Our first week....

Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
Mulhearn's House

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is the first entry since getting away and has been longer than expected coming. This is because our time here has been mixed with thanks and sadness.

Kathy's mother, Elizabeth Mulhearn, passed away at home last Saturday. She had been admitted to hospital a week before we arrived and we knew that her health was deteriorating fairly rapidly. We arrived on Monday 18th and went straight to her hospital where she was very weary, aware, and coherent, but very sick. Doctors withdrew all medications except those necessary for her comfort, and she was brought home on Wednesday, basically to die, supported by the family and hospice care, who provided equipment, bed, medication and advice. 

It proved to be a very tender time for all of the family & neighbours in the street, as Liz slowly slipped away from us, pretty well aware up until the last 12 hours of her life. So we were so grateful that we were here, having started planning this trip about 9 months ago, & Liz had been counting the days until we arrived. So the sadness of her passing has been softened by our timing, (or God's) and the relief that we all have by her being free from  her struggle of life over the last 2 1/2 years, and especially the last few weeks. Liz knew that her time was running out and had made all of the arrangements for her body, cremation, and final resting place, & did not want a funeral. So we are having a Memorial of some sort for her, probably on July 16th back here at Pleasanton, as all of the family had been planning to get together again then just before we return to Australia. 

It has been a bit like Central Station  here at times, both before her death and since. Their street is a little community of it's own and the family are surrounded by very caring and thoughtful people. Most meals have been provided as well as flowers, fruit and sweets, so we are doing well food wise! Soon we will start fending for ourselves. Some of the neighbours including Liz & Bill are from the original families in the street (almost 40 years), whilst others have enjoyed the sense of community. One dear lady across the street is now the last of the original wife/mums to survive and she is feeling it, especially as her husband has Alzheimer's and is in care. 

Today (Tuesday, we are a day behind Australia), Kathy & I went out for longer  than usual. We went to the AAA (US version of RAA) to get maps and info for when we start travelling. I also went to a big book store to pick up a motor magazine as I like to get some of them that have reviews on the whole range of cars for sale in the year. So with those things, some puzzle books, computers and our iPad most needs are met. Then I just love the House & Garden cable channel that is full time with home renovations, and house buying, 24 hours per day. I also walk the dog and do a bit of work around the house.

Both Kathleen's sisters have gone back home today. Colleen to San Jose about 45 minutes away, and Maureen to North Carolina. Colleen & Gary from San Jose are loaning us their Chevrolet Silverado (small truck) so we don't have  to hire  a vehicle, (only the accommodation) when we do some touring of the National Parks in the western states, so we are very lucky. 
Between now and May 4th we will be just supporting Kathleen's father and helping her sister complete the myriad of tasks that need to be done at a time like this.  We will also be taking the camper trailer that we will be using in June for an overnight "test run".  On the 4th we will be heading to the "Big Apple" - New York City - for 3 days before we begin a bus tour of Northeastern Cities.  Bye for now,  Max and Kathy
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Hayley Vince on

Love your blogging. Hope you get what you want done before you head off on your travels. Love you both!

Silver Jewelry Jaipur on

it seems that your first week was great and so fun

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