Hope, Smoke, and a Sad Reason for a Trip

Hope

Let’s start with the good news, from a personal point of view. I finally had my appointment with the rheumatologist, who said that, even though the X-ray shows severe arthritis, the pain in my hip is likely from trochanteric bursitis and/or tendonitis. He gave me a cortisone shot where it was most painful, and within a few hours I could move my right leg like a normal person! It was truly like a miracle. I could lift my leg under its own power into the car (instead of lifting it with my hands) and walk with a full stride — and my knees even hurt less! It did seem to trigger some extra pain in my hip, but after about a week and my physio sessions, it is now much more manageable. I didn’t realize quite how long I had been living without hope of recovery until I suddenly had hope! (And as it turns out, it seems that if I had had a hip replacement, it wouldn’t have done any good!) I have a follow-up appointment towards the end of August, but hopefully I am finally on the road to recovery.

And I guess the funny birthday card I got from my younger son in May is no longer appropriate…

Smoke

We were very lucky that our trip to Osoyoos was at the beginning of July. Unfortunately, with the hot dry weather conditions, there is a massive out-of-control fire just 6 kms north of Osoyoos. Discovered on July 19, the Nk’Mip Creek Fire is now estimated to have a perimeter of 130 square kms! They are managing to keep it away from the towns of Osoyoos and Oliver (and the wineries in between), but there are homes under evacuation orders nearby and one that has actually burned. In addition, this fire is certainly going to destroy a lot of the surrounding vegetation, including in the orchards and vineyards that the region is known for. There are also wild horses there in the desert scrubland, and I’m not sure how they are faring. Currently, there are 186 firefighters working the blaze.

Rather than post others’ photos here, I’m including some links. The photos are taken from close to where we stay. Scary stuff. (You could check out my previous post linked above if you’re interested to compare.)

We are starting to smell the smoke now in Vancouver, but of course it’s nothing compared to the regions where the out-of-control fires are burning. We can definitely see the effects of the hot dry conditions, though, near where I live, where we pretty much have green grass year-round during normal times. And at this evening’s sunset, the sun was red from the smoky sky. (Sorry about the picture quality. I zoomed in with my phone to show the red ball of the sun.)

Sad Reason for a Trip

Unfortunately, my mother-in-law passed away a week ago. She was 92 and lived her life exactly the way she wanted to, except of course at the end. A number of weeks ago, she fell and broke her hip and shoulder while putting on a pair of boots. In the hospital, they immediately did a hip replacement, and she was on the mend enough to be transferred to rehab. Unfortunately, despite having had her first vaccination, she contracted COVID during that period. Back she went to the hospital.

After treatment, she recovered enough that she was able to fulfil her wish to go home. But the scarring to her lungs was not survivable, even with a feed of 100% oxygen. My husband went to Toronto and managed to have a nice visit with her and then returned home, knowing it would only be a matter of time. My mother-in-law’s brain was not functioning that well due to mild dementia and oxygen deprivation. She believed she was in for a procedure, which meant that she was calm and able to be made comfortable. By the time my husband arrived back in Vancouver, she was gone.

On Wednesday, the two of us are heading to Toronto for a drive to her favourite spot in cottage country, where the family will scatter her ashes in the rapids. We are looking forward to the visit with my husband’s family and to being able to provide some emotional support for my father-in-law. There is a plan to have a larger celebration of life for her later, assuming that the current restrictions allowing only 20 people at indoor events are lifted.

We feel like my husband’s mother would appreciate that we are anticipating a bit of couple time during the short trip. We booked pretty much the whole four-day trip on points, including a hotel close to the family home. We plan to enjoy the extra room of a king-sized bed, the free breakfast, and the indoor pool. We might even be able to drive to cottage country early enough to have lunch by the water, which again we think she would be happy for us to enjoy. I am leaving my laptop behind and have told everyone I will have no access to email for the four days. And that for me will be the biggest break.

And Finally, a Song

Today’s sky got me thinking about this song, written by Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel) and Bruce Woodley (The Seekers) and made popular by The Cyrkle. The version I remember, though, is by Toronto ’70’s punk band, The Diodes.

15 thoughts on “Hope, Smoke, and a Sad Reason for a Trip

  1. So sorry about your mother-in-law, my condolences! I hope you and your husband are holding up OK and of course also your father-in-law. 92 is a great age but still it’s always hard losing a parent and a partner. (((Hugs)))
    Yikes on those fires! Hope they are extinguished soon.
    And: great news in your hip, what a relief!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. My husband is doing okay and it helped that he was able to visit with her. I think my father-in-law is very busy with the essential minutia right now and it may not have really sunk in fully yet. His other son lives close by, which I’m sure is a help.
      The fire situation is very scary and, unfortunately, is a consequence of both climate change and not properly controlling forest growth with controlled burns at other times of the year. I hope this year’s events are a wake-up call.
      The hip really is a relief. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law, Sue. Especially under these circumstances and during this time. How nice that you are able to go and spend some time there.
    Also glad to hear the arthritis news! Hope you can keep being active!
    Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It is hard to believe that someone who had always been very healthy and seemingly indomitable did not survive, even given her age.
      We will make the most of our little trip, though, especially now that I am feeling a bit better. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry for your husband’s and your loss. I hope the trip is relaxing and gives you both time to process all of that. It’s just so hard.

    Also glad to hear that your hip is doing better. That’s gotta be a huge relief!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. It doesn’t matter what age, it still is his mum.

      As for my hip, every day is better! And I’m using muscles I’d forgotten I had… I was walking like a toddler and now I am walking like a woman. It’s a very different action.

      Like

        • My mum’s been gone for 10 years. I think because I wasn’t in the same city when it happened, I always feel like I should be able to call her and talk to her, but maybe I’ve lost her number. Even though we did have a wonderful gathering for her.

          Like

          • People who are dead should definitely have telephone numbers. Although perhaps the spammers would figure out a way to ruin that, too. Both my aunts have been dead a long time (one forty years, one twenty-five) but my cousins tell me they still think of their mothers all the time and want to tell them things.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Our Quick Trip | I'm Feeling This

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