For starters, I'm sorry I didn't write this week. I wanted to, I have lots to say, I just didn't have a working connection on my trip.
To St. Croix.
No, I didn't really try all that hard to get a working connection.
And I know this won't sound nice to any of you, but yesterday I was in sunshine and 85 degrees and today I'm watching it snow. Talk about surreal... (and not quite fair, I wasn't done with the beach yet!)
Anyhow, Let me get the tough part of the entry written. I'm talking about Gram. It's looking like we've got a matter of weeks with her, not months. It is sinking in and it hurts like crazy. I know it's finally really hit mom hard from the conversation I had with her today. I just hope she realizes all she needs to do is pick up the phone and I will do everything in my power to be there, yesterday if possible. Jon would do the same, except for this whole living on the other side of the country. Gak's here for her as much as I am.
Last weekend Gram made the decision that she didn't want to keep the apartment any more. She thought she was going to go into a Hospice house. It would be free/very inexpensive, but she'd only have about 30 days. Monday Mom went down to Maryland to talk everything over with Gram and figure everything out. Out of the blue, they remembered some CDs that she'd started for just this purpose, that they'd both forgotten about. This means that she can afford to stay where she is, for 8 or 9 months before the money runs out. I know this made me happier, I'm pretty sure it made mom feel better too. I mean, staying where she's at until the end is one thing, but, even though we know it's coming pretty quick, there's just something so depressing about the word Hospice.
Tuesday while I was flying down to St. Croix, Mom was moving Gram into the assisted living wing. I did get a brief chance to talk to Gram Tuesday night. She says she's at peace and not afraid to die. I believe her. I've known this for quite some time. I remember waking up one morning back in late August or early September (before we knew the extent of the bone cancer) after a strange and powerful dream. I don't remember where we were, but I was talking with Gram. She told me that she was at peace and was ready to accept whatever was going to happen. I'm not sure how much was wishful sub-conscious thinking, or if our souls actually touched. I like to think we talked soul to soul. Gram is happy knowing that Mom, Jon and I are all happy and healthy. She is at peace with her life and is ready for when the end comes. I just hope I can find the peace to let her go when the time comes.
Mom went down again today. Gak and I are heading down tomorrow. We're to help mom go through the stuff in the apartment and figure out what to do with it all. Mom talked to the doctor Wednesday. It looks like things are going down fast, although in the last few days Gram's perked up quite a bit and has been eating. I think all the stress of actually having the apartment and having to 'take care of' it is gone. Now she can just be and do what she wants too, nothing more.
I do hope she holds on until Jon and Becca get out here next month. Just because it's been 2 years now since Jon has seen Gram. I know it will always be a sore and awkward point with me and Gak that we didn't go down to OK earlier in the week his father passed. But that situation was much, much more sudden.
Well, that's all the update I have on Gram. I want to talk about fun stuff now.
My trip to St. Croix was almost perfect. The only problems were I had to work, and more importantly Gak (and possibly my other friends) weren't there. The weather was great. The people were friendly. The scenery was beautiful. Work wasn't all that bad either.
Tuesday was a bit fun... I had to wake up earlier than usual, so that Dad could take me to the airport, since I was flying out of Philly. We had to leave the house by about 5:30, so I would have plenty of time. I don't enjoy that. The flight to San Juan was uneventful, if a little long. I didn't have the ipod with me. (It's been acting strange lately and I'm trying to figure out what's going on). I had the game boy, but it doesn't always satisfy for a 4-hour ride. I left my book sitting on the headboard of my bed at my parents'. Oops. Landing in St. Thomas was interesting. I think they had to make the island bigger to accommodate the 757 we were on. I seriously thought we were going to touch down in the water for a moment. Kinda scary but cool all the same. I was on a tinny little Cesna for the hop to St. Croix. It was pretty cool actually. All I have to say is the Caribbean is blue or... well, maybe turquoise really is a better description.
The real adventure of the day came with the fact that my flight to St. Croix was about 15 minutes late because it was raining in St. Thomas, but not St. Croix. One of my contacts at the plant met me at the airport. The problem is, my luggage didn't make it. After waiting for the next flight and still no luggage, we find out that it got left on the ramp in St. Thomas by American Airlines and hadn't made it to Cape Air. It eventually made it on the last flight of the night, but by then Ria and I had driven halfway around the island to the plant, my hotel, dinner and back again.
Driving on the left hand side is scary! Or at least a little nerve-wracking when you have to make a turn. I only made one potentially serious mistake and that was on my way to the airport because I stopped paying attention. I was so glad last night to finally be driving on the right (not to mention correct) side of the road again.
The training went well. Tuesday my contact asked me if I could extend my trip by another day. They would pay for it, so I had no issues with that. (Remember, it's snowing today here at home...) I did wish that I was home, but more from a 'gone too long' point of view that an 'I hate this place' feeling.
If you've been to Key West, you have a pretty good idea of what, at least parts of, Christianstead is like. Christianstead is the bigger of the two towns on the island. I don't enjoy driving into the town, at least not from the direction I was coming from. I finally made it into town and found a parking spot yesterday morning. It was beautiful. Yes, I have lots of pictures. Give me a chance to download them, sort them and posted. I'll share, I promise.
I did get to see lots of the island in the week I was there. I was staying more or less in the middle of nowhere. (Pretty much if you weren't in one of the two towns or right near the plant, you weren't near much.) I know I had lots more to say, but it's just not coming. I promise to write more tomorrow or Tuesday once I get a chance to go through the pictures.
I must say, if you get the chance, go to the Virgin Islands, or anywhere in the Caribbean. The people are friendly. The skies are blue and the water more so. Even when it rains it is pretty. It's also nice to just slow down and go with the flow of the life down there. You can feel the stress just leaving. (Unless you're crying on the beach because you won't be able to share that experience with your Grandmother in the near future, but that's a different story, and I was done talking about that for now...)
Anyhow, I've got some things to do before I pick up Gak from work later. (Not to mention catch up on a little game time and some web pages...) Peace to all and may you see the beauty in the world and have someone to share it with.