Current book – writing: Sword & Illusion
Number of chapters declared DONE – Fourteen (Fifteen and Sixteen are Aalllmmmooossttt done – Beloved just has to say so)
Number of chapters waiting for Beloved’s final read – None
Chapter working on – Seventeen
Current book – reading – Cast in Shadow (Chronicles of Elantra, Book 1)

Well, life certainly isn’t boring around here. I’m considering trashing the month of September and just starting over again in the beginning of October.

First off, my daughter turned 20 on Sep 2. Not a bad thing at all. Actually, a very good thing. She’s a wonderful, smart, sweet young woman and I’m very proud of her.

My kids this past June

However, on 3 Sep, every thing started to do downhill.

My mother died unexpectedly in her sleep. I had talked her just the day before and everything was great, normal, under control. She’d even baked cookies for her bible study that day. My brother found her Thursday evening when he went to check on her after she didn’t answer her phone all day.

Mom with her grandchildren

That was Thursday. Sunday, I flew up to Akron, OH, where she lived. My brother and his wife live there, too, and three years ago, Mom had moved into an apartment about 10 minutes from them.

By Monday, 7 Sept – Labor Day, I’d felt like I’d been in Akron a week. We had to deal with her papers, her belongings, figuring out how to handle the “visitation” (she wanted to be cremated so there was no body for the viewing), two memorial services (one in Akron and one in Tioga, PA, where her whole family is and where my brother and I grew up).

We had the visitation on Tuesday, 8 Sep, and the Akron memorial service on Wednesday. Mom was a quilter and we had quilts laid out in both the funeral home and the church. Both my brother and I spoke.

On Thursday, we drove five hours to Tioga. We stayed with my cousin and her husband.

When Mom moved to Ohio, I truly felt there was no reason why I’d ever go back to Tioga, and it was a deep loss to me. However, after spending Thursday – Sunday with extended family (cousins and uncles and an aunt), I know I will go there again. In fact, we’re planning (all of us) to go up there in the spring or early summer!

Friday, my family was supposed to arrive, but their plane from Baton Rouge was delayed and they missed their connection in Detroit. Sooo, instead of landing at 11:10 pm the night before the memorial service in Tioga, they were to land at 11:20 am the next day. The airport is about 40 minutes away and the service was to start at 11 pm!!!

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) I was pretty much a wreck at this point. I’d asked my cousin and sister-in-law, while I was on the phone with a hysterical 20 year old, if there was any way to old the service until they arrived and they both, in unison, said, “No.”

You know, I wish my brain had been in a better place. I would have asked why. My mother’s only grandchildren were possibly going to miss her funeral and we couldn’t even try to wait for them???

My other cousin’s husband told me (after I convinced other family members that the idea of someone getting into a car right then and driving the FOURTEEN hours to Detroit and back was a STUPID, SUICIDAL idea and NOT the way to honor my mother!!!) he would go to the airport early (missing the funeral himself) and whisk my family home as soon as possible. I love him and will always love him!

The next morning, I got to the church about an hour before the service and discovered that while my mother was a MAJOR quilter, there were no quilts at this service and the minister (who was new and didn’t know her) didn’t know that!! I told him and he got a wonderful story about a quilter that he added to his talk! I’ve emailed him for copy and I’ll post it if I get it.

The saving grace for me was that my best friend in the whole world and her whole family (husband and three daughters, one of whom considers herself Honor Cummings’ biggest fan!) were at the church when I got there and I could lean on them for strength when my family wasn’t yet.

THEIR plane didn’t actually land until almost 12 but since our family talks a lot and my brother, myself, my uncle and his wife, and a friend from nursing school all spoke about Mom, my husband and kids made it at the very end and the pastor held his closing remarks so they could get into the sanctuary in time.

After the service we had a luncheon, where one of her quilts (my daughter’s favorite) was displayed and then we went to my cousin’s house so my family could change for Mass.

Mass was TOTALLY emotional for me. I felt as though I’d been keeping some of my grief bottled up and now that everything was over, I let it all out, sobbing a lot during prayers and hymns and the Eucharist.

Then we went to my mother’s brother-in-law’s house. Her sister died in 2006 right before she moved to Akron.

We had a FABULOUS time with family and friends. My brother and I laughed and chatted with friends we hadn’t seen in several years and I got to chat with my best friend in a way I haven’t in a LONG TIME.

That night, my friend and her family realized it was too late for them to drive back to NJ (four hours) so they stayed at my uncle and aunt’s house and were welcomed with open arms (and a big box of pajamas). The next morning we were all fed like kings and queens and everyone declared my friend and her family part of OUR family.

So that was a good thing!

Sunday morning, my brother and his wife picked me up for the trip back to Akron. My family had to fly back to Baton Rouge so we said good-bye.

My flight was Monday around noon from Akron and I was SO ready to go home.

Deaths bring out the highest emotions and there were some angry words as well as some comforting ones. We had plans to go to Ohio for Christmas and at this point, I don’t know where those stand. My brother has cats and my husband and son are highly allergic. We would have stayed with Mom or at a hotel, but no one really wants to spend Christmas in a hotel and my sister-in-law thinks things will be too stressful this year for this trip.

My husband found a friend from THIRD GRADE on Facebook and he lives in Akron, so we planned to visit him, too, so we might be able to stay there, but again, plans – up in the air.

In the Atlanta airport on the way home, my husband told me my car died, so YAY!

I got home and had a dentist appointment and found out I will need deep scaling and possibly braces, so DOUBLE YAY!!

This past Thursday I had my first colonoscopy.

On the upside, we bought a new car on Saturday – a Honda Element!

My baby car!

This weekend, September will be over and HeartLA will have its annual readers’ luncheon so that will be fun.