Leaving on a Jet Plane

plane

Grief

I grieved for my mother.  Grief was my master.   Grief decided I would hear a song and cry in my car.   Grief said, be flooded with sadness at the local theater after her death, because the last time I’d been there was with my mom.  I’m crying right now, writing this blog, and she died 9 years ago.

Dad

Did you figure out my proclamation of quitting did not last very long?   I lived the nearest to Dad; we had to bring him meals, sort and administer his medication and help him adapt to living alone.  I could not desert my father.

Seattle

I had long wanted to take Dad to Seattle to visit family.  This seemed like a good time. We bought tickets.  I was thrilled when my dad’s youngest sister, my Aunt Kate, was able to go with us.  She’s a hoot!  About six weeks after my Mother’s death, Dad, Kate and I boarded an airplane.   I was so glad Kate was along, she knew how to manage my Dad without upsetting him.

We Snuck Out…

My dad had his own room in the hotel, and Aunt Kate and I shared a room.  One night Aunt Kate and I decided we needed a girl’s get-away.  We figured Dad must be tired – he was 80+ years old, and we had been out visiting all day.   We said good night to him at his door, and Katie and I snuck off across the street for a glass of wine and “girl talk”.

The next day my dad said, “I think Kate snuck out of the hotel last night!” My eyes got big, “Really Dad – how do you know?”

“I went out to look for a newspaper and saw her leaving!”

“Hmmm…” I said.

The next night the two of us giggled like two school girl and snuck out again. Here we were, two women in our 50s and 60s, ditching our dad/big brother for an outing!

Precious Family Time

We spent time with my Uncle Vern and his family, my Aunt Irene and her family, and visited my Uncle Milo in the nursing home.   Uncle Milo had Alzheimer’s and cancer; his care taking took a long toll on his daughter.  He died earlier this year.  Another life stolen by dementia.

It is such a blessing we went when my dad still knew everyone, was able to travel and visit.  Since then, Dad and each of these uncles and aunts have passed away.  I had such a great time with Dad and my Aunt Kate, but it made her premature death at age 69 several years later all the sadder.

We also visited with various cousins.  One of my older cousins and his wife hosted us for a nice dinner. Now I hear from his wife my cousin is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.  Will it ever end?

Dad did quite well on the trip, overall.   It was a whirlwind, but he loved seeing everyone.  We both came back renewed.  Then, once again, reality struck.

 

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