To everything there
is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
This edited version of Ecclesiastics fairly well sums up 1992 for our family. We did our share of weeping, laughing, losing, embracing, loving and mourning. Towards the end of 1991, my mother, living in Manteca, grew weaker and weaker with undiagnosed illnesses. Frequent trips the sixty miles to Manteca didn't help, and in March Mom was hospitalized and diagnosed with terminal cancer. In May she was released to us in our home in Lafayette. Everyone shared caring for Mom both in the hospital and at home. The kids all live close enough that they were able to spend much of their free time with Mom and helped with her care. Mom mercifully died in her sleep here at home the end of October. Her long illness made her death a little easier to accept physically, but certainly not emotionally.
The day Mom came home from the hospital, Ray's father in Phoenix entered the hospital and was diagnosed with a fast acting cancer. Just one week later while Ray was with him, he suffered a stroke and died within hours. While he died as he wished, quickly and without a long illness, the shock of his loss and consequent adjustments for his survivors are considerable. All of the kids and Monica flew to Phoenix for the funeral while I cared for Mom at home. Ray's mother is adapting to the widowed state through various craft and senior citizens groups. He tries to visit Phoenix every few months, however briefly.
This loss of parents and grandparents
seems to have overshadowed most everything else this year. We are undergoing
the healing process, but it takes time. Naturally, everyone's lives continued
within this framework.
Ray continues to work in the new office here in our home when he is in town. He travels a great deal and now has even picked up more distant states as part of his area--how Texas is considered a West Coast area confounds me! At any rate, his success earned us a company reward trip to a luxury hotel in Cancun in November. The change and rest were quite welcome at that juncture in time. My business was not ignored, but certainly curtailed with Mom's illness. I have managed to keep one client which keeps me busy a couple of days per week, but am looking toward expanding once again in 1993.
Lloyd's business has a new location.
He has an actual office here in Lafayette, instead of the home office with
a mailbox/suite which we have all used in the past. His business has expanded
and his participation in the Chamber of Commerce and a few other community
groups has provided a good client base with multiple contacts for him.
His in-town location meant he was able to visit his grandmother sometimes
between business calls when others couldn't be here. He was great about
spending an evening with Mom when Paul was at school or whenever.
A trip to Los Angeles enabled Gail to
see Phantom of the Opera, a visit to Palm Springs offered relaxation, and
an August visit with a friend north of Chicago enabled familiar Chicago
trips to museums, the Art Institute and taking their kids to Great America
before returning home to a new position. No more gallivanting around to
multiple jobs for Gail. She is now the "Director of Aquatic Rehabilitation"
at an occupational and sports medicine facility called, The Advantage.
A seminar in her new position sent her to Philadelphia in November. She,
like Mark, is now immersed in employee relations, budgeting, and all the
good headache material that goes with being a department head. With all
the demands of the new job, she is taking only one course this semester
at USF in the doctoral program.
Again teaching 5th graders at Hesperian School in San Lorenzo, she has 28 students, as compared to the 33 of last year. She pleads, "I'm still amazed at how deprived of love some students are. If parents and families only would realize that a little time with each other is always good, and no time leaves horrendous scars on the child..." Her students come from varied backgrounds, and her goals for them are much more than academic ones. February skiing in Utah, San Diego trips in January and November, May to Los Angeles, trips to Mendocino and to the Gold Country kept her busy. An August vacation to D.C. with a high school chum to visit another high school friend included the D.C. highlights seen before, with the addition this time of the Vietnam Memorial which touched her greatly. A train trip to the Big Apple meant staying at the Waldorf (compliments of brother, Mark), seeing the Phantom of the Opera and visiting with friend, Michelle, from grammar school days in Deerfield.
Almost as this is written, Bev and Ricky
announced their engagement and plans to wed in 1993. This much postponed
event is welcomed by all, as Ricky has long been a welcome part of family
events. Now, he will officially be family. Mom will be very pleased.
Paul's studies and work have continued with an intensity I can hardly believe. Summer classes once again this year kept him studying at a furious rate. He has applied to UC Berkeley for next year, so, hopefully, all this concentration of effort will pay off. The flexibility of his job, plus the longevity of it, has allowed him to work when possible while attending school. His presence at home was a godsend when Mom was here and Ray was traveling. I know it was hard on him, but he was wonderful with her, taking care of anything she needed whenever she needed it.
And, our little Monica started kindergarten this year! Five years old in April! Where did these past five years go? She is so grown up, and was so good with her great-grandmother. Sometimes she would bring a video tape over to put on in Great Grandma's room to watch with her. She attended her Great-Grandpa Tennison's funeral in May with the rest of the family, and then had to say good-bye to her Great Grandma in October. She is a great little girl whose mere presence delighted Mom.
May you and yours have a Blessed and Happy Holiday Season and a wonderful 1993. We value your friendship, cherish your love and return it to you in kind.
Joy, Ray and family