February 18, 2022
I omitted some important information from Monday’s entry, because at the time I posted it, the information wasn’t mine to share publicly. Now I can.
When I woke up early enough to see the sunrise glow out my front window on Saturday, there was no reason I could pinpoint. A handful of hours later, Mr. Karen got the call that his mom had passed away in her sleep the night before. I don’t think the two things are related, but there are mysteries in the universe I can’t fathom so maybe. Joan was 88, and had had a number of serious health issues over the years, but she’d been doing pretty well lately and hadn’t had to go to the hospital at all in 2021 or 2022, so I was surprised when we heard the news. I guess I’d expected her eventual passing would be preceded by some last illness and decline like my mom’s was, so that we’d have a chance to say goodbye during that interval. While I’m sorry we didn’t get more time with her, I’m glad she went peacefully and before her dementia got to the point where she didn’t recognize family. I’m also glad she had a good week when we visited her last month; she had enough energy to spend several nights in a row at my sister-in-law’s house eating and socializing and playing cards with family.
Saturday after we got the news, Mr. Karen and I spent the rest of the day getting ready to head over to western Washington, packing our bags and making lists of things that would need to be done after we got there. We did the whole drive on Sunday, which meant we didn’t get to see the mountains in the daylight as we had last trip, but we did get to see the Columbia River at sunset, so that was nice.
Since we’ve been here, I’ve been doing what I can to help Mr. Karen and his sister deal with all the things that need dealing with. Mostly that’s involved packing up Joan’s assisted living apartment, sometimes besides them, sometimes on my own while they take care of other necessary tasks. It seems like not that long ago that we were packing up the same stuff in Illinois to move it out to Washington but it’s been three and a half years. Neither then nor now was I able to take the time to look at each item in detail—that time will come when we clear out the storage unit we’re moving the stuff to. Still, I couldn’t resist pausing to take a longer look at some of the photos of Joan and taking snapshots of a few that made me smile.
Around the time of her engagement:
Wedding in 1954:
Young family in 1962:
The memorial service won’t be until summer, by which time we hope things will be less COVID-y, so we’ve got time to review photos and pull together a proper tribute. In the meantime, there’s an apartment to finish clearing out.
On this date in 2006 through 2021: No entries
2005: Shaking My Sacred Vessel
2004: Whistler and Stuff
2003: No entry