....life happens. Or, sometimes, death.
Terry's Mom passed away suddenly on the night of Monday, October 28th.
Mom called Terry to say she wasn't feeling well. She said she had the shakes, felt nauseous, and was unsteady on her feet. Terry, who was somewhere between Frisco, Texas and Anaheim, California, told her to go to the doctor. "He's on vacation." "So go to the ER," said Terry.
Luckily cousin Nancy and cousin Pat (a visiting care nurse here in PA) were in New Jersey and they went over to see Mom. They called 911 and had Mom taken over to Rahway Hospital. There, they started a battery of tests and gave her loads of fluids via IV saying she was dehydrated. Mom is never dehydrated. Between coffee, OJ, milk and water she regularly meets her minimum daily requirements. Even with all the fluids, she wasn't urinating--a sign that her kidneys may have been failing. For several hours Mom joked with and complained to the doctors and nurses. She talked with Nancy and Pat who in turn kept Terry and her sister, Lucille, in the loop via cell phone.
They moved Mom upstairs around sundown. Later that night they were starting to intubate her when they called a Code Blue. Exactly what happened--blood clot or a heart attack--we may never know. She died quickly and without pain in the company of two very competent, smart, friends and relatives. Just the way she wanted.
Tuesday, Terry continued on to Anaheim where she stopped to give Jess all the stuff she hauled on her way out. She booked a flight back to New Jersey and then dropped the Jeep at a dealers to get the oil changed and a maintenance light taken care of and arranged for them to keep the vehicle until she returned. She arrived in Newark on Thursday.
Lucille, who had booked a flight out of San Francisco as soon as Nancy had called her to say Mom was in the hospital, arrived Tuesday afternoon.
Early Tuesday morning I arranged for a cat sitter. Then, after my pool session of therapy, I hopped into the Tundra and drove into NJ.
Lucille and I, and later, Terry arranged Mom's funeral. Meanwhile Mom's grandkids started arriving from Oregon, Wisconsin and California.
Then there was the wake, the funeral and the cleaning up of Mom's house. Friday night was the wake. Saturday was the funeral mass. Sunday, with four out of five grandchildren in attendance, we did lots of sorting and cleaning of Mom's stuff. With all that was going on and what with the shuttle service back and forth to the airport, I didn't even watch one football game this week.
Slowly everyone dispersed late Sunday and Monday until by Monday evening, I was the only one left. Terry was back in Anaheim and Lucille north of San Francisco/Bay Area with Laura and Adam. Brian and Vicki were back in Milwaukee. Rick and Sandy were in Portland, OR. Today, with a packed Tundra, I boogied home. For the time being.
Mom did make things a bit easier for us. She not only had a will, she had a couple of annuities clearly labeled for her girls, a savings account labeled "For My Funeral." Her safety box contained all the papers we needed and before she went into the hospital she told Nancy where the key was located so there was no searching involved. Mom also wrote her own obit and, with just a little bit of editing, that's what we put in the paper.
Terry will be back home Sunday or Monday. The week after that Terry, Lucille and I will be back in Linden to do some more packing and cleanup of the old homestead and--hopefully--engage a real estate agent to sell the house and transfer the car title to Grandson Brian who did all the long distance driving on the 10 year-old Chevy Malibu with only 25K miles. (If there ever was a chance to list a car as "owned by a little old lady who only drove it on Sundays" this is it.)