Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Spring has come too soon.

  Winter is when we flee south to the sunny, southern climes of the Bahamas.  Spring is the transition between boating and "regular living" for the Captain and Crew of Steadfast, saying goodbye to our Sailing Life and hello to Life as Landlubbers.  In the usual course of events, we pack up the boat, drive north, jump into yard cleanup and garden prep for the summer ahead.  Once things are under control on the home front, I usually make a trip out west to visit my family in Alberta and British Columbia and then...well life happens.

This spring, Steadfast made her passage back to Florida, crossing the Gulf Stream in excellent conditions before the weather closed in for a whole week trapping our friends on the other side.  We were having a lovely time in a new-to-us marina called Sunset Bay in Stuart.  The people were so nice, friendly and helpful.  We will definitely go back there again.  Out of the blue, we received a call from my sister in Western Canada.  My mother had had a "spectacular fall" and was now dying.  

The extended family had gathered to celebrate Mum's 90th birthday Christmas Day in Southern BC. before we had sailed away.  Four generations revelled in a wonderful life-celebration with bounty, bubbles and bouncing gatiy.

These things always have a bittersweet quality to them, as one never knows if "this may be the last time...."  Sure enough, it seems that happy day was the last gathering with Mum as Matriarch of the clan.

I left the Captain, Nelson and Steadfast to make their way to our seasonal storage spot at River Forest Marine with a "rented crew" and began the epic journey to be with my Mum and siblings:  
Stuart to Fort Lauderdale by low-flying taxi cab (the cab driver hit 85 mph as soon as we got on the highway and maintained that speed until our exit ramp 90 minutes later), 
Fort Lauderdale to Houston, 
a 3.5 hour layover, 
Houston to Calgary, 
Customs clearance, baggage claim and redirect, then 
Calgary, Alberta to Kelowna, BC.  
The next morning, Kelowna to South-central BC.
wow!  I was wiped!

Driving the last leg of my journey, I went from singing 
Zippity do dah, zippity day, as a literal blue bird flew in front of my car.  

So here I am.
The family has gathered.  We are resigned to the inevitable, just waiting for Mum to decide it's time to go to her final reward.   Friends have sent love and virtual support.  The resident cats are snugglers, giving us much-appreciated tactile soothing as we move thru these hard days.  The end of Mum's good life is making room for an anticipated new life--a baby boy two weeks from now to add to our family tree.
The circle of life:
Good endings, great beginnings.

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