Our first week....
Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
23Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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Where I stayed
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
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
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