I’m nothing if not flexible when it comes to plans and planning trips. Since I booked our Spring Break Cruise the plan has been for Katie and Colton and I to drive to Hutto on Friday and spend the night. On Saturday morning we would load up and drive to New Orleans and sail on Sunday. That plan changed about 4 pm Thursday.
We left Arlington at about 1 and, thanks to massive traffic problems and construction we got to Hutto at 4:30. Katie got the nickel tour while Jordan and I reorganized the luggage since we needed to add Kristie’s bags. We left there at 5:15 and we are currently closing in on New Orleans.
The girls are rotating driving and Colton and I are backseat buddies. He’s asleep now but we spent the evening reading and playing educational games on his iPad. Not a single “Are we there yet?” from him, either. After last summer this boy is a seasoned traveler.
Game for just about anything, she was Room Mom to 3 different classes in 3 different grades for years, she hiked up mountains in Colorado and Wyoming even though she got mountain sickness, she was 3rd in her high school senior class because she didn’t want to be 1st or 2nd and, therefore, have to give a speech, she started college at 31- when her youngest child started first grade – finishing 4 years later with a near perfect GPA, she taught thousands of elementary and pre-school children, she loved liverwurst, was David Fuller’s “Call a Friend” lifeline, had an infectious laugh, a beautiful smile, she prayed both her stubborn sons into their walk with the Lord and she had a combined gentle spirit and Type A/Perfectionist determination.
Hiking to Upper Twelve Mile Lake, Colorado 1973
Her name was Winifred Maxine but only my dad dared to call her “Winnie” from time to time, family and close friends called her Max, co-workers called her Maxine, her students called her Mz Fuller, Terry began calling her Mama Max when we first began dating and it eventually became her “grandmother name”, David and Danny called her Mom. To me, she was, and will always be, Mama.
She made “3 in 3 years” look easy. As the mother of “3 in 4 years” I know it wasn’t. This picture, of Mama, The Boys and me, was taken on the grounds of the Alamo in Summer 1962, the second picture, taken some 25 years later, is Mama Max and her Grands in August 1987.
Sometime in the early part of this century, while living in Azle to be near Muttie after my grandfather’s stroke, Mama began to have the first brushes with the dementia, TIAs and Alzheimer’s which ultimately took her mind and her life. I first noticed her inability to do things she’d once done well on Thanksgiving Day in 2003 when I realized she’d forgotten how to type and how to roll out pie crust. Some of my close friends began to notice problems in 2006 and David joined the party in December 2007 while Terry and I were on our first cruise. We lost her a good while before she actually died. She said my name only once in her last 30 months of life.
Mama died 3 years ago today. I miss her but, in truth, I missed her even while she was still alive because for several years she wasn’t really her. Daddy said it best the day he told me she was the most intelligent person he’d ever known and that it was a shame her mind had let her brain down.
I miss you, Mama, but I’m glad you are where you are with God and with a mind that is no longer letting down your brain.
I’m taking tomorrow off as Katie, Kristie, Colton, and I begin our trip.
I got to school today at about 6. I’m currently waiting as Annie the Equinox is being cleaned inside and out. Ice storms have made her outside filthy and spilled taco “juice” as I was delivering food for a church yesterday have made her inside equally yucky.
Dinner tonight with the Round Robins and then home to finish packing.
Best of all, when I left school at 4:15 my school week ended and my Spring Break started.