But on Saturday evening, when Mike received the news that his father had been moved to a Hospice facility, he decided to leave on Sunday morning and head for West Virginia to see him. We stayed until early afternoon, enjoying as much time as possible with our daughter and her children. We see them only about three times a year. That’s not enough.
When we finally got packed up, the three of them walked to the car with us. We gave hugs all around, said our good-byes and waved until we were out of sight. I fought back tears, as I always do when we leave them. Somehow, this lovely fall day only added to my despair. The joy I felt just drinking in its beauty – coupled with the sadness of leaving those I love were conflicting emotions that were almost painful. A dreary day might have been easier.
But a few miles out, I began to smile again. I listened to some of my favorite music, and had a conversation with Mr. H. about the visit, the way the kids had grown up and the sorrow of an almost certain impending death. We remembered that another granddaughter’s birthday was today and decided to stop at her house, just a few miles from ours, and wish her a happy birthday before going home.
Once again, thoughts of a happy occasion merged with a sad one, confusing my emotions.
The weather couldn’t have been more cooperative. My favorite month – October – was on her best behavior. It was a sunny, breezy seventy degree day. And the mountains! How can I possibly describe the magnificence of these mountains on this particular late October afternoon?
Varied hues of red, yellow, orange, rust, green and brown took my breath away. I snapped picture after picture from the car windows, wanting the breathtaking scenery of the three states we traveled in to last forever! My eyes had seen all the glory they could embrace and now I had to trust the camera to capture the rest of it. For a couple of hours I bounced back and forth from weepy and sad to an uncanny state of euphoria triggered by the intense beauty of these surrounding mountains!
I’d think of Mike’s father dying and relive the pain of leaving my loved ones and tears would flow. Then I’d survey the mountains of a thousand colors glowing in the sunlight and envision the beautiful face of our young granddaughter who was celebrating a birthday and I'd feel happy again.
I was as puzzled by my shifting emotions as was Mr. H.
“I have a peculiar feeling in my heart and soul and mind,” I told him. “If only I could put it into words!”
Shortly after we got home, Mike phoned to inform us that he was going to stay overnight; his father was worse than he’d expected. He passed away early Monday morning.
Yes, a lot can happen in a week.
Mr. H. and I were at Mike and Toney's house in North Carolina last Friday and everyone was happy. Today, exactly one week later, they were at our house and we attended his father’s funeral.
I can’t see how my emotional binge of last Sunday and the death of our son-in-law’s father could be related, but it's a well-known fact that highly sensitive people feel things more deeply than the non-sensitive. Some believe they're also extremely intuitive.
That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?