Well, hello, readers. If any of you are still out there.
Our trip “ended,” at least it virtually ended, back in October of 2011. October of 2011?! That was a virtual century ago. We realize that. I realize that. But it is time to get back to the keyboard and share our travel stories once more. There is, in fact, more of a story to tell…
So here I am; the Al of Ted & Al; writing the post I have been putting off for more than a year. The post I have tried to pen many times over. The post about how when we came home, it was to help my father die.
Truly, this post isn’t going to be the most fun, the most light-hearted, or the easiest to read post on our beloved Trailer Hitched journey.
Back Home in Colorado
Admittedly, we are missing several awesome posts about our hiking, camping and adventuring that happened in New England. These stories remain painted in the most vivid graffiti on the walls of my brain, and I promise to finally put them down on the pages of this blog once this post is written. And I continue to, eloquently, delay…
Delay no more, Allison.
Back home in Colorado – it was a place we didn’t intend to be. We didn’t plan to be back home until later in the month of October, and even then it was planned that we would start on the southern route of our American road trip, culminating on a daredevil adventure down the Baja peninsula. Instead, we drove down E. Eastman Ave. towards my parents’ home with butterflies fluttering in our stomachs early in October, 2011, prepared to give my parents a major surprise.
Surprised they were! Mom and Dad couldn’t have been more excited to see us back home after three and a half months of following us online. Hugs, kisses, and laughter ensued. Soon, though, they were to be off on a cruise/land adventure in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. (What can I say, the apple doesn’t fall far…) So Mom and Dad headed off on the very day of our second anniversary, as we enjoyed being back home, hiking in our beloved Rocky Mountains, and acclimating to life outside of a teeny tiny (we love you, Charlotte) travel trailer.
That’s when Dad got sick.
Being the unyielding adventurer that he was, Dad exhausted himself climbing to a historic lookout in Puerto Rico. His delicate medical condition forced him and Mom to stay in Puerto Rico for almost two weeks, at which point they were brought back home with angelic nurses caring for Dad all the way home. A couple more weeks in the hospital in Denver brought Dad to the conclusion that he was ready to rest.
Dad decided that he was ready to quit the hospitals, the rules, the cycle he had been in for years. This is not to say that I was ready for this. I can’t speak for anyone else; but I was not ready for this decision. Regardless, Dad came home. Home. And for a couple of months that was all that mattered. The only place I wanted to be was in the living room with my dad. The only thing I cared about was feeding him, joking with him, watching Denver Broncos games with him. And there was Ted, doing all the things that needed to get done. Being the cement that my fragile gravel sorely needed.
Christmas came, the New Year came, my birthday came. But February didn’t come for Dad. It would take too many words to tell the story of the days we spent in home hospice. But the words that matter are here: family, love, care, memory, nourishment, tears, warmth, confusion, laughter. The time we spent was the most beautiful, the most difficult time a family can experience. And it changed us all.
My hand grasped Dad’s thigh as he passed; Mom stroked his forehead; sons, grandsons, grand daughters nephews, nieces, surrounded him. We lost him in his earthly body, but he is with each of us every single day. He is a teacher, a leader, a smart ass, a joker and an example always.
This post has been pent up for over a year, but the floodgates have now opened.
Bennie G. was a true fan of TrailerHitched.com, and this site will rise from the ashes in honor of him.
I love you, Dad. I love you, Bennie G.