Posted by: mckenzie68 | July 21, 2010

Tough times for the McKenzies…July 13-16 or Days 86-89

Tuesday.

We slept in, which was nice,  Rae and I drove around the Clinton area including the Harbour and two outlet malls (Rae got some nice Under Armour stuff).  It rained like crazy and we both were thrilled that we weren’t caught out in the rain on our bikes!  LOL.  The two guys working the Under Armour store were really funny and Rae was on her game teasing them and being gregarious as only Rae can be.

We got back to the house and Brian showed up shortly thereafter.  He’s got excellent timing!  He bugged me constantly about calling my family because the plan he has makes the call free.  I eventually made the call to my dad, and learned that my Aunt Lillian, who has been fighting a terrible form of very aggressive cancer, had been taken off all fluids and was not expected to live much longer.  She was a really special person, and it hit me hard.  Brian saw how hard it was for me and offered for us to use his car to travel up to see her.  How amazing an offer.  I mapped it out, it was feasible, but it would be a 10 hour drive.  We packed up for a short trip, got everything in order for the trip and retired to bed to catch some sleep before the long haul up to Oshawa to see Aunt Lillian.

Wednesday.

We were up and on the road by 0530 hours, and I was sore, exhausted and apprehensive about the drive.  Rae navigated, making it so much easier to drive as compared to riding the bikes.  I found the ride very interesting and fun, as we chatted about our books, her seminar, life, my aunt, the trip, etc.  Before I knew it we were at the Canadian Border crossing!  Even though we had a letter of permission to drive Dee’s car, the Customs Guard still would not let us through.  He threatened to turn us around!  Then he said I was not able to drive an American car inside Canada, I wanted to let him have it as I knew he was out to lunch, as Rae had done the research the night before to make sure we knew what the border rules were in this situation.  We were directed to park to the side and endure a secondary inspection.  I was really anxious that we would not be allowed into Canada with Dee’s car  Rae was ok, as she knew the rules.  I spoke to the second guard, explained the entire trip, and he let us go right away!  Thank god there are people with common sense.

We made the trip to Oshawa in short order, and went right to my aunts home.  I was sad to see my Aunt.  She was a skeleton, so not like the vibrant woman I think of when I think of her.  Rae and I were greeted by Aunt Shirley, and Aunt Dee.  It was great to see them.  I did my best to talk to Lillian.  She was not cognitive enough at that point to recognize me, and it was truly a sad situation.

Freddy, Aunt Lil’s husband, is having a tough go…and showed me his 56 Chevy – I think he just needed to get out and focus on something different.  It’s so hard on everyone.  Eventually we headed over to my parents house.  We had a nice dinner, then we got into the red wine that my parents had made.  It was excellent…and 3 bottles later…and after midnight, we retired to a well-earned sleep.

Thursday.

What the heck happened last night and who thought 3 bottles of wine between 3 people was a good idea?  LOL.  We got into action pretty quick though as Rae needed to get her eye checked (we think she got something in it while riding with her visor up).  Once we got going, i t did not take long and Rae had a prescription in her hand, and medicine shortly thereafter, YAY!!!

We headed to my Aunt’s home for another visit.  To my surprise, my Aunt was very much awake and aware of me and Rae.  She was just able to talk (barely understandable), however, I could tell she recognized me!  I was able to converse with her which was wonderful.  At the end of our visit, I told her I loved her and she said, “I love you too” and gave the tiniest wave with her right hand…it broke my heart.  I knew those would be the last words and the last time I would see her alive.  I was also acutely aware that our friends, Brian and Dee, made this moment possible…an extremely precious gift.

We headed back to my parents to take them out for dinner.  It was nice to reconnect with them and tell stories.  After dinner we headed home and it was trouble.  We were into the wine again, LOL.  My Mom is too fun and Rae loved hanging out chatting and laughing with my parents.  It was really great to share that with the difficult time that is coming for my Mom when her sister does pass.  We finally retired at around midnight.    I was tired, sore, and sad…and grateful to my lovely understanding wife and to kind friends…

Friday.

We got up at 0500 and were on the road by 0516 hours due to the road construction on eastbound 401 near Trenton.  Rae again did a splendid job of navigating, which made my driving in the severe rain storms significantly easier.

The trip went fast despite the rain.  When we got home, everyone was tired so we knew it would be an early night.  So after some chatting, we all hit the hay.  I was happy to hit the sheets, it has been a trying week.

Ray

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