Just a few days after returning to Austin and getting back to work I received a phone call from my sister Wendy in Scottsdale. Mom’s health had taken a downturn and she thought it might be time to consider hospice care. Mom being close to 93 and having had some recent health challenges, this was not a huge surprise. But after YehYeh’s recent passing it was a lot to deal with, especially for my sons, Kevin and Mike, who were very close to both their YehYeh (paternal grandfather) and PawPaw (maternal grandmother).
Kevin had already planned to see her upon his return from a business trip to the southeast, but decided to go before the trip instead of after. He arrived in Scottsdale on Sunday April 3rd and my sister told me that the three of them spent the entire afternoon looking through old photo albums, telling stories and reminiscing. That was the last time Mom was fully conscious and present in this world – that evening she fell into a deep sleep and remained mostly that way until taking her final breath a few days later. What a blessing for Kevin, her first grandchild, to have had that special time with her!!!
My younger son in Austin was not able to get away because of his job and the new baby. But Mom had met her first great-grandchild shortly after Eva’s birth in 2014, which was a blessing as well. And we had consistently sent her photos of Eva as she grew so she knew her great granddaughter and it brought her a lot of joy.
I arrived in Scottsdale Tuesday evening, and our brother, Doug, arrived Wednesday evening. Although Mom did not appear to be conscious or at all aware of her surroundings, the hospice staff assured us that she could hear us speaking to her as she drifted between the two worlds of the here and the afterlife. Doug and I stayed in her apartment that night, and at 6 am Thursday morning we were at her side when she passed peacefully.
As difficult as the next few days were, it was also filled with many blessings. I can’t remember the last time my brother, sister, and I were all together – without kids or other distractions – for an extended period of time, but I think Mom & Dad were smiling down on us proudly from heaven as the three of us worked together in harmony and love to tie up all the loose ends that happen when a loved one passes. There was a lot of work to do in a very short time period, but there was also time for reminiscing, laughing, sharing stories and feeling the great sibling connection we are so fortunate to have!! Mom and Dad must have done something right – thanks, Mom & Dad!!!!!
Lunch together in Scottsdale
Packed and ready for the drive to Austin! My son in Austin was building a new house so he could use some of the furniture we were removing from PawPaw’s apartment. We just had to get it to Austin…..so I rented a truck and drove to El Paso, where Mike met me and we finished the drive together.
Mom’s Last Residence – Scottsdale, AZ
A beautiful way to think of death….
My son wanted to show me the house he is building in Driftwood, Texas (not far from Austin) so we stopped by there on our drive from El Paso.
One of the necessities I had been needing for my jeep was a BIKE RACK!! I finally got a great one, and installed it all by myself =)
Another “necessity” for my jeep was SEAT COVERS!
Just as in a house, sometimes things break in an RV. In this case, the latch on my refrigerator broke, which may not sound like a big deal, but this particular latch controls many parts of the fridge, so fixing it was a rather urgent necessity which also proved to be quite a challenge……..It was actually three months, two states, and receiving the WRONG part on the first try, before it FINALLY got fixed!!!!
I was still working at Lee Elementary in Austin as their Math Specialist and still thoroughly enjoying it. April brought their annual “Olympics” and I had a great time watching my kiddos compete for fun =)
I needed some work done on my Jeep (again!!) and this time I found a mobile mechanic who specializes in Jeeps. How lucky is that?! And he brought his adorable, smart and playful dog, Bella, to entertain me while he worked on my Jeep =)
April was also the month that the newest McRae grandchild was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Welcome Dexter!!!!
Proud big brother and sister
Haley entertains Tank
Still waiting for the refrigerator part……and getting more and more creative with ways to handle the annoying situation!!!!
A huge windstorm in Austin brought tree branches down all around the city, including at my RV park. Luckily there was no serious damage to my RV, but it sure made for a WILD, noisy night!!