Thursday, December 16, 2010

Whether you guessed it or not, I am an obsessive planner. When the family finally pins down where they want to go for any vacation, I am all over it. BWWW (Before World Wide Web), I would send for all kinds of brochures and maps and triple A information on the places we hoped to see. Once I got internet at home, it was a whole new ball game.

I would calculate the route, find the most reasonable hotels, draw up a budget. That must have been before I had a life; when would I ever find the time to do that now?

The spring of 1999 was no different. The kids’ grandparents in Colorado wanted them out for another visit that summer. It was the same as in the past, fly Nick and Val out and we would drive out and pick them up, taking our time coming back home. I made the hotel reservations and Grandma C made the plane reservations.

It didn’t turn out that way. All the hotel reservations got cancelled. Grandma C changed the plane reservations to round-trip. I regret that I sent them but at the time, it seemed the thing to do. Nick was thirteen, Val was only nine. Wouldn’t they be better off spending that week in June with their grandparents, with relatives on their dad’s side of the family. Why would they want to spend that week in the nursing home, the funeral home, Woodlawn Cemetery?

It was bad enough that a few weeks before, they had spent the weekend swimming at a hotel in Wausau, so they could actually see me each day when I left my sister’s side for a few hours, and so they could see her while she still was conscious, coherent. Before the insidious cancer took its toll on her brain.

The end of June, my sister Pat’s husband brought the pop-up trailer over. He said that it was mine now. Inside was still her sleeping bag, the tin dishes she had bought at Fleet Farm, her inflatable mattress. Pat’s stuff, all Pat’s. Now and forever. Could I ever use this camper, would it ever be mine?

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