My step dad passed on May 28th. He was sitting on the edge of the bed preparing to stand up to go to the rest room when he fell. My mum called rescue and they came to get him as they had many times before in the last year. They took him to the closest ER – at a small regional hospital. The hospital felt he needed a higher level of care than they could provide so they arranged a transfer to a larger hospital. (This larger hospital was in New Hampshire as my folks live so close the the Maine/NH line.) He quickly ended up in the ICU. It became clear very quickly that Jim would not recover from this fall. His body was tired. His lungs were virtually destroyed due to the asbestos he breathed in for decades. The hospital recommended he go home on hospice. Mum felt better with Jim in the hospital on hospice. So that’s where he stayed. Two days later, Jim passed. He was surrounded by my Mum, his daughter, son in law and grandkids.
Mum was so frazzled from the time he fell to the time that he passed that I never knew he was in the hospital. I’d called the house and left messages but figured they were outside since it was getting warmer in Maine.
Mum asked me to come after the funeral to help with all of the DoD, VA and SS stuff and so we stuck to our July time frame and went up for three weeks.
R was good for my Mum. She needed someone to wait on and cook for and he let her do that for him.
Mum and I wanted R to see parts of Maine he’d never gotten to see when I was living there and so we went to Two Lights, The Lobster Shack, Fort Williams, the Portland Headlight, Freeport… R even swam in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time! It was really good for Mum, too. She hadn’t gotten out like that in a couple of years due to Jim’s health.
We even went to our family reunion! I have a large boisterous French family. We can be a bit much to take. But R had a blast, Mum relaxed and I got to see great Aunts and Unles that I may not get to see again. I was worried that people would stare and talk – they’d never met R. But they were great! Even the kids didn’t look twice. It was nice to feel normal. R and my cousin, Chris, even placed in the (raw) egg toss!!
R and I got together with my best Maine friends for dinner and it was amazing! Again, R was totally at ease with them and it felt like our friendships hadn’t skipped a beat in the eight years since I’d seen them last.
We will be going back in the next six months or so when Mum has her knee replacement. It’ll probably be winter… I’m not looking forward to the cold but I’ll be glad to see my Mum and make sure she’s doing ok without Jim.