One Week…

… and 2014 isn’t off to a strong blogging start.

There will be no review of 2013.  It was a challenging year, filled with change.  Most of that change resulted in positives, so please don’t think I’m down on my luck or down in the dumps.  I am still married to my best friend, and as I type, Gretchen Greer is pressed against me, and Sissy slumbers nearby, after making me hold her most of the night.  We have our health, a comfortable home, reliable vehicles, and friends and family abound.

It’s sometimes hard to have a blog when you’re really a rather private person.  The blessing of a blog vs. “real life” is that I can share what I choose.  I’ve had some trouble choosing this time, but because the regular readers have become friends, I will share that one week ago today, I got a rather surreal phone call that dictated the course of the next 7 days and will continue to require my attention for some time still.

2001 Reunion

2001 – From left: Aunt, me, my mother on the far right

The coroner from my mother’s town called to say she’d been found dead.  After many otherwise indelicate questions – both on my part and his – over the course of several hours, it was determined that she died “before the paper had been delivered” on the 26th.  We had indeed had a pleasant conversation Christmas night.  I had originally understood that I needed to stay put until some papers were signed, but on Monday morning, my aunt and I made our way south.

Our new joke is that only we could go roughly 1000 miles south and walk out of the church after the memorial service to snow flurries, and then encounter still more snow on our drive.  My mother loved snow, so it is fitting, even if it did add to my stress.

There’s lots I could share about our journey, but I choose not to right now.  I will say that the kindness of strangers turned up where it was least expected and not at all where one might have presumed some hospitality might have been extended.  My aunt and I have been close for years, but we deepened the bond with stories shared and just by pushing through this trip together.  I am exceedingly grateful for our husbands – whom we realized are VERY much alike in some respects – my cousins and my half sister (I rarely use the half, but here it is significant; my mother was but her FIRST step mother and they were not close).  We were also supported by our extended family and the few friends in the know, so we were not really alone.  Again, my new employer was more than kind.

And as another friend who endured a very similar experience in 2013 had warned me…  If you have a parent living in another state, morbid as it sounds, make yourself familiar with that state’s probate laws.  I’ve long been an advocate for having a will and making sure the right people know you have one and where to find the original, and I am grateful for the “Last Wishes” booklet my mother had in her desk.  “Estate planning” is necessary even if you have no real assets… trust me.

May your New Year be filled with joy and laughter.  Whether it was appropriate or not, my aunt and I laughed at least twice daily on our trip.  Sometimes it was because we were just worn out and silly, but laughter is good medicine.

23 comments on “One Week…

  1. Krystle says:

    Oh sweetie, so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you had your aunt and the knight and more to be there for you and provide support. Laughter is the best medicine-keep it up!! ❤

  2. bubblesknits says:

    Oh, Chan…I’m so sorry. I’m glad your aunt was there and that there was some laughter. Many ((hugs)) to you.

  3. sue says:

    I was concerned about your silence. Now I understand. I am very sorry to hear about your mom. We received a similar call on Christmas eve about a long time friend. We understand what a saddness it puts on the holiday.

  4. gmariesews says:

    I have many thoughts but will email you rather than share my thoughts here. I am relieved to hear that the trip turned out ‘good enough’ and there was support and laughter. Love you my friend, hoping 2014 is better for you and yours. g

  5. Bridget says:

    Well. Crap. I’m so sorry for your loss. I miss my mom every day, and it’s been years.

    However, laughing will never stop and I hope it doesn’t for you. Take care of yourself.

  6. kathy b says:

    Sweet Channon. IM very sorry your mom has passed. Be extra nice to yourself as your grieve in your own way. Love you lots

  7. Nancy says:

    God’s peace and blessings to you and your family in the difficult days ahead.

    No one ever wants to receive that call, and I’m terribly sorry that yours came right after Christmas. Glad to hear that you visited with your mother the night before: I hope that brings you a sense of peace.

    Yes, wills are important no matter how many assets a person has. I’ve been through that struggle twice and vow never to put my family through that struggle again.

  8. Kathy says:

    So sorry to hear about your difficult times. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

  9. A difficult start to your year. More via email. Take care

  10. Robin in VA says:

    Chan…I’m so sorry for your loss. ((((hugz)))), prayers and thoughts being sent your way from me and the boys!!

  11. Chan, I’m sorry for your loss…

  12. Bonaircat says:

    Me, too, to all of the above. Take care of you. Most fondly, Cat

  13. AlisonH says:

    I was thinking about you all day yesterday and the day before, praying, not knowing what else best to offer. I’m so glad your road trip turned up so many kindnesses and I’m so sorry for your loss. And grateful for your strengths.

  14. Kristyn says:

    So sorry. I am glad you and your aunt spent some quality time together even if the circumstances were less than ideal.

  15. StarSpry says:

    I am very sorry for your loss, Chan. (((Hugs)))

  16. grace yaskovic says:

    sending my deepest sympathies, too—-its never easy is it?

  17. Marjie says:

    I’m glad you’re back safely; I was worried about your travels in the weather the whole country’s had the past week. I understand your feelings completely.

  18. Nichole says:

    Oh dear, while we’ve had many discussions over the years on the subject, I am so very sorry for your loss. Sudden and unexpected… May she rest in peace.

  19. I’m so sorry. What can I do for you? How can I help?

  20. Barbara says:

    My deepest sympathies, Chan.
    Will email soon….

  21. Jessica says:

    Sorry I am just now catching up on my blog reading.
    I am so thankful that you had some kind strangers along the way. I am just thankful you are home, and can start moving forward. You know I love you dearly.

  22. emmy says:

    I am so sorry to read of your loss Chan. Hug your furbabies close- they do provide comfort as I am sure you know.

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