Merry Christmas Everyone,
Ours was a peaceful Christmas for 2 as guests cancelled and Olivia decided to celebrate back in Indy to keep the ties she made last year.
I’ve just been home two weeks (after five weeks with my parents) and we’ll be returning again on Sunday to celebrate David’s father’s life. He left us suddenly but peacefully on Dec. 5th after 2 years in Memory Care at the retirement village. Looking back, we are so glad that we were able to help care for him 2 yrs ago, when he was much more responsive.
Then my mother had heart pains during my first weekend with them and so we spent it in the hospital while she had a heart catheter done; another confrontation with mortality. No surgical intervention was needed, so we happily went ahead with plans to drive the 6 hrs to Scottsdale the following weekend for a Thanksgiving family reunion and 2 weeks of house-hunting. A big thanks to my sis for graciously keeping all of us in her big new house! Unfortunately, my parents didn’t find anything suitable within their budget.
On our return to Las Cruces, they showed me the local retirement village options and we viewed more small homes that were in their price range. The one we fell in love with and put an offer on fell through just before I left. But I had an absolutely delightful visit, getting a daily dose of sunshine, hugs and kisses, good food, old memories and mom’s companionship during our many outings. I had the time to get familiar with my parents’ routines, preferences and limitations, and mainly hang out with seniors. All of that helps me be empathetic as we touch base weekly about their continued search.
At the same time, the trip felt like a real shift: For the first time, I missed speaking French and I wanted to stay in touch with all of our French friends, sending photos to those not on Instagram, so they could meet my family virtually.
The trip also reassured me that David and I are making a good proactive decision to move into a smaller apartment earlier, rather than later. Everyone’s bridge loans have finally been approved and the house-signing should happen in January. By the time the renovations are finished, Olivia should be graduated and out on her own.
And finally our visit with Christiane, described in my last newsletter, was also our last. She passed away mid-Oct. and her beautiful funeral was so well-attended that we had to sit in the tiny narthex. (We were just happy to be there because of our conflicting visa renewal appointment.) I can’t bring myself to delete her string of sweet text messages on my phone, but I also love knowing that she is looking down on us and interceding for France as fervently as she did here on earth. (And we are glad for it – the last terrorist attack in Strasbourg was a little too close to home, as the shooter was killed in Olivia’s suburb.)
Over the Mennonite church entry where Christiane’s service was held, was written Jer. 22:29: Land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord!
Amen! We want to be here when this beautiful land receives the word of the Lord with open arms!
Happy New Year, Angela