A nice hike on university grounds today. It was predicted to rain all day, but stopped just before I left the house.
I found:A drowned caterpillar in a mushroom bathtub.
A beautiful spider when I bent down to take the mushroom picture.
The weather has changed. We've had a fair amount of rain, it gets dark around 10:30 and there are mushrooms sprouting up everywhere. Red Elderberry berries with droplets of rain clinging seen during a recent walk.
Since I now have an app for LJ on my phone I can upload pictures that I take with my phone. What better why to beat invisibility?
Today I walked along the Campbell Creek trail and saw 2 rednecked grebe babies with their mom at Waldron Lake. Babies aren't visible in the picture but the lake is awesome. Later I found some purple flowers in the woods.
This morning, a couple hours before it was time to get up, while I was awake with hot flashes, I kept thinking about missing Mama. I haven't been walking around day after day filled with sadness like I was a couple months ago. But when I came home last night from orienteering and checked to see if there were messages on the phone, it hit me again: "She won't be leaving a message ever again."
I fell back asleep and the dream I had, right before waking up had memory and loss sewn together. I dreamed my grandmother was in the hospital and dying. (She didn't die in the hospital and I wasn't there when she died) I was there, K. was there, Mama was there...and Chance was there. But Chance and I barely spoke. Sometimes he would go to the hospital with my mother, other times with K, but never with me. He was silent around me, withdrawn, aloof.
My fault, I knew. But I found so much comfort in his presence, even if we didn't interact. Then, one evening, I knew he was leaving. I went into his room, and yes, his pack was all filled with his stuff. "Don't go," I said. "You're the only one helping me get through this."
I put my arms around him and he put his forehead against mine, but other than that, there was no touching on his part.
He didn't walk out of the room and leave me behind in the dream, but when I woke up, I felt that pang of loss, of sadness all over again. Losing him transposed over losing Mama, forty-four years after the fact.
Dreams blend like that. Death and love blend and bend to transects time.
Be that as it may, towards the end of the 5 days she seemed to be doing better and the doctor listened and said her chest was almost clear. During the pnuemonia scare, I called my mom almost every night. Sometimes the conversations made sense, sometimes they didn't. But I kept feeling this urgency to go down and get my sister who no longer drives and drive her the four hours to the town where my mother lived with my other sibling. After what Bob and I saw at Christmas-more feeble, less aware at times, sleeping more than nomal-all pointed that the end might be near.My invalid sister was feeling the need to visit my mother, too, but her husband was having health issues and having a hard time driving, too. So I asked my sister, "Would it help if I came down and got you?" She said yes.
I made airplane reservations that night, spent too many hours trying to figure out where to stay and eventually settled on Grass Valley Courtyard Suites, only 2 blocks from my mom's retirement home was.I left three days later. For some reason I didn't do well traveling down, got into Santa Rosa at 6 pm and didn't get enough sleep after hardly getting any sleep the night before. We left early the next morning for Grass Valley; I think I arrived at their house at 9 or so, and we had the car packed and ready to go by 9:50.Which is quite early for me. It takes about 4 hours if you drive straight through, but we stopped in Auburn and shopped a little for baby clothes because one of our neices had just had a baby. I bought the baby something, but what really thrilled me was a black pair of pajamas with orange flowers swirling on them. They looked just like my mom, so I bought them for her.
Once we'd arrived at our hotel and checked in, I looked at my phone. It had been turned off all day by accident. It had been my plan to pop over and surprise Mama because we hadn't told her we were coming. My phone had a message on it from my oldest sibling, the one that lived close by to my mom. She said, Mama had fallen during the night, no one had heard her screaming for help and she couldn't get up by herself. J got her up, then got her cleaned up and took her to out to her place which is a farm about a 30 minute drive from town.
K and I (and R, too, who is K's daughter) were shocked. Both of us were too tired to drive out to the farm and neither of us liked the fact that J didn't take Mama to the hospital to get her checked out. It was an emotionally charged half an hour. I talked to my husband who hadn't come down and he said I needed to take a hot bath and go to bed and go out to the farm the next day to assess the situation. He was pretty firm; i needed to leave it alone for the night because I was too tired to cope. So that's what I did. I got unpacked, took a hot bath and went to bed, but didn't sleep as well as I would have liked because I'd come all this way to see Mama and it seemed as if J. had manipulated cirucumstance to fit her desires and was trying to control the situation.
(To be continued...)
"There are sounds to places, and there are sounds to every time in one's life."
--Alison Wyrley Birch