1220 Update

I’ve been writing, but not posting. I’ve just edited and updated the posts from 11/14/16 – 12/19/16.
If you want to follow the story historically, go back to the Nov 14th post and read forward.
More to come…

1219 Mom’s Memorial, Chelsea Chapel

1219 Mom’s Memorial, Chelsea Chapel

Mom’s Memorial day…
When we awake, Sherman and I walk to the auto repair shop. This is a shop in town that a woman who lives down the hall from dad used to own. Her husband chose and trained the current owner. So, with a high recommendation to a local auto repair shop, I took Amelia there yesterday for a check-up.
On the walk down, I’m reading the eulogy and see other places to shorten it and still say what I want to say.
I’m having them look at Amelia for oil leaks. She’s has never lost any oil. From oil change to oil change she stays full. Then driving across Texas, the oil light flashes. I pull into a gas station to check and fill up gas. She’s down off the dipstick. Yikes! I get 2 quarts and put them both in. It’s STILL of the stick. SHIT! 2 more quarts and it is right on the line. I’m freaked. What could leak that much oil? Can’t be good. So, I check at the next gas fill. Down about a quarter. Next gas, off the stick. I get 2 more quarts. This time it fills her up. That’s a quart per tank of gas. But last tank of gas was just down a quarter of a quart. OK. I’ll keep watching. Next tank she’s still full of oil. Then we reach dad’s. Gas down to half tank, oil down a third. That’s the trail of sorrow that gets me to the mechanic.
They don’t find anything. There is no evidence of any oil leak or a blow of oil that a leak and wind from driving would create. The engine is clean. The undercarriage is clean. So, they assume I’m burning it. I ask how could I be burning a quart per tank and not see it. There’s no smoke from the exhaust. No carbon buildup on the exhaust pipe. Amealia’s running better than ever. Quiet. Smooth. Getting 22 mph on 55-75 mi roads. Never got more than 20 before starting our trip. I don’t understand… They don’t understand neither…
We all meet up around noon to do the setup in the chapel. Flowers. Photos. A few of her paintings. The guest book. Dad checks the sound system. The service is at 2. The pastor suggested we be there around 1 for people who are traveling. The first people arrive about 1:30. People from the retirement community. Closer to 2, people from their church begin to come. We hear stories from women in her Bible Study group. People who worked with her to support new pastors at the church.
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1218 Chelsea, MI

1218 Chelsea, MI

In the morning we double-check the list for the memorial tomorrow. All is good.
Sharon’s husband, Ed, arrives in the early afternoon while we’re at lunch. It’s good to see him. I haven’t seen Ed in many years.
They live in Gaylord, MI. Snow country. He drove through a storm and into just plain cold on his way to Chelsea. He joins us for lunch, then wants to go upstairs and watch the Detroit Lions football game.
I need to spend more time editing, so go back to the restaurant downstairs. It’s closed on the weekends, so I have a nice corner booth to myself. I get the eulogy down to about 5 minutes and decide that’s good enough. That I’ll use what I have as an outline and edit some more as I’m talking. Going with the flow, as it’s said.
I get a call from dad about dinner. It’s 6pm. I’m mostly done with the eulogy prep and feeling ready to share tomorrow. I take the laptop upstairs. Sharon and Ed have gone to the motel where they’re staying. I take Sherman for a walk and then dad and I go to dinner.
Sherman discovers that he loves to shred small light-weight cardboard boxes. Like tea boxes.

1217 Chelsea, MI

1217 Chelsea, MI

Thee weather is cold. Near zero in the morning. I make Sherman wear his coat for our daily 2 mile morning walk. He’s not happy about it. After about 10 minutes of resistance with an “are you kidding” attitude, he submits.

Most of the preparations are done. Sharon’s done most of it. The biggest thing left is putting the photo montages together.
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1216 Chelsea, MI

We arrive around lunch time. Bring our stuff up to my dad’s apartment. My sister is here. It is good to be together. We eat lunch and I get brought up to date. The plans that have been made. What still needs to be done. Sharon has a list of things she’s been working on related to the memorial and the cremation.
Dad talks about it being hard for him during a couple hours when she had difficulty breathing and was gasping. Then she quieted down and was pretty quiet until she died.
We mostly spent the day together talking about mom, about our recent lives, about what there is to do before the memorial Monday. They had already met with Cathy, the pastor about the service. I said I wanted to talk, and Sharon sent Cathy an email to that effect.
My mind had already been at work on what was there for me to talk about. To share. Tomorrow, I’d start to write it down.
It’s good to be here. Driving back was definitely the right thing to do. Wow, am I tired!