Sunday, June 8, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Susan and Jon returned Friday evening from a good, meaningful visit with her parents and family members. Her dad was ill with a very bad cold, possibly bronchitis, so he kept his distance but still managed to participate. One of the highlights of the visit was a two-hour boat ride on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. Susan’s grandparents once had a summer home there and they located the place where it once was. It brought back lots of childhood memories. Most of the homes are now mansions, and the whole area has interesting historical links to wealthy Chicagoans who have made it a popular get-away spot.

Susan’s mother took her for daily Starbucks fixes – not only because Susan loves lattes, but they also help keep her more alert when she gets groggy. They did lots of clothes shopping together. Susan has started a new wardrobe to accommodate her weight gain from the steroids that she’ll always be taking to control brain swelling. Her mother helped her line some purses that Susan had knitted and they had some good talks.

Susan got to see the lovely new kitchen that her brother Scott and sister-in-law Jan just finished remodeling. They’re glad it’s done. We still remember the duress of our own kitchen remodeling experience pretty vividly. Susan also went out to lunch with Jan and had a great visit with her.

Susan’s sister Barb showed her the memory quilt she’s making in honor of Susan. When complete, it will have 25 squares representing important aspects of Susan’s life. It’s a very nice gesture that Rob, Jon, and Patrick will treasure for years to come. They had lunch with Sandy, a life-long friend who, because of her own losses, lent an understanding ear. Other highlights of the trip included the discovery of a fabulous ice cream shop in Downers Grove. Susan says it would almost be worth flying there just to experience their treats again.

Jon was a stellar traveling companion and Susan reaffirmed first-hand why she could not have traveled alone. He did some jobs for Susan’s folks like cleaning out gutters. But he also got some time to himself. He took the train to downtown Chicago to visit the Art Institute and then a trolley from there to Chinatown.

We had a follow up visit with Jennifer the hospice nurse yesterday to “re-enroll” Susan. She had been temporarily discharged since she was out of state. If needed, Susan had been given a list of local hospice services in Chicago but Jennifer was still available by phone. Jennifer was pleased that the traveling went smoothly and there was no physical decline. However, we all also know how quickly things can change and we feel grateful for every new day.

Patrick left for his summer camp job yesterday and we’re settling back into a routine. Casey is happy that Susan and Jon are back so that he gets more attention from more people. I’m happy they’re back too.


Susie said...

6/9 I so appreciate this opportunity to be informed and assuage my concern without having to intrude. I'm in and out this month too, but no doubt I'll "see you in church."

Tirzah said...

People should read this.