Sunday, November 25, 2012

Out of order....

There are several blogs I need to write and post with tons and tons of pictures. Today is Sunday. We have gotten by Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and by God I will catch up before Cyber Monday! Before we get to the walk and the joy that is the 3 day, I wanted to take a minute and reflect back on the few days before the walk. Those days reminded me that there is so much to be Thankful for.

Glenn and I drove down south and knowing the visit to my Dad's and the walk itself would ensure we would have a lot on our plates, I decided we needed at least one day and night to ourselves. I had never been to Hearst Castle and it has been on my list for quite awhile. I made reservations to stay in Cambria and reservations to tour the Castle. On the way we stopped in Paso Robles and tasted wine at Hearthstone. Glenn says it is his favorite wine because it is yummy and they have supported me and my walk for every year of the walk. We snagged a few bottles to bring with us to San Diego and made it to Cambria in time to watch the sunset.





We went out to dinner - just the two of us and I was reminded how much I love my beef eating, wine drinking handsome husband. The next morning we got out early and headed to San Simeon and the iconic Hearst Castle.






After all that splendor, we jumped back on the freeway and kept on driving, through Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, by Disneyland and the exit to the memorial park where my Mother is, down all the way to Vista - and my father's house. This one part of the trip I knew would be beyond challenging. My father is not well. His challenges go beyond his health to his finances and his mind is at times failing him. The last time I saw my father he was in ICU. Part of this visit was to assess his condition and situation and I knew that was part of growing up I have not wanted to embrace.

His wife Sandy and he were glad to see us. My father is unable to walk on his own. He has a wheelchair and the simple act of getting in and out of it is painful and exhausting.

But in the midst of this sad situation there was much to be grateful for no more than the fact that
I am THANKFUL for my husband and his unwavering support of me and our family. I am so very grateful to have him in my life. This one picture of him with my father says volumes about the kind of man he is.
Glenn fashioned a sort of a ramp to allow him to wheel my Dad out onto his patio. He had been housebound for weeks. When I got back from shopping for a Thanksgiving dinner I would be making the following day, I saw Glenn showing my Dad videos of how some people had hurt their backs. It has my Dad laughing and forgetting for a minute his own pain.

We had three days with my father and his wife. She works 8 hours a day and 6 days of the week. I don't know what the future holds for them. They hold onto what they have in some kind of a blind innocence that I know will ultimately have its cost. As much as we may try to advise or suggest directions, this is their life and they need to do what they feel is right. So as we left for the 3 day - I saw Vista fade int he background and struggled to let go of this helpless feeling of watching a parent age in a self determined way.

I also struggled with the sore throat that had invaded me. I had a million differently remedies vitamin C, Zinc, Tea and honey and a wish and a prayer to try and chase it away, but.... as we pulled into San Diego I knew I had lost the battle. So equipped with a box of Dayquil and Nyquil I looked ahead to the 3 day.

We picked up Patti at the airport and joined up with Barbara Curtiss and Carol in time for dinner at Luigi's at the Beach in Mission Beach. We dutifully carboloaded with pizza and pasta and chased it down with a little vino. Barbara and Curtiss invited friends they had gotten to know while cruising, and we all enjoyed our evening before heading back to bed. It would be an early morning start at Del Mar for the first day of the 3 day. I went to sleep (aided by Nyquil) and dreamt of the difference I could make on the walk, that I am not capable of making in my father's life. I knew this walk would be one that I needed perhaps more than any I have done so far.