Friday, October 18, 2013
It has been an emotional week here at our home. Last Wednesday started as most do in our home. After breakfast, Eamon was complaining of a sore throat, so I cancelled our commitments for later in the day, tucked him back in bed and sat down with Aine and Benton to watch Rainbow Loom instructional videos. I took a break from the rubber band manipulations to hang our sheets out and throw another load of laundry into the washer. While outside (yes, our washer and dryer are outside - yes, it is odd), I heard my phone ring, I asked Aine to grab it, but she was too late to answer and didn't recognize the name or phone number. I dismissed it thinking it was a telemarketer, so I finished my task. When I looked at the number, I also did not know it. I called it back thinking I could be removed from "the list." The dial tone was weird, so I hung up. As I did, my voicemail chimed. It was my uncle's phone; my mom's voice was on the message. I knew immediately when I heard my mom's voice.
Just two days prior I had said goodbye to my mom and dad as they left for a cruise of the Mediterranean. I was charged with checking on their house, so they reiterated the details. They would be traveling with three of my mom's brothers and their wives. It was to be a fantastic adventure, and I would not see them until later this month. Their trip drastically changed. While walking along the streets of Venice, my dad became very tired. He and my mom dropped back from my uncles and aunts. He continued to complain of fatigue and that the walking was too much. My mom started to walk ahead and heard him stumble. She turned, and tried to catch him as he collapsed. She began CPR, the police arrived, an AED was used, others tried to help; it was to no avail. He died there in Venice with my mom at his side.
This past week has been surreal. My mom had to deal with the Italian authorities, her travel insurance and the local consulate. She was finally able to return home last Friday. My dad's remains are still in Italy. We are trying to move ahead, but it is tricky. My kiddos cried when told, and now say it just feels like GrandDad is at work. My siblings and their families are here and create quite a distraction, which I appreciate. It will just be hard when it is quiet again. I am very sad for my mom, and hope my local brother and I can help her through this next chapter of her life. She is tackling it with much grace and poise although she feels broken inside. I am very sad for her and for us all.