Soon after Dad passed away on January 29, we started planning for Mom to visit Florida. We purchased plane tickets, but the trip seemed in jeopardy when she was hospitalized on March 11, shaking and incoherent.
Thankfully, her symptoms were resolved by a medication change and she was discharged on March 15. Her doctor wanted to send her to a rehab hospital, but she told him "No, I have to go to Florida!" :-) Many of you prayed, and her strength returned in time for the trip. On March 22, Aunt Jane took her to the Portland airport, wheelchair assistance saw her to her gate, and she flew nonstop to Orlando.
Mom stayed in NTM's comfortable Guest House next to our building. Amazingly, she was able to climb the stairs to our apartment on the third floor! (Occasionally, when she was tired, she accepted a ride on our 1925 hand-operated elevator. :-)
We had so much fun showing Mom around and introducing her to everyone. The kids showed her their school and she got to meet their friends.
With June (Jack's mom) and Regan at Evan's baseball game
Enjoying our church's missions conference
On an outing with two of her college friends, Jacky Riley and Peggy Bragg. She also saw another college classmate, Paul Rasmussen, who serves here at NTM.
The weather was beautiful for the most part, and we enjoyed some great day trips. One was a boat ride up the St. Johns River to Blue Spring State Park. Alligators were everywhere--we saw about 20 of them!
With Jack's dad on our boat ride
At the Thursby house museum, Blue Spring State Park
Our whole crew after the boat ride
We went to New Smyrna Beach . . .. . . and to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando . . .
Overall, we tried to have fun while still allowing Mom adequate rest. Most days she got a good nap, but after she returned home on April 6, I think she still needed a few days to recover. :-)
We received some good news on financial matters. Mom got her check from the life insurance company that gave us a hard time, and MaineCare is helping with Dad's nursing home bill. We are still trying to sell the house in Gorham. If anyone is interested in a fixer-upper in a great location, let us know!!
At Dairy Queen
Jack and I are planning to move back to New England in June. We hope to eventually find a house with an "in-law apartment" that will enable us to care for Mom.
Many of you know Jack's parents, Art and June, and we ask your prayers for them also. Jack's dad has a malignant tumor on his cheek that is invading his mouth. Radiation proved ineffective. Surgery and chemo are not options. So they are trying to manage the pain (he's allergic to morphine). He can open his mouth only slightly now, so he's living on Ensure and yogurt. A feeding tube is a possibility.
They have Amtrak tickets to go North in May, and Jack's dad is asking God for a good summer and the opportunity to enjoy his grandchildren one more time. Then he says he will be ready to go Home.