Our last hiking together for awhile was in New Hampshire. We returned to New Jersey to attend my Aunt Dorothy’s services. We were able to take my mom with us with the use of a borrowed wheel chair. It was more difficult than ever for her to get around. Of course, she looked beautiful and everyone was so happy to see her. It had been a very long time since she had gotten out of the house. Our plan was to return to New Hampshire, but I decided to send Scott back up alone so that I could spend time with my mom. Little did I know at the time, that her days were numbered.
Scott spent the next two weeks in Gorham, NH, hiking and exploring on his own. Here are some moments he captured.
While Scott enjoyed many solitary steps in the wilderness, I was a socialite. I was cooking and visiting with mom, saw the dentist and doctors for well checkups, and even saw couple of old friends. One highlight was going to Baltimore, MD, with my sister Pattie to visit her son, Patrick, and to see his new digs.
On November 9, Scott returned from New Hampshire. We had reserved a site for three weeks at Black Bear RV Resort in Warwick, NY, so that we could visit with family, be around for Thanksgiving, and celebrate Danielle’s 30th Birthday. Some nights I stayed at the RV park with Scott. Others nights I slept at my mom’s house as I had the use of her car while visiting. While I was socializing, Scott took some local hikes that he frequented over the years when he lived in Vernon, NJ.
On November 16, my mom was taken out to lunch with her cousins and nieces. They all had a wonderful time, as you can tell from the smiling faces!!
Here are some more highlights of our Jersey visit.
After three weeks of back and forth to moms and visiting with friends and family, I drove to my mom’s house on Tuesday, November 30th, to return her car. Scott and I were set to leave the next morning for West Virginia to being our travels back west. When I saw my mom, I noticed that she had a bad looking cut on her shin. She told me that it was nothing, and that she had put peroxide on it. We postponed our departure, and I took my mom to Urgent Care. None of her shoes fit her swollen foot, so she wore my Uggs and I wore her black boots.
The doctor at Urgent Care took a culture of the wound, and told us to go straight to the Emergency Room. They also took a sample and immediately gave her antibiotics via IV. We were instructed to see a Wound Specialist as follow up. Two days later, they cleaned out the wound, wrapped up her leg, and told us that mom had to come by weekly to have the wound unwrapped, cleaned, and rewrapped for several weeks. The following day, we received word that that her culture tested positive for MRSA. They changed her antibiotics to Bactrim, and within 24 hours she had an allergic reaction to that medication and was unable to stand on her own two feet. We were in the process of looking for an Assisted Living facility for mom that was nearer to my sister, and now we began to expedite the process.
My mom’s younger brother, Bernie, and his wife Rose, stopped by the house the day before we were scheduled to move mom.
On December 10th, we packed mom’s suitcase and left 42 Beverly Road for her new home. Although she didn’t want to leave her home of 65 years, she knew that given the latest circumstances it had to be done.
With Mom settling in nicely in her new home, I hopped on a plane and flew to Florida to see my sister, Rose. I enjoyed celebrating her 58th and her husband, Dean’s, 60th. They were celebrated quietly as many people were still coming down with Covid. It was a gift for me to be able to celebrate their special days with them.
While I enjoyed spending time with family, Scott had been on the road for a few days. He stopped in Durango to see Molly and Mara. The weather was a bit different for Scott.
I returned to New Jersey on Monday, December 20th. I was scheduled for my first booster shot the next day. I didn’t go to visit my mom because their was a Covid breakout in Florida where I had been. I wanted to wait to be sure that I wasn’t going to start having symptoms. On Thursday, December 23rd, I learned from my siblings that mom was in a different way. She went from seemingly adjusting well to her new home, to being quiet and non communicative. It had only been two weeks since we moved her there. During the first week, she told me that she met some ‘Irish friends’ that she was eating meals with and that there were a lot of very nice ‘mommies’ taking care of her. We did a zoom call over the phone, and I could tell that she wasn’t in the mood for chit chat. I told her that I would be down on Christmas to see her again.
She stopped eating and drinking of her own accord. By Friday morning, she wouldn’t get out of bed. Her facility, Bentley Commons at Paragon Village in Hackettstown, NJ, took her by ambulance to the ER on Christmas Eve morning. We were able to see her one at a time on Christmas Day in a private back room in the ER. She didn’t realize that it was Christmas. I sang Silent Night with her while holding her hand. She told her granddaughter, Danielle, “I’ve had a wonderful life.” Mom had three daughters and two granddaughters by her side as she quietly and peacefully left us. The services won’t be until January 6, 2022. Scott will be flying in next week. In the meantime, I will be staying around to help with cleaning out mom’s house.
To my faithful followers, this will conclude my blogging via WordPress. Scott and I are planning to continue our RV-ing adventures into 2022, however, all posts will be made on my FaceBook page. We hope that you enjoyed following us around our beautiful country these last three+ years.