Thursday, April 10
The workmen next door are still installing the toilet. At 9am, just like clockwork, the pounding begins. I hope they are done soon. This morning we received a phone call from my cousins about Uncle Don’s condition. They said his lungs had filled up with fluid during the night and he had refused any procedure to clear them or to place a ventilator on him. He told his family he was ready to go and at this point it was just a matter of time. My mom was beside herself and I offered to drive her to Sioux City but she said she would rather remember Uncle Don the way she saw him on Easter Sunday a few weeks ago rather than fighting for every breath in the hospital. My cousins said at this point there was nothing left to do but wait.
The weather wasn’t exactly cooperating much - - it had gotten quite windy and cold and there was threats of heavy rain turning to sleet and eventually to snow. The plan was for Lola and I to drive to Omaha to spend the day with Dawn and go to the Henry Doorly Zoo (my favorite zoo) and perhaps to the Offutt Space Museum. But because of the weather and Uncle Don’s situation we thought maybe we could compromise and meet Dawn halfway in Denison and have ‘brunch’ at a restaurant there and at least have a chance to see each other. I begged Mom to come along since she needed to have a little break from the stress of her brother being so ill.
The winds were quite heavy driving to Denison, but we made it and that little stinker Dawn now has a cute little new car! She got the Honda Fit. It’s adorable and she is well overdue for a new car, since her last one had been plugging away (and not always happily) for the last fifteen years.
When we returned home from brunch we received a phone call that Uncle Don had passed away. From what my Aunt Margaret indicated he was at peace and was joking with the family till the end. In fact, when Aunt Margaret went in to have a private moment with him (as did each of his daughters) she told him she would see him later in Heaven. He replied “Just make sure you don’t bring some old geezer!”
My mom is now the last living child in her sibling group. There were five in all, with the age range from oldest to youngest being about 17 years, I think. Uncle Don was the youngest…
No specific date was set for the funeral, and my mom insisted that we return to Atlanta as planned, even though I tried to tell her we would stay with her for the duration. She assured me she would be fine and she was not going to make us change our flight schedule (I have found in my mom’s older years she is becoming a woman of opinion, which is quite refreshing in comparison to her younger years of being accepting and at times almost complacent about most issues. It really makes for interesting conversation now!)
So the plan was for Lola and I to return home to Atlanta on Saturday by way of Minneapolis and that was that. No argument.