Saturday, March 2, 2013

2013 Week 8: Arizona and back

A while back Mike planned a trip to Arizona for a clay sculpturing course in Scottsdale, and also to visit three couples, long-time-friends and spend three days at a resort in Sedona, a belated anniversary celebration.

Sunday we flew to Phoenix and stayed with dear friends, the Perrys. (Fred was the best man at our wedding 43 years ago).

Can you guess what country they lived in for umpteen years by their collection of camels?

Monday after Mike's class, they took us to South Mountain, the largest city park in the USA, maybe even the world.

Tuesday, Mike and I went for a jog in the César Chávez Park near their neighborhood. Mike ran ahead, of course, and I took a turn onto an island and couldn't find my way out. Lost again, but not in a foreign country! I did, however, get to see the sun rise.

I accompanied friend Karen to the Tempe campus of Arizona State University where she goes every week to interact with international students.

In the evening we visited our friends Don and Shirley. Too much fun!

Wednesday, I was diligently working on the weekly missionary report, when a message came from my brother that from the signs the hospice nurse was seeing, Dad had only hours to live or at the most a day.
Our dear friends helped me think through what I needed to do. I was able to get a flight out that afternoon and was packed in no time and off to the airport.
Son Sam picked me up in Indianapolis and drove me to Grace Village. Mother had left her door unlocked and I found the breakfast table set for two. She always prepares ahead. It was after midnight, she was sleeping. (I didn't take this picture till the next morning.)

I had first stopped in Health Care to look in on Dad and he was sleeping peacefully. The nurse had beautiful music playing, "Leaning on the everlasting arms." Very comforting.

Thursday before 10 a.m., the hospice nurse called to say she was on her way, so Mother and I made our went over to Health Care. What happened next is summed up in the poem I wrote.

The rest of the day was a blur of activity--phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, a meeting with the funeral director, arrangements, travel plans, program ideas...

Son Stephan came to pick me up that night so I could have one day at home to get ready for the intense weekend ahead, and also welcome Mike back from Arizona. He flew back the day after his course ended.

Saying goodbye to my cute little mother
Friday, was a quiet reflective day getting ready for what lay ahead.
Stephan and Karen had planned to attend the musical Godspell at Taylor, so I invited  them to eat dinner with me. I got this cute photo of their funny and typical expressions.

Mike did not get in till after midnight. Mid-morning Saturday we left for Winona Lake in time for a meeting with the pastor. Stephan and Karen came that afternoon, as it was his only opportunity to be with the gathering family. He was scheduled to fly to Alaska the next day.

All family members present and nearby came together that evening to eat, share and prepare. We were amazed at how everything was coming together. Mother had worried about this moment and was now at peace. Niece Tina took over as event planner which is decidedly her gift. We are so grateful.


oldfangled said...

Wonderful photos. You seemed to handle everything beautifully that week.

Skoots1moM said...

have been praying for ya'll this week...and continuing

momma frans said...

Sorry for your loss, but I know you're rejoicing that he's with Jesus. The poem is beautiful.
Loved your Arizona pictures as well!

sara said...

Been praying for you sweet friend. I have enjoyed seeing the pictures on FB of you family. hugs and much love to you!

The Bug said...

I'm so glad you were able to come home to be with your folks at the end. It's great that Tina was able to help with the planning!

I love Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. Did you know that it's an EXCELLENT hymn to sing (loudly) while you dust pews? I always sang it when it was our family's turn to clean the church :)