I want to thank all of you who were so kind to leave condolence messages to me on the passing of my husband. I am still revising that post I wrote in tribute in my head but I'll keep those additions to myself. So far it has not been a easy month for me or my extended family, as you might imagine.
The funeral and private inurnment was held in Illinois (where we are both from) on the 8th. What it took to get him home and me up there on the plane is a bit of an amusing story. Well, all I kept thinking was DJ would have thought it was a good story. I won't go into the details here but I did say he had an offbeat sense of humor.
All my siblings were home along with most of the nieces and nephews as well. Tracy's family was there to support him. DJ's golfing buddy and his wife came though Herb is recuperating from surgery, his first day out. Co-workers from the cable TV concern where he retired from came too. A few friends from my old quilt guild attended. One of the Tri-Valley moms and her son, a friend of Tracy were there as well. Jane and DJ have exchanged Christmas cards for years. I thought it would just be family. I didn't expect to see any floral arrangements either but there were some. One of the local churches allowed us to have the luncheon there as the town community center was unavailable due to a scouting event. The kindnesses were appreciated.
A light hearted moment and some photo ops since so many of the family were together. My sister, the one on the right said, "get down on the floor like a cheerleader" though I guess I didn't know what to do with my legs.
Of course we are having such a freakish winter so getting back to Alabama was also a bit of a challenge. It is winter so you expect some of that, right? The weather in central Illinois and O'Hare straightened out but wouldn't you know it, here comes a snow/ice event for Alabama and Georgia. What the heck??? Since I was traveling on a bereavement ticket, I was allowed to back things up a few days fairly easily. They said as long as there was a seat on the plane, I could extend again if I had to. But wouldn't you know? Things clear up in the South due to rising temperatures and it starts snowing Friday at my parent's home. 4 more inches on top of what is already there. So more worry and fretting ensued. A week ago, when I first heard the forecast for Alabama my sister and two FAB pals had to talk me down from the ledge, so to speak--thx for that. A seasoned traveler, I am not. If I had not left yesterday, I would been possibly stuck in another snow/ice/sleet event today or Monday.
I love my parents dearly but I just wanted to get home---my own bed, to Skyler but DJ is not here. Illinois is not my home anymore, Alabama is. Even with family you are still a guest. I think what has sustained me to this point is that I was still in vacation type mode---only I could not pick up the phone to call him to check in and see how his day went. Even today, I had things to do like you always do after a trip, unpack, laundry and get some groceries laid in.
Still, the time extension allowed me to go out to lunch with my friend Robin who I have not seen in person since we left Bloomington-Normal. Facebook and occasionally cards and such yes, but not in person. Tracy and LuAnn came up for dinner at a local restaurant too. Had it not snowed again on Friday, my sister and I would have gone out to one of my "must have when back in IL" meals at either Steak and Shake, Schooner's for their onion rings OR Avanti's for gondolas or Italian Beef sandwiches with meat sauce. The plan was to go to our nephew's basketball game afterwards. We agree that we'll make amends next time I am back to visit.
My friend Jane and her husband Hugh were so kind to carry me over to ATL and pick me up yesterday as well. We stopped for a late lunch/early supper on the way home and I walked in the house about 6 pm on the nose. Skyler was not waiting for me at the door, but came when I called, a little unsure at first. Such purring and petting ensued, really earning him the title of Velcro Kitty. My neighbor Glynda has taken very good care of him though and he has a new buddy. I told her I may have to let her have visitation rights.
I did a good bit of embroidery while I was away, something that may show up in the Hugs and Kisses blog hop piece that is due by mid week. I have not been able to cheer the others on like I normally would. (The computer is in Dad's study and that is his private space I am invading.) Mdm. Samm knows that my piece will not be completed as I would have liked. I won't end up on "the list", she assures me. Once I finished that bit I worked on a "Snow Happens" piece from Bird Brain Designs. Snowballs for 5 cents---when all that snow is free and abundant. I read several books. Other than watching "Downton Abbey" with my dad, I did not watch much TV. I did try to help Dad out of a software snafu they were having but mostly offline. Mostly I have struggled with tears. Like a raw nerve, I am afraid if I really start, I won't stop. I suppose that is only natural?
So the next chapter of my life has begun. Not anything that I was ready for or wanted. He tried to tell me. He left me notes in the box of papers I will need to go through. I have friends and family that I can call on when I am having a blue day. I am not alone with that support system in place. Bear with me on those maudlin days. Continue to hold me and my family up in prayer if you would please.
I hope you will understand if I am not able to answer your kind notes individually but I do appreciate you sharing that kindness and support.