I don't know how poor Tom is managing to stay upright these days. Between the traveling he's been doing, the hell-week install up at work, and his dad's terminal illness, he should be - by all rights - flat out in bed. But, there's been no time for that.
Although no one guessed correctly on the poll, Tom was home not ONCE during the installation of the new gaming system. He left on Saturday, the 18th, and didn't return home until 8:00 AM on Saturday, the 25th. I drove up twice during that time for a quick visit and an exchange of clean clothes for his laundry. Many of the days, he and his crew worked 18-21 hour days. And, through no fault of theirs, the system is still not completely up-and-running, so there are many "extras" to contend with over the next few weeks.
Then, last Monday, Tom's best friend (who was our Best Man) lost his mom after a long, uncomfortable battle with illness. But, she was 93 years old and had lived a FULL life. She, as much as anyone, knew it was time to go. The funeral was in Thief River Falls (the northwestern part of the state) on Friday, so we drove over on Thursday. And, let me tell you, there is NO easy way to get from northeastern MN to northwestern MN! Nothing even resembling a "straight shot" exists between here and there. But, we did get to see a part of the state we never had before AND Tom and I got to spend the most time with each other (aside from when we're asleep in bed at night) that we've had in - probably - months!
Finally, the hardest thing to deal with is the inevitable loss of Tom's dad. He's really weakened (both physically and mentally) in the last two weeks, and it's not hard to see that the end is very near. Tom has been spending every extra 2 or 3 days he can squeeze out of his schedule down there. Unfortunately, that also means that there's an 8-9 hour drive at the beginning and end of each of those trips. I worry about Tom's level of exhaustion.
On Friday night, after returning from sweet Granny M's funeral, Tom deposited me at my car (we had driven separately for the first 3 hours of the trip and then left my car at a fairly central location) and continued on to southwestern MN to visit his dad. He'll be heading home later today, and I've encouraged him (pleaded with him?) to take the back roads so that he can avoid some of the Labor Day Weekend traffic.
I'll be so happy once Tom's home again, but we also know that a funeral and cleaning out the house to put on the market is not far away. As Tom's delicate flower of a mother (only in stature, not so much in verbiage) used to say, "The only thing golden about 'The Golden Years' is the color of your piss!"
Ah, yes . . . well put. ;)