Monday, October 17, 2011

In Memorium

I haven't posted to our blog since July. Unfortunately, the reasons why aren't happy ones.  John and I had planned to embark on another RV adventure in July or early August. However, my mother had not been well and we postponed our departure.  In late July, Mother fell and had to be hospitalized for several days. Following that, she went to a nursing facility for rehabilitation therapy in hopes that she could return to her home. 
On August 10, the nursing facility notified us that Mother was having breathing difficulties and had been transferred back to the hospital. I rushed to Hamilton to be with her.  I was joined by my brother and his wife and later by other family members. We arrived to find Mother's condition improving, and on Thursday she was able to receive visitors and even laugh and joke with them. We were very encouraged, and her doctor made plans to transfer her back to the nursing facility on Friday. However, early Friday morning we received a call that Mother's condition had again deteriorated and we hurried to her bedside. On Saturday afternoon, during a gentle rain, she quietly passed away.

Some of you knew my mother, but many did not. I include here a recent photo of her with her grandson, Brian, and great-grandson, Gage.  Words cannot do justice to her memory.  We will miss her greatly, but her spirit will always be with us and she will continue to be a strong influence on all her family.  Born in 1912, she came of age during the great depression, and with my father exemplified what is now being called "The Greatest Generation." They were married for over 70 years before he passed away in 2003.  Mother was the family matriarch in the best sense of the word, always genuinely concerned and ready with loving support and thoughtful advice whenever needed. 

Mother passed away on Saturday, August 13. On Sunday morning I awoke and went outside just at sunrise. In the east, I saw these lovely clouds. I don't think it's any accident that they look like angel wings.  

Sadly, my mother's passing was not our only loss this summer.  While Mother was in the nursing facility, our Lucky Dog lost her appetite and clearly was not herself.  Several days later, she suffered what we thought was a stroke, but which was later diagnosed as a very aggressive brain tumor. The tumor's effects were devastating, and on Wednesday, August 10, we made the decision to let her go. 

Lucky Dog was the Bagley Pack leader and a grand old lady. She enriched our lives immeasurably during the ten years we had with her. She came into our lives as a stray in the late spring of 2001 and graced us with her loyalty and devotion every day of her life.  When Feathers and Nickie joined our family in 2006, she helped us to train them in appropriate Bagley Dog behavior.  She did the same for Dakota last fall after Feathers' death.  Some of our favorite images of her follow.

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