So, here I am in Connecticut. When I left Portland this morning, it felt pretty good to have on my long sleeved shirt and jacket, and it was OK on the flight to Atlanta. Once there, however, things took a turn for the worse as the weather decided to get really hot. It was about 90 degrees there. When I boarded the plane for Hartford, most of the sweat had dried so it was just a thin crust all over my body. I was still a little wet so let the blower blow on my head and down the back of my shirt until I was dry all over.
Then we got to Hartford. It was only 88, here. We arrived at 5:30, right on time. I was able to connect wirelessly while aloft (for $12) so I frantically searched for someone in Connecticut to extract me from the airport on arrival. Niece Susan responded saying she would do it. Then she went to a wake for a family friend and didn’t get there until about 6:30. She was, of course, extremely apologetic, which was entirely unnecessary because she was doing me a favor. I was grateful. I knew she was going to be late so I wandered around inside the airport for a short time, then went outside. It was 88 degrees. I immediately started sweating again, liquifying the crusty substance I obtained in Atlanta, and it started running down my back, into my pants. It was an unsettling feeling. People behind me were starting to talk. This gave me motivation to continue on out the door, into the sweltering heat. After about 45 minutes I stopped sweating, and was actually starting to become fairly comfortable, then Susan showed up and ruined it all with her air conditioned car.
It was comfortable in Susan’s car. I stopped sweating, and we had a nice visit on the way back to Lyle & Ruth’s house. Just before we got there she said, “Oh ya. Grandma’s A/C quit working today but we put a fan in your room”, which caused trickles down my neck in spite of the A/C. But, that’s OK. I’m not here on vacation. I actually have a purpose. Really, I do. And, as soon as we walked in the door the significance of that purpose was made even clearer when we learned that Ruth had been taken to the emergency room by Martin & Sarah. Martin is Carol’s husband, and Sarah is the granddaughter emergency room RN. I may not explain all the names to you who don’t know these folks, so if you’re curious, just ask and I’ll answer. Honest.
Upon my arrival, those in the house were: Cheryl, Allen, Carol, Heather, Laura, Larry, Valerie and three great grand children (one is Susan’s, the other two are Laura’s). I think that’s all. We all sat around the kitchen eating area and ate whatever the ladies put on it. It went well. It was the first meal I had today and it was really good. I ate a lot of vegetables, too.
Every once in a while Sarah would call from the hospital to give an update on Ruth so we were able to follow her progress through the emergency room process vicariously. They thought for sure she has a UTI, but they were waiting on labs from the results of the phlebotomist’s efforts, and they were scheduling a CT scan. It didn’t sound good because of all the stress and trauma she, and everyone else, has endured over the past few months, and especially the last few days.
Finally the CT scan was done and it was determined that Ruth has diverticulitis. She’s coming home with a box of meds, and strict instructions to be good and rest. That’s going to take some serious discussion because Ruth will not rest until all the details are in place.
Having heard the news, and learning the diagnosis, everyone went home to well deserved rest. So, I am alone in the house, waiting for their return. At this moment it’s 11:11pm. I’m sitting in Lyle’s place at the table, where I’ve been all evening, and now that the voices are gone, I can hear Lyle’s voice above the din of the quiet, calling my name in order to tell me something, or laugh about something someone said. He’s at the kitchen sink rinsing dishes, and getting things ready for tomorrow.If I were to go into the basement I know I’d see him sitting at his computer playing solitaire, or saying, “Jerrie, come’ere. I want to show you something.” So, I go, and we share memories, and anecdotes until that memory fades, and I’m called to another place in the house where he lives in my mind.
He’s nowhere, yet he’s everywhere I look. Sitting here in his place, I see him at our house when he and Ruth visited. He’s playing cribbage with Dad on 3rd Street, posing for pictures on that old couch with us, his brothers, giving Mom a huge hug just for fun, and on Johnson Ridge looking at Mt. St. Helens … All of these memories are proof, to me, that we are all immortal. As long as we have memories of our loved ones, they will continue to live forever. Pass it on …