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    TRAVELGRRL   67,504
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Getting Back to Normal

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hi Spark! Long time no see!

My father passed away last Saturday morning, and took his last breath at home, surrounded by his wife of 60 years and 4 of his 5 children. Terrence and I were at a campground 20 miles away, but when we got the call we drove over immediately.

For two weeks my sister, two of my brothers and my husband and I helped care for my dad who by then was confined to a hospital bed. Then last week my other brother was able to come and it was the whole family. TC was wonderful with my dad; his own father left the family when he was 12 and he's often said he was closer to my father than to his own. I love that man! emoticon

We really have never been a particularly close family so this was really a wonderful, amazing and special time. We all worked together to lessen the burden on my mother and to care for Dad. He expressed his appreciation for our care and was delighted that we were all there to be with him. It was like it was his last act; by his death we were able to draw much closer as a family. We all felt it, and we all talked about it.

My daughter and her husband came from Massachusetts while Dad was still lucid so he was able to meet his baby great granddaughter. A week before he died he had the typical "surge" of energy and called all of us into the den, one by one, for a private talk. (Mostly it was to tell each of us what we needed to do to straighten out our lives -- vintage Dad!) It was the last day he would talk.

Anyway, the funeral is Thursday, graveside service on Friday, and TC and I will be leaving Michigan on Saturday for some hiking in Shenandoah National Park. It will be three weeks that we've been here.

So how've I been doing?

Well, exercise has gone out the window for nearly three weeks. We've been getting to my mom's house early and leaving at dark. Or the weather hasn't cooperated. My eating has been hit-or-miss, pretty good at my mom's house but not so good when we get back to the trailer. I've been drinking too much wine, too.

But this morning I feel great and ready to get back to some semblance of normalcy. We are free this morning, the weather is beautiful, and we've got a 4-mile loop mapped out on the country roads around the campground. As soon as I'm done with this blog we are going to get in a good walk!

We'll be going to Panera for dinner with TC's brother and sister tonight and I've already looked up their online menu. I think I'll have the chicken Caesar salad. Anybody have another recommendation?

So I'm feeling good. I've let my subscriptions to your blogs lapse, but I'll be picking them up again probably next week, once the funeral and family time is behind us.

Thanks to all of you at Spark for your thoughts and prayers. It's hard to be too sad -- Dad lived 85 years and he often said he did everything in life he wanted to. I hope this is something we can all say at the end of our lives!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 5/16/2013 12:38AM

    What a valuable time. Thanks for telling us about it. Glad you have adventures ahead!

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NANCY- 5/15/2013 7:48AM

    Words elude me, your heart will guide you.
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WATERMELLEN 5/14/2013 10:19PM

    What an inspiring tribute to your father and a life well lived, and to your family pulling together to give him a "good death".

You've been doing very very important stuff.

And: you'll get right back to the fitness when the time is right, not to worry. Your body will remember!

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MYTHMYTH 5/14/2013 9:25PM

    It sounds like your dad gave all of you a great gift. Hope that the happy memories will be a comfort to you.
With sympathy,
Jane

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CLWALDRO 5/14/2013 6:20PM

    I am sorry for your families loss but excited it brought you together. I hope you all honor his memory by keeping in touch after you got back home. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDYSDAY 5/14/2013 5:31PM

    I am glad that each of you got to have a talk with him before he died. I will still be praying for you and the family!

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AJDOVER1 5/14/2013 2:05PM

    emoticon

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MEADSBAY 5/14/2013 11:31AM

    Sorry to hear about your dad's passing but it sounds like things went well and you were all there for your parents. What an honor to be with someone when they die.

I got goosebumps when I read:
"It was like it was his last act; by his death we were able to draw much closer as a family. We all felt it, and we all talked about it."

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BUTTERFLY-1976 5/14/2013 11:12AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KRICKET4 5/14/2013 10:48AM

    Sorry for your loss. Sounds like your father was a wonderful man and so is your family, being able to pull together like you did. I hope your mom is coping alright.

I can imagine that you're glad to be getting some kind of normalcy back into your life. Enjoy your hike. Hiking always gives me peace.

Praying for you and your family.
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NEW_PARADIGM 5/14/2013 10:13AM

    Love, love, love how you see so much richness and gifts in this time. Biggest hugs to you, TG.
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SUGAR0814 5/14/2013 9:35AM

    Sorry to hear about your dad. Take care of yourself! emoticon

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 5/14/2013 9:22AM

    Your papa had a long brave struggle and is at peace now. I pray for your mom's adjustment. I love that your father gave each of you advice prior to passing away. It seems a parent feels that constant drive to share the wisdom or to see if this time their words will be received and put to use. Families are an ever changing life form.

Enjoy your walk and let go of some of that stress you've probably been stuffing. Thank God for your wonderful TC. I think this means you are wonderful too.
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IACTA_ALEA_EST 5/14/2013 8:45AM

    Hello Spark friend - my thoughts and prayers for your time of grief. I am glad you are able to connect to the joy and find comfort in your normal routine. That's huge!

I am enjoying your sparkpage background - what gorgeous photo!

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TRAVELISMYGAME 5/14/2013 8:42AM

    I'm so sorry about your loss. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. It sounds like he was a wonderful dad!

As for what to eat tonight, I love Panera Bread! They have a spring/summer Strawberry Poppyseed salad that's wonderful. If you get it without the pecans it only has 250 calories and 3 grams of fat.

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KANOE10 5/14/2013 8:38AM

    That is such a blessing for your father to feel that he had done everything he wanted to in his life. I am so glad you had time with your father as a family.

I hope you have a lovely walk! You deserve it with all of the stress of these weeks. I know you will feel better.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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