Yesterday morning, we woke up at 3:45am, and quickly got ready, loaded up the car, set up DVD player (thank you Papa for that!). Lauren and Brandon arrived, and we took off, filled up our car with gas and got coffee for Joe. We hit the road by 4:45am, along with dense fog we had. Hard to see, it’s still dark outside, and we literally had our eyes opened on the road the entire time. We couldn’t wait until the sun comes up, thinking that the dense fog would pass… Nope, as outside become brighter… sun couldn’t come through, it was still fog at 6am… 7am… I checked my phone, the weather bug said that we were under dense fog advisory through 9am! Just before we got into Missouri when the fog finally lifted up. Still, there were no sun.
We met up with my mom, grandma Marjorie, aunt Barb and cousin Darrell for a quick-lunch at Waffle House. Much to my shock, a male was sitting at the end of the restaurant, smoking! What? I thought there were law throughout the United States that were no smoking in any restaurant? Maybe it’s just certain states, for which I’m THANKFUL that Minnesota banned smoking all/any buildings (except for Casinos). Nothing beats to the heart of our stomach, breakfast meals!!! 😀 Our food was absolute delicious! We were stuffed, and ready to go see Uncle Robert, & rest of the family. During our final stretch to see Uncle Robert, 10 miles of driving, up and down on zillion hills, sun finally peeks out of the clouds, Jaiden saying “wheeee” every time we went down the hill. 🙂 It was calm and a perfect drive. We saw many cows, baby calves! Oh, and yes, we cannot forget, my favorite, HORSES! I dream of owning a horse someday.
Weston, Missouri was absolute BEAUTIFUL rusty small town, yet they had “lively” downtown, beautiful homes, and many antique stores. We went to Uncle Robert’s home, yes, he was discharged from the hospital on Friday, and went home with hospice care. It’s official, no turning back. Nurse had just left, and I was greeted by my cousin Danielle who I haven’t seen in years! And her beautiful girls who all were excited to see all of us, definitely not the shy type you usually see in kids. Right away, they all wanted to be picked up and sit on our hips (that includes Joe, Brandon and Lauren), like Jaiden was on mine, as we walk and chat. 🙂 Zoe right away asks Jaiden to go play with him in the backyard. My cousin Whitney comes out, and we give her a birthday cake as her birthday was couple days before– 19 years old. We also said hellos to my aunt Tammy.
We come inside and see our cousin Levi, who we also haven’t seen in YEARS. Such a fine gentleman he has turned out to be. We see Uncle Robert sleeping in his bed in living room. Nurse said it was time for his nap just before she left, so we chat, and get caught up with news, Jaiden plays with my cousin’s kids and all is good. I’m standing there, and thinking… how is that even possible. Reality hasn’t really set in that he’s dying. I just wanted him to wake up, so I could give him a hug. He finally wakes up, and falls right back to sleep… 10 minutes later, he’s actually awake, and looked over to grandma, asks her to come over right away. Aww. My heart just ached. No mother should ever bury their own child, yet, Grandma’s going through loss of 4th child in her lifetime (two in the past three years, Robert will be her 3rd in three years). I see her, she’s standing and talking, yet, staying strong. My Grandma’s truly a STRONG woman.
Everyone goes to say hi to Uncle, and he sees Jaiden running around, and says “Hey JJ” and he looked around, smiled and said hi and goes right for me. That’s when I finally come up to him and say hi, gave him a HUG. He asks how I am doing, and I said I’m good. I wished at the moment, I had banana bread that Jaiden and I made for him, but I had already given it to aunt Tammy, and it was sitting in the kitchen. I’m really not good with words, let alone having difficult time communicating with my family, yet, I LOVE my family, bottom of my heart. I ended up just looking and watching him the entire time, pet their turtle (Thanks cousin Whitney for showing me how!), watching Jaiden run around and play with the kids. Three hours later, Uncle Robert was going back for his 3rd nap since we were there, we bid our final goodbyes and he hugged me firmly, I said my dad said hi (Thanks to my brother, Brandon, for interpreting that) and I had to quickly walk away. I grabbed Jaiden and headed for the bathroom while I tried to stop myself from crying. Jaiden went potty, then I went, and we said goodbyes to rest of the family, and left. I have cried plenty this past week, and I know I will cry more. I just needed to stay strong for my whole family.
Off we went, headed right back home and tried to somehow beat the storm that was heading our direction. It rained on/off, lightly and as soon we hit Des Moines, we knew we were in the middle of it. We stopped for dinner at Pizza place (new place we tried this year!, so that makes it THREE!). It’s pouring really hard… we look outside, and it’s lightning. Radio comes on and says we’re under flash flood warning. We enjoy our pizzas, then we got back in the car and continued our trip back home. It’s raining hard. Cars are driving slow. Cars are driving fast. We could barely see the road, at this point, we just want to be home. Rain finally lights up just shortly before we entered Minnesota, and then it became windy. What’s next, we wondered.
Nevertheless, we were just glad to be safe, and still on our way home. We finally pulled into our driveway right at 11pm! That’s the story about our 19 hours trip. Thank you all for the prayers for a safe trip. Needless to say, it was a terrible day for driving. So thankful for the chance to see Uncle Robert again, and get couple more hugs from him. – M