In my last post that was quite a while ago. I gave you a quick update on what was going on in my life and my future plans. Is human nature not to adjust well to unforeseen changes in our lives. Most of us like to have a plan and have things go our way. But as God would have it, he likes to let us know that he’s in charge and were not. Over the last couple years my plans of change drastically on short notice and I try to roll with the punches. It’s not always easy and not always pleasant, but if you don’t go with the flow you will make yourself and everyone around you miserable. So once again in my life things change drastically in a short period of time, but they are all working out for the best. If you read my last post, you know I just recently had stomach surgery. And all went great and I had my follow-up visit on the 13th of August. At that time I was given a clean bill of health and told to go back to eating the foods I enjoyed with no restrictions. Since then I’ve been doing a lot of cooking for myself and others and enjoying the pleasures of all kinds of foods again. I feel better than I felt in years. Not having any acid reflux or indigestion at all. I’ve been able to sleep through the nights without any heartburn, which in the past was not the normal case. I’d wake up most nights with indigestion which made for restless nights. So once again thanks to the fine surgeon and his fine help, I am able to enjoy my life much more immensely. As most of you know my plan was to stay out in Oregon till the end of August. Volunteering at the Heceta Head Lighthouse a job I truly enjoy and have done now for three seasons. But this is where the plans were bound to change. Around the end of July my 92-year-old mother took ill. And from the time I arrived in Oregon at the lighthouse I was in correspondence with my family back home in Wisconsin. My younger sister Bonnie who I spend lots of time with traveling over the last few years, and has been mentioned in my blogs numerous times before. Bonnie had taken over the duties of being mom’s executor and advisor over the last few years. With her medical background she was a very good choice for this and I was so glad her and my other sisters and brother were here to help my mother during her time of need. Being 92 things can change in a moments notice. Up to this point my mother has lived the past 20+ years on her own and very self-sufficient. After my dad’s passing in 1997 she first lived in a house, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin that they had just moved into before my dad took it ill with his stroke. She lived there for several years after his passing taking care of herself and one of my sisters who has some handicap issues. At this time she was already in her early 70s. After a few years she was able to downsize to an apartment and my sister moved out on her own. But my mother still gave her plenty of assistance as well as taking care of her self and her own place all the way up till she took ill.
Numerous things happened in a very short period of time, from the time my mother developed an infection from a blood clot and other complications. She was in the hospital and they were trying to take and get things under control but unfortunately it didn’t happen. The decision was made by her and others to go into hospice care and let mother nature take its course. When all of this happened none of us knew how long she would last. Unfortunately on August 13, I got the call that she had passed suddenly things changing rapidly in a few days time. From the time she took ill I was debating how soon I wanted to rush back to Wisconsin I definitely wanted to be here for her memorial service. But for my own selfish reasons did not want to come and see her in the condition she had quickly gone to, “a semi comatose state”. I wanted to remember her as a strong and loving mother I had always known and not the frail person she became quite rapidly at the end. Like I said this was for my own selfish reasons having gone through this with Sonia and just last year my good friend Dick. I did not want to go through the hospice care at the end. Thankfully everyone of my family members were understanding and supportive of my decision. They all were so wonderful giving her the support and comfort she needed towards the end. All of siblings and nieces and nephews many of them coming from quite a distance to express their love it in her last few days.
You can see it her obituary here on this website. http://m.zacherlfuneralhome.com/obituaries/events?obituaryId=5993322 As you can tell, “from reading her obituary” she was a strong loving woman who went out of her way to make people happy and smile. She lived a good long life and is now hopefully with my dad and happy in a better place. As I said my original summer plans were to stay out in Oregon till the end of August and then slowly work my way back to Wisconsin in September. But as my mother’s illness took a turn for the worse and things started changing rapidly’ Up till the 13th the plan was I had to drive back to Seattle for my follow-up visit with the surgeon, a 7 1/2 hour drive for 15 minute office visit (oh well you do what you have to).
I was going to stay through the weekend of the 18th and started heading back on 19th of August. Thinking my mother still had weeks before her passing would come. As it happened I got the call from my sister just after I left my doctors appointment that my mother had passed and they were in the stage of planning the final arrangements.
The plan was to stop overnight after my doctors appointment and spend the night with my daughter Crystal and son-in-law Josh at their place which I did in Olympia, Washington. After a restless night I got up early and headed the rest of the way back to my rig in Oregon arriving before noon. Up to this point I had not had time to talk to the host coordinator at the park “Ben” about my need to do depart early. My fellow volunteers knew of my situation were very supportive and were more than willing to cover my time and make the transition smooth. On my way back from Seattle I was able to communicate with “Ben” and of course as I knew he would, he was super supportive and understanding why I needed to leave early. As soon as I got back I started packing things up anxious to start making the long trip back to Wisconsin. I said my goodbyes and hope to see you next year to everyone at the park, (who have become like family over the last few years). Here are a couple photos, to remember my favorite lighthouse till next time “I come home again to Heceta”.
And with that I started heading east through Oregon putting a few miles behind me Wednesday afternoon the 14th. I got just outside of Bend Oregon which is about in the middle of the state and found a place to park for the night before continuing my long trip back to Wisconsin. It was hard to say goodbye to everybody in leave early because I really was looking forward to the rest of the month, spending time and relaxing with everyone at the park. Over the next four days I covered 2200 miles and arrived in Wisconsin midday Sunday the 18th. Over that period of time I was in communication with friends and family back home in Wisconsin and started looking forward to seeing them all again. With the loss of my mother it was a mixed bag of emotions, the sadness of the loss but also the enjoyment about us all getting together, which rarely happens except in cases like this. From the time I arrived home I was busy with family and friends, in the last few weeks have gone by extremely fast sharing the good and bad times with loved ones.
I feel bad about not keeping my blog up to date, and keeping my faithful readers informed. But I hope to improve on that the rest of the year.
The plan right now, but who knows “LOL” is to stay in Wisconsin till the end of October or first part of November depending on the weather. And then slowly start making my way south spending time visiting friends along the way, before arriving the first of January in Bushnell, Florida. Where I will be volunteering at “Dade Battlefield Historic State Park” for several months. But before then I’m hoping to have many great adventures to share with you all. This weekend starting 14 September and going through till the 21st, I plan on going on what has always been a annual fall “Northern Wisconsin” fishing trip with several of my old fishing buddies. I have not been able to do this for the last couple years and I’m really looking forward to this upcoming week. So hopefully in my next post I’ll have some stories to tell and some pictures to show up some nice fish being caught.
Till then “Thanks” for following along and “Safe Travels” to all, Rick
So sorry about your mom. A difficult period for you, but you definitely made the best of it, Rick. Hope you catch a few fish and keep the keel aimed towards China. See you in Florida!
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Thanks can’t wait to see you guys sometime this winter
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So sorry for your loss but as always love your go with the flow attitude
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Thanks. Hope to catchup with you guys sometime soon.
Oh Rick! So sorry to hear about your Mom! It is so difficult to watch those we love go downhill in their health. Glad you have your friends and family with you now. Take care of yourself – hope we cross paths someday soon!
Thanks, fishing in north Wisconsin this week.
How long will you guys be in Florida?
I will be heading south the end of October or first part of November.
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We will be there Nov 3 – Dec 26 then heading to TX.
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