SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY HOME
I remember the time when the very idea of traveling would send me into ecstasies of excitement. I was young then and now as I approach my 92 birthday, it is another story.
Not only has air travel become a nightmare, but just figuring out how to pack your suitcase has become a national security issue. Consequently, I do not enjoy traveling any more.
I looked upon the trip to Colorado with mixed feelings. It was to be a family reunion, but over the event hung the gloom of the recent passing of a dear family member, and another lay dying in the last stages of cancer. I thought of the many faces that would be missing around the table, and I knew that soon I would be saying goodbye to my dear sister-in-law, Faye.
As my plane hove into the dry crackling air over Reno, Nevada and I gazed down on the parched and thirsty hills, I wondered if the Western regions of the country would ever again be blessed with abundant rain and a heavy snow pack. The climate change seems to have left us high and dry, while other states are inundated with floods.
Recovering from last years devastating floods and fires, Colorado has been blessed this year with good rains and heavy snows.
The grass on the hillsides lay like soft velvet and bright new leaves on the aspens quivered in the sun. Everything was fresh and wonderfully fragrant. My heart rejoiced in the sights…the sounds….the aromas. . . . . .and my heart lifted.
The lights of the Woodland Inn were welcoming to this weary traveler. This is the place where the family gathers, and to me a home away from home. My room at the Inn is familiar as my own.
The view out the window…..Pikes Peak still reigns… and awes.
I take a deep breath and the tense muscles begin to relax.
I am home.
The next few days will be full, and I wonder if my stamina will be equal to the tasks ahead. I silently send up my supplications.
The reunion is scheduled for June 7, and will be at Cinzetti’s—an Italian cafeteria -style place of grand proportions. It is located near Brighton, northeast of Denver a few miles. This is a two –hour plus drive from Woodland Park. In the course of the 5 days of my sojourn I would make this drive 4 times. Susan drives a little Priius so gas was not a big issue. Nevertheless, traffic can be a big problem getting through downtown Denver.
Faye had been holding up remarkably well and had attended Ilona’s funeral service a week earlier, but she became dangerously ill on the night of he 6th, and Dale had to call hospice for assistance. We were afraid he would miss the reunion, but they were able to stabilize Faye, and Dale showed up at the last minute. He looked very stressed and exhausted but seemed to relax and calm himself,
as he mingled with the crowd, and he sat and ate a plate of food
It is always good to be among people who know each other, who have the same memories, laugh at the same jokes, and who remember that we all were once younger and prettier. It was a wonderful gathering, and I hugged people I had not seen for years, and time stopped for a while.
Since my main reason for making this trip was to see Faye,
I was very distressed about her. The strain and exhaustion on my brother’s face was showing and I was concerned. My brother Jack shared my concern and we decided that we would make a special drive to Dale’s house in Loveland the next day so that I could see her. I knew this would be our last farewell.
It would be a wonderful thing if the mind had a ‘delete’ button to erase the unwanted images that are imprinted there. The shock of seeing my lovely sister-in-law in the grip of that terrible disease was profound. But amazingly, as we held each other, and I looked into that beautiful ravaged face, her eyes were clear as a mountain lake, and out of them I could see, shining out, the beauty of her spirit, and I was comforted.
Written with love, Betty L. Owen June 2014