Monday, September 13, 2010

The Long Day

Bernie tells me that tomorrow is not going to be as long a drive as today was. I hope he's right.

We started off at 4 am this morning; losing an hour going from Pacific Time to Mountain Time, we got to Rock Springs, Wyoming around 6:30 pm. For once, we didn't hit a lot of road repair, and traffic was light.

The hot springs at Nightingale Hot Springs, Nevada seemed closer to the road than we remembered, with a lot more steam coming out of the ground. Is the volcanic activity increasing?

There was still snow on some of the peaks south of the highway in eastern Nevada. Not as much as we saw in June, but amazingly, still some.

Just east of Salt Lake City, I saw a strange color on the hillsides. "What could be blooming red at this time of year?" I thought to myself. Well, DUHH, it wasn't blossoming, it was the beginning of Fall Color. We don't get that for a while yet in the Central Valley of California, and rarely if ever such a sweet, bright hue.

Wyoming was beautiful in the early evening light. Our room at Holiday Inn Express is GORGEOUS.

Thoughout the day I remembered the reason for our trip, feeling pangs of loss, pangs of guilty relief. Alzheimer's just obliterates the one you love, and abrades your heart to the very soul. At times over the past years of Mom's decline, I would find myself wishing that Dad was there to keep her from the dangerous forgetful actions, but he had such a tender heart, and loved her so much -- I'm glad he didn't have to go through this. I hope they meet again on the other side. I hope that she will be able to see just how beautiful she was to him, and how much he loved her.

And though the world is much poorer without my mother, her death was the mandate for me to use that dread apparatus of modern life: the telephone. I spent literally hours on the phone this past weekend, letting close friends know about Mom's passing, and catching up, and loving hearing Deb's and Lonz' and Barb's voices, getting a kick out of reminiscing with Dan Brown about what Mifflintown was like when we grew up in it. (He's the funeral director, and was the younger brother of one of my grade school/high school class mates.) I found myself wondering why I don't talk with them more often, and remember my mother nagging me to stop being so shy and solitary and get out there and talk to people!

And travel. Don't become a stay-at-home.

Got it, Ma.

1 comment:

Tweetywill said...

Wow - Cali to Wyoming in one day. That is one heck of a stretch!