When you are spending your time three days before Christmas making preparations for a flying trip on Christmas Day, there are only two things that could stimulate this; 1. You are a terrible procrastinator or 2. There is an unexpected crisis in the family. I don’t procrastinate. Mom Gone.
Mom was 91 years old and Libby and I had just gotten back from visiting her last week shortly after her massive heart attack. The winter flight to Minnesota is always painful but it was especially so when your Mother is in critical condition in a hospital. When we arrived, brother David picked us up at the airport near mid-night and with the temperature +50 the fog was hovering over the 120 miles we had to travel to his home. Thank goodness for family at a time like this.
To complete the preliminaries on last week’s trip, we visited Mom and she had improved somewhat and recognized us when we arrived. We knew however from her physician that she did not have much time left with us; weeks to months. Dad of course was looking for every sign that Mom would make a comeback and would be able to move back home with him. Dad and Mom had been married 72 years the day we arrived to see Mom. He was not ready to let that end just yet. Mom wanted to know if we were going to Dead Lake this year. Three days later we flew back to the Los Angeles area to prepare for our families Christmas.
At 0530 a.m. on Monday morning, as we were deep in our final throes of healing sleep, the phone rang. The first thing that entered my mind when I became aware of the phone was, “Minnesota call.” Brother Roger’s voice on the end line verified my expectation. “Mom had died a few minutes ago in the nursing home.” They had been getting her up for breakfast in the dining room when she died as she sat waiting in her wheelchair. She was gone very quickly.
Yesterday was a blur of texts, phone calls and emails between brothers and sister, children and grand children. Getting Dad to the see Mom. Meetings with the funeral home. Add to that a rush of finding ways to make it to Minnesota for the funeral. By mid morning it looked like driving the 1800 miles to Minnesota was the only way to get there as the all the planes were full. Not even first class seats were left.
Dad and the brothers and sister who live in Minnesota met with funeral home and minister and the dates for the viewing and the funeral were made. We made one more shot a getting a flight to Minnesota. Miracle’s do happen. Two seats left on a Sun Country fight on Christmas. Not together but we will get there.
Thank goodness for brothers and sister in Minnesota. They have done a great job in putting this all together. Packing today.