Right after my last post suggesting that perhaps it was a good thing that the holiday season was so hectic, because “hectic” got me energized, things turned hectic in a disastrous way. Just as we were taking the Christmas decorations down last Saturday, Leslie’s brother Jeff called and told us that their mother, Mary, had been taken to the hospital after the flu she contracted over the holidays had turned to pneumonia.
We finished (sort of) putting the Christmas decorations away, at least putting away enough that it wouldn’t look like the house had been abandoned, hurriedly packed our bags, and headed for Santa Rosa. We stayed overnight in Ashland, Oregon, and arrived in time to see Mary in the hospital Sunday afternoon. At first I thought it had been a false alarm and she would be home in a few days. I was wrong; Jeff was right.
After a bad Sunday night she had a hear-to-heart talk with her doctor and declined to receive further treatment. She was sent home Monday afternoon with hospice care. Leslie and Jeff were a little concerned about me being in too close of contact with her because of my history with COPD, so the two of them administered around the clock care until Margaret could arrive on Tuesday. It was a painful four days until Mary passed away late Thursday night. At the time, it didn't seem very comforting that Mary had chosen to leave us the way she did.
During that time and immediately following her death, there was a constant stream of visitors to wish the family well. It was comforting to the family, but it was also extremely hectic, especially since most of us had been unable to get much sleep with everything that was going on. The introvert in me wanted to flee to some dark corner to process her death, but things kept going full tilt until we arrived home early this morning, having just driven over 800 miles in a single, very-long day.
Mary was one of my most faithful readers and commenters. I’m going to miss her and her comments a lot. I can’t afford to lose too many visitors or I’ll end up spending all my time talking to myself. So, get your flu shots and stay well.