We arrived home Tuesday evening, around 9:00 pm, having left Tim's mom's home around 6:15 am. We had smooth sailing all the way, which was completely amazing, considering we had to go through several major cities along I-95, including Richmond (at rush hour), Washington D. C., and Baltimore.
Tim and I have always loved a good road trip together! We listened to music, an audiobook on Audible, talked, texted with our kids (I was riding shotgun the whole way!), ate snacks. We arrived in the evening down there and his mom was so happy to see us!
She has short term memory loss, and at 95 years old has had some small strokes over the last three years. She always recovers quickly, though since her last strokes, on January 14th and 15th, she is having trouble with her speech still. We know that she will continue to have strokes, and perhaps a big one, but she is receiving great care, and does so well with her therapies.
I worked with her on her speech therapy exercises and we laughed, and rewarded our hard work with some good chocolate! You can check out the kind we treated ourselves to here. They are pricey, so they are a treat, and I only eat a little bit at a time so they last longer! Mom loved it! In fact when we left, she was very sad, so I mentioned I had left her a whole Lily bar and her face lit up! Nothing like some great chocolate to lift your spirits!
Tim's mom has had an amazing life. She was quite the mischievous child, and grew up loving the Lord and went on to serve Him, as a missionary in West Africa, and then at home continuing mission work, like prison ministry.
We've seen this truth lived out too,
"Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you."
We don't always understand God's purposes, why some people live into very old age, and others don't. Why she and Tim's dad went through the death of two children in West Africa, the death of two husbands (after 30 years of marriage to each), why the strokes (and loss of some speech). But He has carried her and sustained her and He has his purposes.
I didn't understand why He allowed a change of plans that necessitated me going along with Tim on this trip, but we trusted that He has his purposes. We are thankful that He did have reasons for me to go along, and I'm so grateful that He did!
It was a really special time. She had visitors on our first full day there (Saturday). Tim's cousins came by for a visit (from Canada) on their way to see their son a few hours away. We hadn't seen them in maybe 10 years and it was a delightful visit.
In personality types Mom is a sanguine and complete extrovert. She loves being around people and for years had company for dinner every week and had guests stay with her for years. She really perks up when she has people around.
Tim did some repair work around her house and on one of his trips out for supplies, he returned with these beautiful flowers for his Mom.
Driving down her road. She has lived in her house since 1982! This used to be a quiet road that leads down to a lake, but now there is a housing development across the road from her and more houses down the road. She likes to sit out and watch the cars come and go on the road.
Sunday we were able to take her to church. I snuck a quick photo of us.
Then we went to lunch! Mexican food! Yum! Mom has some swallowing issues, but she had Huevos Rancherous and refried beans! She loved it!
We drove along a pretty lake, and while I stopped in at a store, Tim and his Mom enjoyed a cup of coffee and a cookie.
Our friends, who are like family to us, came by every evening and we enjoyed our time with them, as we always do!
Monday (our last day there) we had a quiet morning then sat outside in the most perfect weather! Upper 70's, a beautiful breeze, dappled sunlight. She has a beautiful Bougainvillea.
That's her neighbors house you see in this photo. Her house is behind where we were sitting.
That evening we took her to dinner at Cracker Barrel, along with our brother in law, niece and great niece and our friends Rick and Jane. They have all done so much in the care of Mom. We had a really good time. Again she ate so well - catfish, sweet potato, cheesy grits.
We headed home Tuesday morning. As we drove through South Carolina, I was texting with Emma. They were leaving at noon and headed up to Pennsylvania! It was fun to chat and text during the day, sending updates to each other as we both made our way home!
They are sleeping at Lindsay and Joseph's house, but they spent the day with us.
As usual, we had people coming and going - some to frisbee, Tim to a job. So Emma and I took Isla and did a bit of shopping and then went over to my parents house to visit.
Tim met us there and enjoyed holding Isla.
If I am scarce around here a few more days, I know you'll understand.
Thank you friends, as always, for your kind comments. I am grateful for the community we have built here at the cottage.