This time yesterday we were on our way to Florida. Tonight we’re SoCal bound. In fact we’re already on our second flight, Charlotte to LAX.
My mom’s funeral was this morning. She would have been pleased with the turnout of friends and family. Still very sad.
There’s not much to add to what I’ve already written, except it’s final now. The formal process ended today. Now’s the time to turn our attention to my dad.
He’s on another plane heading back to Milwaukee. He’s returning to his apartment, still full of my mom’s stuff.
After years of ad libbing around my mom’s changing condition, the last few days have been structured. Now it’s back to feeling our way forward.
My dad’s life will be different without my mom. Of course he’ll miss her presence. After 67 years together how could he not? But now he’ll be released from restrictions posed by her frailty.
As a kid you think being a grownup is full of choices. In reality there’s a whole lot of fate involved or to use the vernacular, shit happens.
We’re all on autopilot tonight. We’ll figure it out.
We’re on our way to Florida. My mom`s funeral is tomorrow morning. This will be a very quick trip. We’ll be in Florida around 17 hours.
LAX to ATL was a breeze. There were 60 empty seats. Helaine, Stef and I each had a row. We went horizontal. We slept.
Our flight to Ft. Lauderdale is still an hour away. We won`t hit the hotel before midnight.
I am sitting at one of those long narrow charging tables you find in airports. I’m on stool facing out toward the passing crowd. Good for people watching.
I`ve already spotted a woman with tattoos going around the circumference of her legs at thigh height.
We had burgers at Five Guys. No peanuts on the floor at the airport? No peanuts in Georgia? Sacrelig!
It`s a changeable time of year. Coats. Shorts. Everything in between. The terminal`s air conditioning is dialed in somewhere close to absolute zero.
My sister says my dad made the trip OK, though he’s tired. He`ll need all his strength tomorrow.
I needed a piece of camera gear for an upcoming trip. After checking around, I decided to order a ‘grey market’ version. Grey market means it isn’t intended for sale in the US. It’s not covered by a US warranty.
That’s the only difference–except price. I saved around 35%.
My purchase on EBay from a ‘store’ in Hong Kong was made early Friday afternoon in SoCal. Eight hours later it was out-the-door and on its way. FedEx has a daily non-stop 747 from Hong Kong to Memphis, which is how it probably travelled.
My package cleared customs in Memphis then took another flight to LAX. By early this morning it was on a truck in Irvine, delivered to my door before 10:30 AM.
The world is smaller than I thought. I’m impressed.
As much as our thoughts have been with my mom these past few days, I’ve also spent a boatload of time thinking about my dad.
As best he could, he was my mom’s primary caregiver the past few years. That’s a significant challenge for a man who neither sees nor hears well. My mom’s needs were quickly growing past his abilities.
He knew it. We all knew it.
These things happen gradually. No one can tell you exactly when it’s gone too far. Early last week he hired an aide. More personal assistance.
My mom’s physical well being had become the family’s focus. There were difficult choices and decisions made and the prospect of more to come.
It’s not that there was anything wrong with my mom’s health as much as there was nothing right with it.
My hope is my father will now become more active. He’s turning 89 later this week.
We have invited him to visit here in SoCal. It just wasn’t possible with my mom. Stairs. I so wish she could have come.
Our attention now is on the small army assembling in Florida. Stef, Helaine and me, my sister, brother-in-law, and grown kids, my Uncle Murray and Cousins Judy, Gary, Barry and Gail.
A few people from my parents old condo called to offer help in setting up lunch at the clubhouse. I spoke to David who runs the cafe. He’s done this before–many times.
For us, a very brief five thousandish mile trip. We leave midday Tuesday. We are home late Wednesday.
For those interested in making a donation as a lasting memorial to my mom (Betty Fox), our family has designated the Alzheimer’s Association. We wish to support Alzheimer’s research.
We are all grateful for the outpouring of love from our friends and family. Last night I looked through all the names of those checking in via Facebook. Many names I don’t recognize. Some I know only from your Facebook posts whizzing by. Your warmth helps. There are lots of relatives and friends too. Many I’ve known since I was a little boy!
I got two condolence calls from people I had been feuding with. The feuds are over. This is your doing, mommy. You will never stop being my mommy.
My phone’s been busy. Making calls. Getting calls. There are arrangements made and still to be made. There are friends and relatives to tell. We’ll be flying to Florida Tuesday. My mom will be buried Wednesday. We’ll be back in California late Wednesday night. I’ve been looking at all the notes on Facebook. It will […] -read more-
My mom died this morning. She was frail, but there was no warning this was imminent. My mom grew up in Brooklyn, one of two girls. She was the daughter of Polish immigrants who wanted to taste freedom. She met my dad at a party during World War II. They married after the war ended. […] -read more-
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