My Aunt Sue and my mother came to visit about three weeks ago and I’m just now getting around to getting the pictures up and blogged about. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t exactly stellar for their visit, but the time we had was super. I kept the ladies busy by taking them out hiking through the wet hillsides of King County and wondering the required tourist trap that is Pike Place market. I think they had a great time. There were a number of firsts to be had on this trip, including what we think was my Aunt’s first ever martini. I find that hard to believe, but I was glad to be part of showing her the error of her ways. You’ll be able to tell from the pics that she certainly enjoyed it.
Pa passed away peacefully this morning. I really appreciate the thoughts and concern that all of you have shown to me this week. It was a little tough being at work today, particularly because most of my coworkers knew why I was away and would ask how things were, went, etc. They would say things like “I hope you had a good trip” and “I hope things worked out”. I appreciate their good intentions, but it’s hard to say “he died” without making them feel bad for asking.
I’m doing alright, however. I would rather be with my family right now, but that’s just not possible so I’m dealing with it other ways. Mostly I’ve been thinking a lot about the life that Pa led, and how much he meant to our family and his friends. He lived an amazing life. He served in a World War, raised a strong family, continual gave back to his community by volunteering, and always took care of others and never wanted to be a burden to anyone. He was active in his church, the American Legion, volunteered as a school crossing guard, and spent hours at the local nursing home visiting residents up until the last year or so. At 93, the majority of those he was visiting were younger than him! He was quite the man. I hope that I can look back on a life that was fulfilling and meaningful as his.
It’s almost 5am here which means I need to be getting on the road back to STL so I can catch my flight back home. I’ve been up most of the night with my aunt Sue and cousin Lori at the hospital. Not much has really changed with Pa. It is a waiting game wherein the victor has been predetermined, but we want him to have family at his side up until the very last.
It’s times like these when I realize just how wonderful my family is, and how lucky we are to have each other. We’ve had the chance to reminisce together. We have talked about the good times. We’ve cried together. We’ve sat together in silence. We’ve done the things that people who love each other do in times like this, none of it is really out of the ordinary. It is precisely because it is not out of the ordinary for us that I feel so very lucky. If I were inclined to religious thoughts, I’d say we were blessed.
I’m glad that I had the time and freedom to come home, even if it was for a short time. It will be hard not to be here for the funeral, but it was better to come and say my goodbyes to Pa while he is still here.
So, here I go again on another full day of traveling…