Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Returning Home

I'm home. Ina and I returned from Georgia this morning exhausted and weary. What should have been a time of sadness, mourning and healing for us turned into a time of anger, disillusionment and frustration. I went to Georgia with an admittedly idealized view of my cousin Frank; I return with a much more realistic and, sadly, somewhat disapppointing opinion of him. In Georgia, I watched helplessly as Frank's "adult" son displayed complete disrespect and disregard for his father's memory as he abandoned his responsibilites as Frank's son and heir, leaving Ina to take care of all the necessary arrangements and financial aspects.

This is not to say there was nothing positive about this trip. Frank's girlfriend of many years and two of his closest friends at work, grieving themselves, were incredibly kind and helpful as we waded through the "business" aspects of death. We were overwhelmed by the number of Frank's friends and co-workers who attended his memorial service and spoke so highly of him. Ina and I were greeted with "Southern hospitality" everywhere we went...the hotel, restaurants, airport, car rental company, stores.

With one day to ourselves, we drove to Warm Springs, Georgia and wandered through the quaint shops in town taking in the beautiful Christmas decorations and spirit of the season. We visited FDR's "Little White House" in Warm Springs, strolling through the grounds on a gloriously sunny and crisp day. And most of all, we had each other to help us get through this five day journey.

I'm happy to be home. This is the longest that Rick and I have been separated in our nearly 25 years together and I missed him terribly. Although we talked many times on our cell phones during my trip, I missed having Lynn close by my side to share in all the turmoil. My mom was constantly on my mind wondering how she was doing during my absence. And the trip, showing an ugly side of what "family" can be, only reinforced my belief in how blessed I am to have such a wonderful, close-knit, loving family.


Lynn said...

I'm happy that you're home, safe and sound. What an 'adventure'!

Renee said...

Welcome Home! We missed you lots.

I hope things look better for you now that you can be back home.

meno said...

Welcome home.

People can be real buttheads at times like this, i'm sorry that Frank's son was one of them.

patches said...

I'm glad your home. I'm sorry about all the "life" that happened during your trip. Actually I'm a little sorry about the weather too. You didn't mention it per se, but trust me, bleh!

Mom said...

They can be such a wonderful blessing or such a cause of grief. Sounds like your blessings outweigh the problems.
welcome home.

PEA said...

Welcome home dear Joan! Sounds like you were faced with quite a few problems but it truly must have been heart warming to have so many friends of Frank come to his memorial. xox

Midlife Mom said...

Glad you are home Joan and I know you must be exhausted from all the things you had to deal with this past week. So sorry about the passing of your beloved cousin Frank. He must have been a very special person with so many loving him and turning out for his memorial. Also sorry that his son turned out to be a disappointment through out all of this. Why does it seem like death can bring out not only the best in families but also the worst? It happens so often that they are just interested in what is in it for them. Thankfully Frank had you and Moosie to get things done! Take care and try to get rested up! xoxox

Patti said...

Welcome back, Joan.
I was sickened to read how Ina's nephew acted this week. The whole experience must have been emotionally draining for the two of you.

Ina was fortunate to have you with her and I'm glad you guys got a chance to unwind and take in the Christmas decorations and quaint shops. You needed a change of pace for sure.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Welcome home Joan. I hope you are able to get some rest now that you are back in your own house.

Mary said...


I'm glad you're back safe and sound.

I'm always amazed at what happens in the family when a loved one dies. I've seen it many times and am so sorry you had to experience it.

I will keep you and Ina in my prayers.


the moose buyer said...

Joan, your blog said it all. We were there together to share this experience - good and bad. The memories of the good will aways be with us and we will have the "bad" to joke about for years to come.

As I said in my blog, I am so grateful you were with me. It would have been unbearable without you.