It was a day of goodbyes for us and Mom.
- Her friend Dr. Dan, who raises butterflies and grows beautiful flowers in his yard and along a road corner at Mom’s retirement village.
- Her friend Helen, who was born in Ireland and married a Methodist preacher instead of becoming a nun. Helen is also one of my biggest fans, buying my books to give to friends as gifts.
- My cousin Tim and wife Tammy, who have lived near my parents for more than 20 years. Pizza, wine, and good conversation.
- To Tuttle Orchards and Farm Store, a country tradition for my parents for many years, and fun drive out into the country (not to mention good ice cream and caramel apples).
- To some church friends.
We even got to say goodbye to the cottage my parents lived in for 13+ years—and where Dad died. Mom now lives in a building across the street from it (at least until Monday). So when we saw someone at the cottage this afternoon, we went over and introduced ourselves. It was the new resident, Jack, a 75-year-old single man who hasn’t moved in yet. The place has been empty since we moved Mom out in 2019, but they refurbished the kitchen and put in new carpets. Jack invited us in and enjoyed learning a few tips and tricks about the place. He was glad to know our family had happy memories there and that we left behind some good juju. Mom was thrilled to see her old house again and to know a nice man was moving in.
I, too, am going to miss visiting Mom on the outskirts of Indianapolis. I grew up in Illinois but moved away nearly 40 years ago. Mom is my last tie to my Midwestern roots. I will also miss these people we’ve come to know over the years through my parents. Two more days before we ship out.