My mother and I have spent the last few days with her cousin helping her to prepare for her mother's passing. My Great-Auntie turned 99 years old on Sept 13th, and promptly started a series of strokes that have had her hospitalized for maybe the 4th time in her life. She will likely not leave the hospital this time. Our cousin also broke her foot (which we think stressed auntie out and might have caused one of the strokes), so while my mom was helping our cousin with her mom, i raked leaves, dug up the gladioli, put the winter tires in her car, and looked after the banana brain dog (i also saved a salamander caught in the snowstorm). I am not good at comforting people, so I do stuff instead. If you are also this type of person, here are a few things you might take note of if ever in this situation:
1. Inform the extended family of Auntie's condition. Make sure to save on typing in all the email addresses by replying to one email and adding all the addresses to that. Don't bother erasing a second cousin's original email message which contains his political opinion. Watch the replys flood in and cousin get very confused over strong counter political opinions. Huzzah! Instant family controversy!
2. Hel0p cousin go to funeral home and pre-plan the funeral. Come away with instructions to mark Uncle's grave so they don't dig him up by mistake.
(Step 0 - Mom drove back to Guelph to get her insulin pump fixed and took cousin's car keys with her, so we located the extra set and headed out)
Step 1- Must be done in the middle of the first snowstorm of the year.
Step 2 - Remember where we put the graveyard. Seriously, this is backwoods Muskoka. This is the "old" cemetary. ok, so cousin knew where it was, but we drove down three dirt roads and through a field. Though I must say it is a really pretty spot.
Step 3- Locate stones that mark edge of plot. Did I mention that it was a snowstorm? After a day of rain? Found them in the 3 inch high grass under 2 inches of water and guestimated where Uncle ends.
Step 4 - Drive away wondering how the digger will maneuver around the 19th Century headstones.
3. Drive cousin 1 1/2 hours through the pouring rain for her eye test and exam only to discover that the testing lady didn't bother to show up that day and someone had shot a nail into their eye, so the doctor, the ONLY eye surgeon for the region, had to go give him stitches. In his eye. Ewww! Get rebooked for Wednesday, receptionist refuses to tell if there will be debilitating eyedrops used or not, so I stay on an extra day just in case. Drive 1 1/2 hours again on Wed, this time in freezing temperatures, but the roads were clear and dry (yay) and we got gas for the best price ever! 98.5! high fives to us! then they made us wait just long enough for the eye test that cousin thought it wasn't going to happen, again. Then we drove another 25 min to meet my mom and exchange me for the set of car keys. I am not sure who came out ahead in that deal.
4. Go for lunch at Moxies, proclaim my anti-tomato stance. Apparently allergies are a big thing at Moxies. The manager had to come over and get the specifics on my alergy (of course, my mom answered for me, thanks mom) The manager came over a few more times. Very attentive, he was tall, so he went down on his knees to talk to us. Mom thinks this is wonderful and follows (with her eyes) manager around the restaurant for the rest of the meal to see if he kneels for anyone else. Nope. Just us. Or more specifically, according to mother and cousin, just me. Because as cousin says "Well, he wouldn't be interested in us!" So I get a lecture on how I need to "flirt more" and how I am "afraid of my own power" all the way home. joy! At least this time manager was actually cute. My mother has given me the same lecture over guys who weren't even remotely attractive.
So, basically, we made life interesting and silly for a few days. Cousin called when we got home and auntie now has a private room. Mom thinks this must have something to do with them freaking out the other lady when they were telling auntie it was ok for her to leave us.