I sent the kids off to school this morning with plans to go elsewhere for a couple of nights, then I put my own suitcase in the car and headed up to Costa Mesa. My friend Nicole booked a hotel room for me (she plans to come down and keep me company tonight. I just asked that there be a swimming pool. Here’s a picture of the kids from yesterday, first day back to school. I think it is turning out to be a good distraction for them.
Maki seems fine. He seems more grown up. He understands what I need. He understands what he needs. Justine, on the other hand, is struggling to know how she is supposed to feel. She seems confused and is acting out on me a little. This, I was told by her school counsellor over the phone this morning, is very normal. Its also part of the reason it feels good to get away for a few days. Sometimes getting distracted attention is worse for her than getting no attention from me at all. She’s staying with my mom and dad, while Maki stays with his best buddies (the twins!) from school.
It was strange leaving this morning, planning not to come back until Vernon passes away. It was even stranger, turning the car off my street and over the exact site of the original accident, the night that started it all. We had since moved to the very street…by a bizarre stroke of fate. It’s where this journey started and now, part of its ending. I’ve seen lots of circling elements like that. I hope to write more of them down soon. But I’m tired and its been hard to keep up.
I actually just woke from a needed nap at the hotel. I feel better and will go back to Mesa Verde as soon as I’ve finished this entry. I would have liked to stick around with him more today, but I hit my wall about noon, and had to start pacing myself. He’s sleeping so much now, and though I love our connected visits and ice-cream-filled moments, they are becoming shorter and shorter. I want to pace myself for the time when he slows down considerably and I am there all the time.
He’s more dreamy, more sleepy, and very sweet. This is certainly a very peaceful way to go, as I was told it would be.
Here’s one more full-circle story before I go back over there:
The night of the accident, when my dad and I had first gone over to check on him, before his surgeries, before they knew he would make it through the night, the surgeon on hand handed me Vernon’s wedding ring. I wore it with my single engagement band/wedding ring because I’d often thought it would be nice to have two bands, but hadn’t really cared back at the time we got married. So I wore his ring with mine until it broke at it’s weakest spot around 9 months ago, I’d guess. It was pretty sad to have it break—granted it was a $20 silver Navaho ring he’d bought at the San Juan Capistrano Mission ten years ago, and it wasn’t the first time it had broken. But this time, I never got around to fixing it. I put it in a little bag with Justine’s baby teeth instead, and I’ve been back to wearing my single band. When Dave pointed out his new wedding ring to Vernon the other day, Vernon looked to his hand: “Yes, I have one as well,” he said. Of course there wasn’t one there, so I got the idea to bring it back and put it on him today.
Because it was broken (and because it was cheap), I was able to stretch it over his swollen ring finger. He wore it proudly for a couple of hours before asking me to take it off again for discomfort. I had been so sad when it broke, but if it hadn’t broken, there is no way he could wear it now.
Ok, I’m on my way back now. I’ve had enough me time for a couple of hours. I’ll make sure I get some later. Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’s about ice-cream o’clock.