29. Jun, 2018

What now?

The past few weeks have had me run quite a gauntlet of emotions.  Happy, frustrated, fearful, sad, exhausted, depressed, ... You name it.

Gudrun and I flew back to Atlanta on 15 May and arrived in Statesboro, Georgia (near Savannah on the Atlantic coast) on the 16th.  Though fair at first, Mom's condition deterriorated significantly in the four weeks we were in Georgia.  We were contemplating extending our stay but changed our minds when we learned Gudrun's sister had been hospitalised in Aachen for almost two weeks.  On the night before we were to return, Mom fell in her room and severly broke her right leg.  My sister Dianne was in the hospital with her when we left to return to Aachen.

On release from the hospital, Mom was moved into a hospice care residence.  As Gudrun's sister was home from the hospital and recovering, I got a flight back to Georgia and got to Ogeechee Area Hospice at 8 a.m. on June 20th.  I had four hours with Mom before she passed away.  My sister was with us for the last hour.  Mom was calm, peaceful, and in no pain.  I hope her peace is lasting.

I'm truly glad I didn't choose to take the first flight back to Aachen after Mom died.  Though I miss Gudrun and our nest, I'm glad Dianne and I have had these weeks together.  It's helped my healing, and I hope it's helped her's.  Each of us have commented on the emptiness and aimless feeling of having a part of each day free that had previously been reserved for Mom.  There is, however, a sense of relief.  As the stress wears off, I find I need to have something to do to fend off depression.  I guess time will help.  I'm certain being home with Gudrun and having time for cycling will help.  I'll be home on 4 July.

As yet, there are no concrete plans for a replacement tour.  I will likely spend the time until the end of July with training rides around Aachen.  Perhaps I'll make a short tour back to Wesseling on the Rhein and finish the EuroVelo 15 Rhein route to Rotterdam.  From there I could ride south along the coast and swing back east towards Aachen, riding through Belgium.  The JoGLE-Dover-Calais-Aachen route will have to wait for a later time.