It’s been a while since my last update. Our final stop on the cross country journey was at Codorus State Park, near Hanover, PA. The park is large and scenic and the sites are spacious but we did not stay long enough to take full advantage of what the park had to offer. I shall get back there some day when I do not have pressing reasons to get home.
Being retired is not ALL about fun and games and frivolity. Growing older is too often accompanied by the loss of loved ones. I had to leave Codorus to finally, after much postponement, confront such a loss.
My beautiful mother suffered for many, many years with Alzheimer’s disease. I was with her throughout the entire ordeal. I was there to hug her when she was first slipping and was filled with fear and anxiety that often presented as anger. I was there to keep her company when she no longer knew me. I was there to feed her when utensils became foreign objects. I was there to hold her hand while playing Amazing Grace on my iPhone and reading to her when she slipped into heaven.
Mom had passed away months before our 6-week RV journey began, but her funeral was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Coming home meant completing a different type of journey. Alzheimer’s is often labeled THE LONG GOODBYE, which is an accurate summary of this truly awful disease. I needed to say my final farewell, after years of slowly waving adieu to the woman who gave me life.
During the same week, we were abruptly confronted with the sudden and unexpected death of a dear, dear friend and the death of a dear friend’s mother. RIP Jaybird and Pat. Life is so fragile and so precious. All of you will be deeply missed.
Sadly, this is not my normal, light-hearted post but I promise better things are coming. Mom would have wanted us to continue to ramble, explore and enjoy our beautiful world. In fact, she kept a refrigerator magnet that featured a quote by Hunter S. Thompson: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming “Wow, what a ride!!!”