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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Love and Loss in Indiana

It was a wild week over here with Isaac once again abandoning us and more than one death of known associates.

Two members of the branch died this week. Although they were a little older and had some health concerns, their passings still caught Kira and Hannah a little by surprise. Kira has been busy helping with funeral plans, as they need several hands to make things happen. She's glad to not be the RS president anymore, but still does her best to help.

She also learned of the death of a relative of one of her clients that was quite sudden, and so she's been quite concerned about that situation. We just hope that this isn't a new trend of losing people left and right. Perhaps this is all hitting us a little harder as today is also the anniversary of Kira's father's passing. We'll do some remembering of him today, I'm sure.

On a happier note, we spent our Saturday last week working on some preparations for Christmas. We decorated the tree with Isaac's help.

Hannah was busy at the temple, so she missed out on all of the fun and chaos. The rest of the day was keeping up with the kids and making them happy with treats. I did some yard work briefly, and Ivy came over to play with Apollo. It was cold, but at least it was sunny. We siblings tossed around a baseball with Jesse for a little while in the yard.

We got the boys bathed, and Isaac and I drove to finally get our pizza that hadn't worked out on Tuesday. Kira fed the boys while we were gone. Hannah and Isaac played a game with Aaron virtually and Kira chased our boys around in some games while I tried not to fall asleep. We watched a movie once the boys were in bed.

Sunday morning was very rainy, which apparently was too much for our power grid. The power flickered on and off a few times very early, and then finally went out around 4:40 a.m. Naturally, that led Merritt to panic a little, so he came and knocked at our door. Kira helped to get his lantern and flashlight so that he could chill out, and I reported the outage. Luckily, the power came back on after just a couple of hours, so Isaac didn't even know it had gone out. We had an otherwise standard morning. Hannah drove everyone to church after Kira had to leave early for a meeting. I did laundry and dishes, and also wrapped all of the presents we had waiting to go under the tree. We had so many leftovers that I had no need to cook a fancy Sunday meal. We relaxed in the afternoon and then had a short family night lesson and played some games. We chatted with Isaac and Hannah before Hannah had to go home for bed, and then the rest of us stayed up too late continuing the conversation with Isaac.

Kira let me sleep in a bit on Monday. We had three kids home sick that day, although I suspect a couple of them were more sick of school than anything else. Merritt was the only one who went to a full week of school. They had sore throats of varying degrees and some stuffy noses. Jesse eventually developed a pretty brutal cough, and so he ended up staying home 4 days out of the week. He's finally nearing full recovery.

With the sick kids, that changed the rest of the plans for the day. Kira still had to see her clients, and I had my own work to do. We had put together the plan to pick up food for lunch and then take it to where Kira and Hannah work. I couldn't very well leave the three sick kids there to wallow in their misery, so we asked Hannah to bring the food to us at the house instead. And Kira got her own in a break between clients later. I then drove Isaac to Gary so that he would not have to take the bus that they have taking people from our station (temporarily). The schedule said that he needed to be there at an earlier time than we had thought, so I got him there and dropped him off. He texted me later that he just sat on the train for almost 30 minutes before it left, so that was a big dumb waste. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, because when I take that same train in the mornings, it usually doesn't leave when it's supposed to. Anyway, he made it to the airport and Colorado just fine, and now we start the process of guilting him into coming back...

Merritt Hung His Glasses on the Towel Rack

The afternoon was a mess of dealing with the kids. I helped Merritt with his homework, and Jesse threw up twice. Kira was here for the second one, and so it was clear that he was worse off than just a head cold. I wonder if this was the flu, because I have had only a very mild sore throat and I'm also the only one to get the flu shot this year. Anyway, Carver fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, and Kira was busy dealing with phone calls about the deaths I mentioned earlier. We all went to bed early, and Hannah stayed home.

I had a rough night of interrupted sleep and left for the especially early bus. Jesse was the only one to stay home that day, and Avey left for school earlier than usual to get some administrative stuff taken care of so that she could be in the right places later in the day. My classes went really well in the city, and I had a weird energy despite having slept poorly. It was a typical evening once I was back home.

Wednesday, Kira finally got to do her trip to the temple, so it was just Jesse and I at home with the dog and rats. I had a lot of work pouring in, so I had to deal with that all day and poor Jesse was bored. He maybe could have gone to school, but still seemed tired after having trouble breathing during the night with his stuffy nose. His cough was still pretty severe, but at least he was making improvements. I finally got as caught up on work as possible before Merritt came home on the bus. We then worked on his homework and stuff before Kira made it home from the temple. She then traded me and I went to run some errands to get out of the house. It might have been fun, but the bitter cold sure put a stop to that. Avey was busy working on a project that night, so Kira and I watched some TV for just a little while before going to bed. Avey showed us her project when it was finished - it's a portrait of her 8th-grade teacher who was killed in that car crash recently:

We were very impressed, and Kira suggested she donate it to the teacher's family. She sent it to the principal to then pass onto her family. It's been very heartwarming to see just how much her passing has affected our town - she touched so many lives.

Thursday was Jesse's last day to stay home. We thought he was probably well enough to go, but when he cried at the thought of going, Kira just couldn't bear to make him go. It is unusual that he would do that, as he usually enjoys school. She told him to plan on going on Friday at least, and then he spent most of the day at home getting caught up on his missed schoolwork. I was in the freaking city again but finally paying for my lack of sleep two nights earlier. I made it through just fine and kept pretty productive. I was home to help with dinner and gather trashes. Hannah didn't want to face the bitter cold, so stayed home again.

Kira and Jesse Had These Guys Waiting to Greet Merritt and Carver

Kira let me sleep in a little more on Friday. She took Avey, too, and I saw the kids off on the bus. I did some work and then had two stupid meetings. At least the first one ended early and the second one was productive, albeit about 30 minutes longer than it needed to be. Kira got in a nap and we had lunch before the bus came. Somewhere in there, Apollo had jumped up on the kitchen table to steal a cookie we had saved for Merritt. He did a terrible job covering his tracks, but by the time we figured out what he'd done, he probably forgot entirely. Luckily, we still had one extra cookie for Merritt to have when he got home. We've learned we need to push the kitchen chairs all the way in.

Merritt's Art

Jesse was much better, with just a lingering cough, but school was okay. He went to play with a friend after school, so it's good to see him doing well. We had an otherwise typical evening, and Hannah joined us to get us caught up on a show we're all enjoying.

Today is likely to be fairly low-key as we all had a bit of a wild week. The wind was insane overnight, so I'll need to go assess for any damage, but otherwise we are likely to stay inside mostly. Tomorrow is the branch Christmas party, so we are planning on all going for the dinner, again getting me out of cooking. This will be my last week of classes for the semester, and then it's just finals and dealing with last grading and the students who are surprised that their lack of effort resulted in a low grade.

See you on the other end!

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