We began 2019 with the January wedding of a grandson in Texas, a ceremony in pastureland under the tree where the bride’s grandparents had been married.
In July we flew to Washington for the wedding of a granddaughter with a SeaHawks theme and potluck reception in a local park.
At the same time, unofficially so it wouldn’t compete with the wedding, Skus and I celebrated 60 years since our first date. We thought it would be best to celebrate that #60 because at our age one can’t count on another full year of celebrations. While in Washington, we began looking for a house to buy jointly with Younger Daughter and family. They wanted out of a crowded apartment, and in that area it takes two families to pay for almost anything. As for us, living outside of town with no public transportation, groceries 15 miles away, doctors and church 20-25 miles, local family 25-40 miles, did not work for us.
In October, Elder daughter and a niece drove us to Canada to visit Middle-daughter-the-Nun at her convent. We drove back as the first snow melted from the highways after a short but very satisfactory visit; the Abbess and sisters are loving and welcoming, our daughter obviously where she belongs.
Before our 59th anniversary, on Thanksgiving Day, we had purchased a home in Vancouver with a daylight basement for us, Younger Daughter and family on street level and second floor. We moved a carload of things to Washington, Skus planted tulips and daffodils, and we returned to California to clear, clean, put that house up for sale, and move. Packing and repairing took months instead of weeks.
January 22, 2020, we left the house in the hands of a realtor and flew to PDX with a pile of unfinished business, like Christmas cards and address changes—but on the 24th, instead of cleaning up business, we visited the ER. A whirlwind of medical appointments, home health aides, and Hospice followed. Skus and I celebrated Easter with a live-streamed service (thanks to Covid) and a few days later I said goodbye to the man with whom I held hands for 60 years, figuratively when not literally.
I am thankful that I can associate anniversaries with Resurrection instead of Christmas or someone’s birthday.
I’m trying to balance—sometimes successfully—60 years of blessings with loss. Floyd traveled on to his final Home with his work done; I have a dozen books to write, two or three bushels of family letters to transcribe, great-grandchild #9 due in August, and good health so far.
Friends and family who have already traveled this grieving road inspire me; the world-wide Covid-19 tragedies encourage a totally different perspective; and there are baby robins in a nest above our patio.