The day after Christmas was quiet. We were all in a food coma from the most amazing prime rib dinner. The season was finally winding down from a whirlwind of a month. The weather was the coldest I had ever felt it at my parents. The wind caused the power to go out and once the kids became restless we decided it was time to head back home down the mountain. My parents asked my sister and I to walk next door to give them a Christmas card. I went to open my car door and decided to just walk back into the house to say one last goodbye and that’s when I found my Dad on the floor. My Mom was next to him and I immediately knew he was having a stroke. I ran to our car and told Jim to call 911 and ran next to my sister’s car to get her. We were able to get one aspirin in and within minutes the ambulance was there. We acted immediately and I cannot thank the first responders. My parents had no power, all of us were in jammies, and all us were worried about my Dad. We spent the next hours in the emergency room and then he was transferred to ICU. He had good days and he had some bad. He so badly wanted to go home and we wanted him home too. Family dinners are just so uneventful without his sarcastic undertones and seeing him sad broke all of our hearts. After 27 days and several hospitals later he was released. The stroke was on the right side so his left side was effected. He was able to raise his left arm, and eventually able to bend at the elbow but no hand movement. He regained speech, facial expressions and awareness of his left side. However, the hand was still not working. I truly believe that God was not ready for my Dad. He just took my Aunt as another angel in October (who was also a stroke victim) but he had greater plans for my Dad. He was given a second chance and I truly believe that better things are to come. I was not and I am not ready to lose my Daddy. We have our first family vacation coming up at the end of this year to Hawaii and that has helped him. Looking into the future we see him here and he sees himself here.
The second night of his stay in the ICU my sister, Mother and I went to dinner. I had the bread pudding for dessert and kept thinking how much Dad would love to be sharing this with me. We both have a love for the spongy egg-y dessert. When we went back to the hospital I told him what I had and he said that sounded so good to him. I made a promise to bake it for him when he got out. Two days after he was released we had a celebratory dinner at my parents house. My sister and I made: tri-tip with an amazing mushroom wine sauce, mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. We finished dinner with bread pudding. My friend, Janelle, had posted the recipe for Golden Nugget’s Famous Bread Pudding recipe on Instagram. After several texts back-and-forth on modifications and the most sinful vanilla bean sauce it was set. I am so happy that our family was all together. I am happier now than ever in my life watching my Dad’s progress. I am happy that we have him for a lot longer. I am happy for our future and all the memories we haven’t made yet. Add this bread pudding recipe to our ‘happy’ memory bank. We love you Dad!
Golden Nugget’s Famous Bread Pudding.
- 16 ounces half-and-half
- 8 ounces whipping cream
- 8 eggs
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 1⁄2 slices white bread (I used challah)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- Mix first 5 ingredients together in a bowl.
- Arrange bread in a single layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread.
- Mix cinnamon and sugar together. Sprinkle over bread.
- Sprinkle raisins on top.
- Cover with foil and bake in a water bath at 400 degrees for 75 to 90 minutes.
Update: Since I wrote this (I had yet to hit post) God has graced my Dad with another improvement, he can squeeze my Mom’s hand. I cried after we hung up. God is good.