While in junior college, I was living in Cumberland, Maryland. A very snowy place. I didn’t have my driver’s license yet–that’s a story for another time–and frequently mooched rides with friends and girls I wished were girlfriends.
I’ll never forget the night–I don’t recall the time, but the fact this event took place at night is important–when I was riding back from somewhere to my parents’ house. Keith’s car was slipping all over the street, but it wasn’t until I said something about it that he admitted he liked to make his car slide on snow and ice. I grant you he had his car as perfectly under control as anyone could under those circumstances, but I never rode with him again in bad weather.
I don’t know if he’s still alive or not.
No, that’s not the snow story I told you on Sunday that I would talk about today. But it should help to give you a better understanding of just how cautious I feel when the roads are snowy and/or icy. Fortunately, Kathleen agrees totally.
Here’s the the way the story has worked out.
Kathleen’s father had been in bad health for a number of years. Although he was a likable fellow when she and I married twelve years ago, he had become a grumpier and grumpier old man, plagued by pain and easily irritated.
We knew that J. A.’s (he only has initials and goes by “JA” as if his name was “Jay”) health was declining and my mother-in-law, Anna, felt the end was getting close. Although as a former nurse she had a good understanding of health issues, she didn’t have a God’s-eye-view of JA’s actual condition, though. When he suffered a stroke in November, his problems proved more complex than the stroke itself.
Although he was soon moved from the hospital to a rehab facility, he didn’t make any effort to cooperate with the therapists. He seemed to have given up. With the encouragement of the doctors, who agreed with Anna that JA would die soon, she moved him to a hospice location.
Although he survived Christmas, he continued to decline.
Kathleen had already planned a trip to visit her mom near the end of January, and her plane tickets were unchangeable. We were in a real quandary. We had always intended to drive to Memphis when the time came, but a major snow storm was expected this past Friday.
JA passed away away early last Thursday morning. We’d thought maybe we could still drive if we got away from the east coast that day, but we learned that Memphis was already getting bad weather. We wouldn’t be able to drive until this past Monday at the earliest.
But Kathleen was still scheduled to fly out today. Rather than make me face the possibility of driving the whole way back by myself, we thought the best solution was for her to go ahead and fly, extend her stay, and pay the $200 fee to reschedule her return flight. Fortunately, a very understanding Delta agent didn’t charge her for the change.
No, this snow wasn’t convenient. Although it necessitated quite a change in our plans, we believe things have worked out for the best. But it sure had us making and remaking tentative plans until JA’s actual death permitted us to make the final decision.
I promise to let the subject of snow thaw out and evaporate now.
Do you have a story of a time when snow or some other weather problem has changed your plans drastically? How about leaving a comment?
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