Saturday, May 23, 2009

This long pause of two months needs a bit of explanation. Basically, five days after that last entry, my mother-in-law had a cardiac event. In the end she went to the hospital three times for monitoring, for placement of a stent in a coronary artery, and then for a blood clot that ironically was formed because she was taking anticoagulants. The hospital she spent the most time in does not have internet access for patients which meant that all of my usual activity online was put aside for the duration. She's doing much better now. This doesn't have much to do with Thomas, though one of the nurses while trying to make conversation asked Edith casually how many children she had. So Edith told her that she has two living, and one who died last year. Poor nurse was a bit taken aback so went on to the "safe" question: what about grandchildren? And again, it was five living, we lost her son (pointing to me) a few years ago. Again, I felt a bit sorry for the nurse but that is just the way it goes sometimes.

This is Memorial Day weekend. We are going to have a barbecue on Monday afternoon. We will start the day with Mass at the cemetery. I would like to go to Arlington, but that does not seem practical at the moment. I might be able to carve some time out tomorrow. NPR did a Story Corps story yesterday about the father of one of the fallen of the Stryker Brigade (Nainoa Hoe)--it was beautiful and I left a comment last night. I always feel a bit odd doing that, but I do it anyway: one man's story is the story of all of us. Anyway, I want to visit Michael Bordelon's grave and those of the other soldiers whose names I have learned and families I have met.

The rest of our trip to Washington state was mostly taken up with visiting and doing a bit of sight-seeing. This was the first time I had been back of course since we said goodbye to Thomas that last day and I will admit that it was very hard to be in places that we'd been in together last time. I had spent a good deal of time since his death thinking that I would never be able to go back to Washington at all. The rational half of me knew that was unrealistic: most of my relatives live there and a number of friends and now that I had added Laurie to their number (Laurie is not a great traveler by her own admission but I'm working on her!) it was clear that I really would have to do it someday. But it was hard going on those roads and seeing those places again . . .

Matthew had been four years old the only other time he'd been to the Pacific Northwest so we took him on a ferry to Port Townsend so he could see both water and mountains--unfortunately, the crossing was a bit rough that day and he looked a little apprehensive, not to mention seasick. On Saturday night, my sister had a sort of party for us, including our cousins and many people I had known growing up. It was lovely, and then it was time to leave. Our plane was very early and so we drove to Seattle to spend the night and drop off our rental car near the airport. I don't really remember much of that Sunday at all (except that I left my dental nightguard in the motel room! They did mail it to me a couple of weeks later). And then, it was back to the fray.

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