The other day, Facebook was nagging me with a reminder that I hadn't updated my blog page in 33 days. "Shut up, Facebook; you track my movements and life events, you know why I haven't," was my response.
But now I am in a somewhat better headspace and able to pop in with a quick update. Since my last post here, I flew to Michigan, drove to Ohio for a weekend conference, drove back to Michigan to spend time with friends, then drove to Illinois and met Mr. Karen (who'd driven there from Idaho) for a family reunion, and event which I left early to go see my mom in a rehab facility, where she'd been moved afer a short hospital stay due to breathing troubles. After a few days in Illinois, Mr. Karen and I returned to Michigan to pick up a rental truck and pack up the stuff we'd left in storage there. On our way out of town, we'd planned to spend the weekend in northern Michigan, relaxing at a friend's place on a lake and picking up Mr. Karen's sailboat, which he'd left up there some months ago. I broke from the plan and decided to go back to Illinois on my own, sending Mr. Karen to the lake with the rental truck full of our stuff, since I wanted to take advantage of being so close to spend a bit more time with my mom. I had good visits with her at the rehab place on that Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. She was on oxygen and weak, but was able to sit up on the side of her bed and walk to the bathroom without help, and perfectly able to talk and fuss about not wanting to be there.
I left that Monday expecting she'd be released in the next week or so to be at home with her beloved kitties and getting care there. I drove to Wisconsin and met up with Mr. Karen who took his own route there from northern Michigan. As we drove to Idaho over the next few days, I got updates from my brother and niece about mom and she was on track to be released. We arrived in Idaho midday on July 28 and started unloading the rental truck that afternoon, as I thought we had to turn in it in the next day. I didn't have my phone on me when I was wrangling boxes so missed a call from my niece that my mom had been taken back to the hospital due to dizziness and shortness of breath. The rest of the day into evening I got updates from her and my brother and while it wasn't looking great, it didn't seem any more serious than her other hospitalizations. The next day, July 29, we finished unloading the truck and turned it in—a day early, actually, which we realized when we double checked the paperwork, but that turned out to be a good thing, as it freed me up to start making arrangements to head back Illinois when Mom took a turn for the worse. I woke the next morning to a message from my niece; my mom had died early that day. Neither my brother nor I could quite believe it; we were both sure she'd hang on at least one or two more nights. He headed down from Wisconsin to be there with family; since there wasn't any rush to see Mom one last time, I decided to drive, too, as that's less stressful for me than flying and I could be more flexible with my return.
Since I got here to Illinois, I've been spending time with family and working on getting Mom's affairs in order. My nails have been an afterthought, as you'd expect. Here's how crappy they are; I was not taking care of them and ended up having to clip off splits and such.
The past several days I've had them covered up with Nailene So Natural Everyday French press on nails in Short Beige. They've at least protected my real nails as I've been going through boxes of stuff with my brother looking for important paperwork. Under the fakes, I'm wearing a coat of the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails treatment that I put on Mom's nails after I clipped and filed her finger and toes on that last weekend I had with her.
I did do a pedicure in Mom's honor. She loved bright colors and bold prints, so Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Spring Fever seemed perfect.
And yeah, I'm wearing this pedicure to the memorial service, though probably not with these bright sandals, though she also would have loved those.
So yeah, that's where I've been. I'm sad but doing okay. She lived to be 86, which is not a bad run, especially for someone with as many health issues as she had. I wasn't expecting her to go quite so soon, yet I am grateful she was able to be her feisty independent self until very near the end, which is a gift not everyone gets. She felt joy in life until shortly before she left this life.
I am not sure when I'll get back to regular blogging. I'm not sure when I'll get back home. I'm not sure of a lot right now except I am lucky to be surrounded by the support of family and friends.