Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Weekend - Memorial Trip on Sunday

Paul and I picked Amy up around 9:30, got to Tupelo at 11:30 - faster than I'd thought - and were the first ones in the Olive Garden parking lot. We weren't there long before Mike, Marsha, Benjamin, Morgan and her boyfriend Stephen, and Steve arrived. We told the hostess our number and had about 30 minutes to wait, but visited in the lobby area. Just as we got seated, Sher got there. We just about filled up on salad and bread sticks, then everyone had their orders and there was so much food left, but we asked for to-go boxes and Steve was the lucky winner of the draw for them! I'm so glad it wasn't wasted! Our nice waitress made this for us.

After eating, it only took us about 15 minutes or less to drive out to Sanctuary Hospice House and we walked around the grounds first. A nice group of folks who were very obviously Ole Miss fans offered to take our picture all together and I have to say, his focus was about as good as MS State fan's would be! It really was a nice gesture. (I took his group together in return.) Everyone you meet there feels like family because we have all been through similar circumstances, and some are still going through them with their loved one. Sher is holding a picture of Mama.

The boys are always looking for ways to torture their sisters and Sher and I both had cicada shells or skeletons, whatever they're called, in our hair at some time while sitting here.

We walked to the courtyard and without much trouble found Mama's memorial brick. I think Morgan spotted it first. And it was on the side nearest the wing and window of Mama's room.

Sher had seen the brass plaque with Mama's name, birth date and date she died, in the gazebo, along with other patients' plaques. None of the rest of us had and she pointed it out to us easily - they were arranged by dates of their Homegoings. It was difficult to get a good picture of it because of the way it was shaded and the sun position. (If I knew how to operate my Photoshop, I would have a little arrow pointing to hers, but I think it's fairly clear.)

There is a resident cat on the grounds and of course Amy found it. We could tell it got lots of love.

The last window on the right was Mama's room.

The pretty dining area where we sat with the sweet nurse a year ago while she explained how SHH operated and the care Mama would receive. She took as much time with us as if we were the only ones who had ever been there, when I know she or some of the staff probably did this at least several times a week. We can't say enough good things about SHH. And this is where we all gathered after we were able to have Mama moved here and settled in her room. That night the easy thing to do was get pizza. Someone went for it - Melanie, I think - and we ate it very shakily but with relief and gratitude.

We had a very good day today. I'm so thankful for family and that we can be together. Mama, you would be proud of us - you were proud of us - you always said so. And Devie is doing just fine.

Love you, Mama... Love you all.

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