Over the holidays, I headed out of town to a family funeral for a beloved, elderly aunt. Of course, I took DJ with me. The funeral service itself was held in the chapel attached to an seniors living facility. I haven't been to a funeral in some time, and wasn't prepared for there to be a lunch served immediately after the service. However, as soon as the service was over, tables and chairs were rearranged and food was set out. Sticky buns crusted with almonds sat on every table.
Earlier, before the service, as we headed into the chapel my sister mentioned I was free to leave my purse in a backroom, where family had left coats and bags. Indeed I felt sort of awkward with my purse when everyone else was hands free. Still, I was reluctant to be physically separated from DJ's epi-pens.
As soon as I saw the food coming out for the luncheon, I knew I had made the right decision. I checked with the women preparing the lunch to see the contents of the sandwiches. The bread, cheese and cold-cuts all seemed safe and I was assured the utensils to prepare them were clean and had not come into contact with any peanut butter or other nutty spreads. I removed the almond buns from our table, and we proceeded to eat lunch.
With family not seen in decades to visit, it was difficult for me to keep my eye on DJ after though. My young niece and nephew trailed him, making sure he didn't get his hands on any food.
Later, my decision to keep the epi-pens on me was reinforced. DJ needed a diaper change. I went to the back room where I had left both my coat and diaper bag. It was locked and the front desk attendant was no where to be found. It took me a full ten minutes to retrieve my diaper bag. The entire time I waited for the key to be tracked down, all I could think about was what would have happened if I had left my purse, with DJ's epi-pens in it, in the room which was now locked and he had a reaction. I would have endangered his life.
For me, it was a real lesson in keeping his pens on me at all times, even if it seems inconvenient. It's something I won't forget.