Well it's been awhile since I posted anything. Joel spent the first few weeks of December unloading the truck and finding places to put everything in his small workshop (aka the shed, but don't tell him that) . He would find places fore everything and then forget where he put them. He finally got the work shop painted and it looks great.
I kept myself busy with finishing outfitting the airstream and started a few sewing projects as well as helping Joel. Also, I was anticipating the arrival my friend and hiking partner, Sandi, sometime before Christmas. We planned to go to Quartzsite for the Big Tent show since Sandi had never been. That was before I got The Phone Call.
On December 21 my brother, Dale, called to let me know my mother fell while she was trying to get out of her favorite Lazy Boy Chair. She didn't seem to hurt herself, but complained of pain, so X-rays were taken, but nothing showed up. I asked if I should jump on a plane but Dale said he didn't think so. Later that evening my niece called and said mom was resting comfortably but really wasn't coherent. Do I need to come, I asked? My niece didn't think so. Well, Tuesday, things did it sound any better so I starting looking for flights to San Jose....not the best time of the year to get last minute flights. The earliest available flight from Phoenix was very early Wednesday morning getting in to San Jose by 10:00. Allowing for delays a travel to Monterey, I figured I'd be in Pacific Grove by noon. When I started to get text messages wanting to know when I would be arriving, that Mom was asking for me, I started to get uneasy. Mom never does that.
My niece, Kristina picked me up from the airport and we arrived in PG within an hour. ( I don't think she drove less than 75 MPH the whole time). My brother, Dale, had conferred with the medical director and they decided it would be best to move Mom from assisted living to the hospice unit. How could it be that bad so quickly? She had just played Bingo with her friends on Thursday and I had just seen her a few weeks prior and she had been doing so well for being 95. I got to her room which was full of family...two of my sons who had planned to be there for an early Christmas, and my three nieces and brother and sister-in-law. My other two sons who had planned to be there for Christmas Day arrived shortly.
The first words out of Mom's mouth was "Oh you are here now. "I can go now? Are you here for my party? " (She loved parties. )The rest of her day was spent laughing and telling stories and at one point singing Christmas carols. When we couldn't remember the words we would google them and then we would all sing together. At one point mom kept repeating "bucket" over and over and finally blurted out "Bucket List" "Bucket List Clear". Jason ( number two son whose wife died in April) told his grandmother he was still expecting to have Christmas dinner with her. (Mom had made a special point on inviting Jason for the special Christmas dinner at Canterbury). Mom promptly stated she didn't plan to be around for Christmas! She almost kept her promise, but slipped away very early Christmas morning.
Mom led a great life and had been wanting to let go for awhile. Her mobility had deteriorated, her breathing was bad, and she was just plain tired, but her mind was sharp. I think she finally decided she didn't need my or anyone's permission to let go and made up her mind to do just that. ( I guess you know where I get my stubbornness and independence). I miss her dearly, but respect her decision to let go.
We had one last "party" for her a few weeks later. She loved to get together with friends and have a glass of wine, so we had wine at "her party" in her memory. She loved cookies and would often squirrel them away as she was leaving the dining room. We had cookies at her parties. We all shared great memories at her "party".
So, I flew back to Phoenix a week ago. Joel, was in the throws of making cabinets for the SKP Co-Op and insisted I continue with my plans to go to Quartzsite. Sandi, had arrived at the SKP park at Christmas and was ready to travel. I loaded up the Airstream (still need to figure out a name for her) and headed off the Quartzsite to join up with my WIN friends whom I haven't seen in ages.
It was great to see so many familiar WIN faces! Sandi had never been to Quartzsite and enjoyed to big Tent and all things RVing. (she did manage to contribute substantially to the local economy).
I left Quartzsite and am now in Why for the next week and see a lot of desert hiking in my future. Stay tuned. I promise the next blog will be much shorter with lots of pictures.