We cross over into Colorado from New Mexico. A cheer goes out in the front of the car and I take a deep breath in the back seat. So many emotions are running through my head and my heart aches. How I will sleep in our bed where Carl was restless his final days of his life?
I am scared. There is a sense of fear I am having about going back to the place he took his final steps. The memories of him dying right in front of me and me not being able to help him are destroying me.
We get into Denver and exit Colorado Blvd. As we sit at the light, Adyn sighs and says she is so tired. I yell out “Chinese fire drill” and her and Pat jump out run around the car and Pat is now in the driver’s seat. He puts the car into drive just as the light turns green. He hits the gas and we are on our way to his house to drop him off. As we pull up he wants to show me his house, I hop out and feel the cool Autumn air. We walk around and I am so impressed. It is such a stark difference to homes in Texas. Everything about the yard is awesome, green lush grass, the turning of the leaves colors. It’s beautiful.
Adyn and I get back into the car and Pat says he will be over to help hang pictures later. As we reverse Adyn mentions to me that maybe we should go get new bedding for my bed. Delaying the inevitable just a few more minutes. I agree so we are heading down to Cherry Creek to buy new bed sheets. We walk into a store and I am overwhelmed instantly as believe it or not, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations are already up. Ugh.
We make our way to bedding and start to find new sheets a comforter and blankets. We purchase and make our way back to the car. As we head down Speer Avenue we inch closer and closer to the rental home. We pull up and we both break into tears. We can still see Carl being walked to a car out of the front door steps one at a time with the help of his older daughter and the hospice worker. The image is stuck in my head. His frail body taking one step then a seat on a chair. We had lined up our dining room chairs down the steps so he could sit, stand and take a step, then sit again.
We pull into the driveway and announce to each other we are home. Home....not really. More like a new kind of emotional jail.
We walk in turn the lights on and I turn around. I am just staring at everything. We unpack the car and soon Pat drives up. He and Adyn take off to go get a few things from the grocery store.
I clean out the fridge and then walk to the corner and crawl up in a ball and cry. I am so overwhelmed I can’t stop crying. I don’t think I have cried this hard since the plane ride. My chest is heaving, and my body starts to tingle.
After a while I stand up, walk to the bathroom, look into the mirror and wash my face. I look down and there is Carl’s toothbrush. Yep this is going to be hard, but I am back in Denver.