||[Aug. 31st, 2002|02:49 pm]
I went to bed early last night, utterly exhausted from my exertions on Mt. Liamuiga, but was woken up periodically by the deep rumbling booming of thunder. Some of them were loud enough to rattle the windows, which were shut fast (they always are, against my neighbor Richard's obnoxiously loud music, all-hours visitors, and cigarette smoke). Occasionally the sky would light up like a camera flash. It poured, too; I have always found the sound of rain soothing, though, even tropical deluges.|
Got up early after a particularly loud and long roll of thunder woke me; started working on posting my family pictures. It's been something I've wanted to get done for a while, and since school starts tomorrow, I'm running out of time. (Early morning here is the best time to work online, as host sites back in the U.S. don't have a lot of demand on them, yet.) Outside the windows, the clouds were thick and low and grey, with occasional lightning flashes -- not the best weather for a catamaran trip. And sure enough, Michele Cardozo called to tell me it had been canceled. The weather doesn't seem to be a deterrent for the many planes bearing returning Ross students to the island, however.
It was a curiously busy phone day (normally, my phone doesn't ring at all). First Michele's call, then Kevin called (it makes such a difference to be able to hear his voice). We chatted for a little while, but I wasn't feeling too talkative; my Mom began the final slide last night.
When the third call came in, I knew who it would be before I picked it up. Deedee, my aunt, who has been with my Mom from the very beginning, was there with her at the very end, along with my sister Sam and brother-in-law Paul, and Mom's best friend Alan.
What can I say? I miss her already, and will always miss her, but at least I have the comfort of knowing that her death was quick and painless. She enjoyed being with her family up to the very end. I spoke with her myself the day before yesterday, and she was bright and lucid. She slipped into her final coma shortly after having a lively conversation with her oldest friend on the phone. I was with her for three and a half of the four months she lived after her terminal diagnosis; I had a wonderful chance to say goodbye. I was able to spend all that time with a family I love dearly and see all too infrequently -- it may have been a summer of mixed blessings, but it was spent primarily in joy. And when we said goodbye for the last time, we knew it would be the last time, but she wanted me to continue following my dreams, which I am. The only regret I can really claim is that she got cancer in the first place. I swear I will do everything possible to make certain I don't get cancer, and put my family through this again.
So I've decided I'll spend most of the day working on my website -- getting the pictures of my Mom and my family posted. Maybe I'll go out later and try to cheer myself up; buy some coconuts or Chicken Man or something. I'm sad my free time is over, but happy school will be starting tomorrow. The best distraction in the world is no time at all to think. I'll tell you all about registration tomorrow. I already know I won't get my financial aid check; the new director of Financial Aid lost my paperwork. C'est la vie.