Monday at 1:00 PM my youngest daughter was released from the mental hospital so we went and got her; and from there, we made another trip bearing even more items forgotten earlier to middle daughter’s apartment.

            I’m tired of living in interesting times.  But I don’t see them ending any time soon.