Thursday, August 10, 2006

Driving to Colorado

Today I leave to drive to Colorado for Walter Pera's memorial service.
He died in Oregon, visiting his daughter, and his ashes were taken back to Telluride, where they will be placed in Lone Tree Cemetery with a graveside gathering of family sharing memories
about him.
The big question is whether to take Mom. She would love to go to Telluride and to be present for this event, but I don't have anyone to accompany me and I don't see how I could do it alone.
Actually, it is not a question. There's no way it could be done.
Flying, it would be hard to take her wheelchair, commode, walker and to get her on and off the small planes (there's a stairway passengers have to walk down to get off the planes--she could be strapped into a chair and carried down, but that's not easy, and to get to Durango requires a change of planes in Phoenix).
In a car, she'd be sitting in the heat (with AC) as we drove across the desert. We'd have to get her in and out of restrooms, at least one motel... And in Cortez, we'd have to pick up an oxygen tank.
I think through these things and decide, no, there's no way. Then a few hours later I am thinking through whether it would be possible, how it would be done.
The other problem is that I can't tell her I am going.
She would say, "Take me!" And she would be sad that I can't take her. And it would reawaken her sadness over someone dying--Reynold? Walter?
The result would be leaving her upset, possibly agitated and harder to care for by the staff of her residence. So I can't tell her, but I stop to say goodby to her before leaving.
"Mom, I'm leaving for a few days."
"Where are you going?"
"Uh... San Diego."
"Oh, take me with you."
"I can't. Just John and I are going. But I'll be back in a few days."
"That long?" She is sharp enough to know that's a week.
"Yes, but Connie will be here and Racquel. You'll be fine."
"I just hope I don't have to think any more about Elbert and all the people who have died. That always makes me unhappy."
"Yes, it does, doesn't it. But don't think about that. Connie will take you today to get a manicure and pedicure. And I'll be back soon."
I left to drive across the desert alone, to represent her and our branch of the family at her cousin's memorial service.

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