Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sharing a deck chair

Sydney (with the blue toenails) and Zach.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Mustard" (the cable car)



Canon Mountain, Franconia Notch, NH, with the added bonus of a lot of rain, cold air and almost no visibility. Zach and Sydney were willing to take on the "hike" at the top anyway (it's only about 10 minutes around).

Zach was convinced that the mountains that had clouds on top of them were volcanoes (thank you, Dinosaur Train). But, going up into this mess was a useful lesson in how weather happens.

Mustard is the nickname of the yellow cable car. There's also a red one, Ketchup.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zach and Sarah in the lake




Preferred activity: making "muck" soup.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur. It started mid-July with an incongruous string of text messages from Josh. I got to work, I think it was Friday 7/15, and first saw a message with a picture of fancy butter from his dinner the night before (he was in California, working). This was followed immediately by a note stating that his sister in the ICU with a high fever and blood pressure problems. Their parents had been in transit to Australia for over 24 hours so far, where they were supposed to spend a month.

That night I dropped Zach off at a campground in Carver - 2 hours from our house. Just as I was arriving, Josh called to tell me they were transporting Jenn to DC because her condition was so critical and they needed a more specialized cardiac team. So, instead of instead of staying with Zach to enjoy the weekend, I left him at the campground, in the care of his buddy, Ryan. I headed back home to wait for Josh, and pack up for a 6am flight to BWI. Andy and Estee, upon arrival in Adelaide, realized they needed to turn around. They took a walk, bought some mints and waited for the next flight back to Sydney.

Mid-morning Saturday we found Tim in the basement waiting room, half asleep in an uncomfortable chair, holding Jenn's purse. Once they let us see her, Jenn was lying, sedated, in the emergency cardiac area with all the blood in her body being pumped through a heart-lung machine. Later that day, after more surgery, she was moved upstairs to the cardiac ICU. It seemed like a good sign.

But, as you probably know, things did not improve. After 11 long days - of vigilant hope and multiple trips back and forth between Boston and Maryland - she was taken off the life-supporting machines. I got word from Josh on Tuesday just after I had heated up my lunch, which I never ended up eating.

7/27 - We drove together to the hospital Wednesday morning in silence. Watching Tim prepare himself to give the final ok for this was the most heartbreaking thing I've witnessed, stating simply, that he would always want more time.

After that there was a hazy period of time that started with 3pm lunch at the Chinese restaurant across the street from the funeral home, where Estee explained to the poor waitress what had just happened. Then a funeral - where the girls talked softly to their mom in her wooden box. The traffic-halting line of cars. And the 108 degree burial. The dirt. The flood of people and food at Andy and Estee's house. The long drive home.

At this point, Josh and I have returned home and have settled back into our "normal" life. It's easier from 500 miles away to get back into our routine. The details of my life are more or less the same. Estee, Andy, Tim and the girls are having to figure out a whole new normal. Sydney is 10. Sarah is about to start kindergarten. I can't imagine starting kindergarten without my mother.

The snapshot below was taken on June 19.