I checked out of the hotel this morning, sure that it wouldn’t be necessary to stay any longer. Of course, I thought that the day before that…and the day before that. We’ve seen signs of decline in Vernon, but they are still so slow that I never know until the afternoon what to expect for that evening. My friend Andrea, who was keeping me company this afternoon, offered to stay with me tonight, but the hotel was booked up. No room in the inn. So I decided to take Suzanne up on her offer to stay with her.
I met Suzanne in passing in the early days of Vernon’s time at Mesa Verde. I don’t remember how long she said her husband had been living there, but he had a stroke five years ago. They have been married 30-something years. We noticed each other because there aren’t many other wives we’ve seen taking care of their husbands…at least not on the notably younger side. Though we’ve exchanged numbers and sometimes chat in passing, I haven’t really talked to her at much length until this week. As soon as she heard Vernon was going to be on hospice, she offered a room to stay in if I needed one.
So tonight, finally deciding it was safe to leave Vernon there another night, asking the nurses to check on him every hour and let me know about any significant changes they might see, I drove down to the address she gave me on the Balboa Peninsula, about three miles away. Now I wish I could stay longer. It’s lovely. And she brought me tea.
Thank you, Suzanne, for giving me space to rest. Just what I needed, right when I needed it.