Friday, February 27, 2015

Precious Days

My mom and I had the pleasure and privilege of traveling once again to Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico for a week of wellness, spending lots of time together, as well as following our favorite individual pursuits. It was the perfect blend of time to reflect, exercise, learn new things, deepen practices, refresh our bodies from the inside (with organic foods and balanced nutrition) to the outside (with fresh air, walking, hiking, yoga and meditation, among other classes).

We serendipitously met (and reunited with) fabulous, fascinating people, finding our second time to be more sociable than our first - perhaps that was due to our greater familiarity with the place. We shared the same lovely casita as we did last year, lighting fires in the evenings and talking, resting and reading in our little "home away from home." I enjoyed self-treating with Reiki every day, before heading out to hike at 6:10 A.M. I could so easily imagine settling there...

We both thrived at the Rancho, and are already looking forward to returning next year (if possible, by the grace of God). Gregg spent the days golfing, playing tennis, watching polo and lounging with my father in California.
We flew down via San Diego so that we could meet KBL2ORD2SAN and her belovED. Mom and I met her at the airport last year, but this year, our husbands got to join us. What a thrill, after being blogging buddies for so many years, to finally be all together "in real life!" We had a long, leisurely lunch, and left still bursting with things to talk about. Until next time...
Driving from San Diego to the Coachella Valley was a beautiful experience to share with Gregg. As we crested the top of the last hill on Highway 74, the valley unfolded before us at sunset.
Unfortunately, while we were away, my dear mother-in-law, Elaine, suffered a stroke. Elaine is 93 years old - in fact, the stroke occurred at her birthday party - and has for several years suffered from memory loss. She has been telling us for the past couple of years that she doesn't know why she is still here - she says it matter-of-factly, without self-pity or complaint.
Elaine and Ed Gerstenberger, "back in the day"
When the stroke occurred, she became paralyzed on her left side and was unable to swallow. Hospice was called, and she was moved to a nursing home with a dismal prognosis. But her miraculous body has recovered enough for her to swallow soft foods. She is sleeping a lot, but can recognize us and speak a few words at a time. We are hoping that she will be able to move back to the assisted living facility where she and Grandpa Ed normally reside, into a nursing-care unit. As for now, it is day-by-day, with lots of family in attendance, sitting by her bedside and driving Grandpa back and forth to see her. Fortunately, they raised four wonderful kids (now adults, with families of their own) who love her deeply, and are all doing their best to care for her and Grandpa.

These are precious days, indeed.


Elizabeth said...

How wonderful that you got to take that trip again with your mother. It just sounds divine. I'm sorry to hear of Greg's mother suffering so -- it never ceases to amaze me how the body lingers so long, how life keeps going despite its frailty and how quickly others go. Sobering, indeed. May she be at ease --

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm so happy you and your mom were able to take that trip. And, I'm a little jealous you met up with KBL! She looks beautiful, as always, as do you!!

God bless your mother-in-law. I will add her to my prayers.


Daisy said...

Wow, 93! Seems amazing and yet, never long enough for those who love her. Thinking of you all.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Love the photos of some of my favorite people!!! So glad you had such a lovely time with your Mom at your 'happy place'.
Prayers for Elaine and the family; please keep us updated. XOXO