My friends at Shell had a retirement party for me on May 13, 2003 and my last day at work was May 29th. After I retired our intent was to buy the Alfa motorhome Kathi and I had been eyeing for over a year and begin traveling the USA.
|My retirement party. John Carlson was taking pictures with the camera they bought me as a retirement gift.|
My mother had a stroke the day after I retired and our priorities changed immediately. She had been in bad health for several years and lived at Pasadena Interfaith Manor, an assisted living facility for the last four years of her life. She never fully recovered from her stroke and we ended up moving her to San Jacinto Manor, a nursing home in Deer Park. After we got Mom settled and we were convinced she would be adequately cared for, Kathi and I flew out to San Diego and rented a car to drive to Camp Pendleton to watch our youngest son, Christopher graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp. San Diego was beautiful. The colors of the flowers were so brilliant, we were astonished at the views we saw.
|Mother in 1995|
|Mother is on the left. She and her friends from Pasadena Interfaith Manor were enjoying lunch at Cracker Barrel.|
After being lost several times we finally arrived at our destination and we were able to spend the day at Pendleton following the Marines around for several different ceremonies, having lunch with other Marine families and driving away with our new Marine. After a long day, we drove to Temecula and spent the evening in the Pechanga Casino. After enjoying a few hours together we had to drive Christopher to the Los Angeles International Airport so he could report to his next assignment at artillery school in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Driving over a mountain and getting a view of Los Angeles all lit up at night was awe inspiring. We were amazed at the sight.
|Marines in formation|
|Marines preparing to march|
|All the Marine families in front of me listening to the Drill Instructor presentation.|
On the way back to Deer Park, we found out Mother had another massive stroke and was back in the hospital. My sister, Carol flew into town and after a few days we decided it was time to move Mom into hospice care where she died on June 30th. We had her buried with my Dad at Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Houston.
With all that was going on, we were both tired physically and emotionally and I was waffling on buying the motorhome, so I guess I was in stall mode. For the immediate future we decided to travel by car and stay in hotels, while we decided what to do next.
I will continue the story in my next post.