Tuesday is a beautiful, clear day. The sky is a blue that looks painted, a picture, too perfect, impossible in nature. We take a bus up to Dolphin’s Cove and sit in the Paradise Restaurant. Aptly named, since it looks out onto Manzanillo Bay in the other direction from our balconies. Sailboats and ships float lazily, a cooling ocean breeze tickles our hair. Vince and I get there first, because we had an errand to run, and the beer is icy cold and delicious. Unforgivably, I have forgotten that it’s Pete and Bonnie’s anniversary today, but of course their family remembers and John offers a toast to their lifelong happiness. They are an amazing couple, so close, funny, energetic, loving. You can tell that they are friends as well as lovers. They are good with their routines and careful of their health and they both look great because of that. We have a wonderful lunch, then Vince and Maire and I hop in a cab for home, while the rest walk and take the bus. Back at the condo unit, we swim, read, talk, laugh, play our online word games. Later Pete & Bonnie make dinner for all of us – a delicious chicken soup with soft tasty bread. Everyone goes off to play cards while I Skype with Kristen and Jason. That’s when Jay tells me there is something wrong with Louie, our almost-seventeen-year-old cat. Right away, I call my niece Meghan, who works in a vet hospital. Despite the fact that she is out for dinner, she goes over to our house to look at him. She can tell immediately that he is in renal/kidney failure and Jason and she rush him to the hospital. Can you imagine having such wonderful, caring family and friends? There are so many people who do not, and I never take them for granted. When Vince comes upstairs from playing cards, I tell him about Louie and burst into tears. I tell him that I want to go home. I can’t allow Jason or Meghan to deal with making decisions and I want to be there for Louie. Vince goes right away to the computer and switches our flights. We have to leave here very early Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, I am still in shock and upset about the cat. But I am mostly in shock that I have to pack, that I will miss two weeks of sand and sun and friendship, that I will miss Guadalajara. Everyone is so understanding. I get warm hugs from Maire and Helen. As I am emailing to let people know, I catch a message from my friend Barb; her mom is dying. It’s happening rapidly; Edith is in the hospital and probably will never wake up from the deep coma into which she has slipped. Edith and Bob and their children have been family friends for more than fifty years. I feel that I am meant to be home. We go to Bricios’ for breakfast and say goodbye to him and Alex. We spend the day staring at our beach, packing our suitcases. We leave a large bin behind. I pack and repack it four times. Vince tells Nacho and books Unit 4 for seven weeks next year. We invite everyone over to our place for dinner to use up the delicious pasta sauce that Vince made yesterday. Sandy cooks up the noodles, I make the salad, we add some garlic toast. In preparation, I drink several cold beers and, at dinner, Maire, Helen and I polish off several bottles of wine. I am more than a little drunk and say good-bye with tears. I can’t believe I have convinced Scott to come for a month and then I leave him after a couple of weeks! Later, Maire and Helen and I have a great talk while everyone else plays cards.
Thursday morning – It’s 1:00 a.m. and I am headachy and dizzy with sleep, or lack of. The world is hushed and dark. Vince carries our suitcases downstairs while I make the beds with clean sheets for Scott. (He is going to move into Unit 4. I am hoping the bugs don’t bite him as much up here.) When I stumble down the stairs with the dirty laundry, Gracie is standing at their door! She tsks and grabs the bag from me, giving me a squeeze with her hand, telling me with her eyes that she would have done that for me. I tell it’s too late for her to be up, she didn’t have to do that, and though neither of us really speaks the other’s language, somehow we understand each other. Nacho gives me a big hug. As we climb into the cab, we look out the window and there are Nacho and Gracie, arms around one another, waving good-bye. I don’t think I will ever forget that sight. They are incredible people. At 1:45, we board the bus – ETN, the luxurious one. But I roll around in the seat for four hours, unable to really sleep. When we get to the airport, I am fuzzy and don’t know how I will get through the next few hours’ wait in the terminal. I fall asleep sideways in a most uncomfortable bench chair. On the airplane, Vince is beside a woman who coughs without benefit of hand or elbow, and the child behind us whines and cries all the way. I eat and drink everything they give us and even munch on the loot bags from Andres’ and Nachito’s birthday party. At the Houston airport, I feel a little brighter (could that be a sugar high?) and we get through very smoothly. On our final airplane, I fall asleep for a couple of hours, then eat and drink everything they give me, plus the rest of the munchies from the loot bags. This is not going well for my diet! When we hit Toronto, it’s sunny but cool, but there’s very little snow. We get into a limo, which immediately slips into a traffic jam. Both of us fall asleep, keeping the driver amused with our choral snoring. Jason meets us on the porch at home. We say hi to the “girls”, Monkey and Sahara, who purr and kiss and bump against us. Then we get into the van and drive to the vet hospital. When I first see Louie, tears stream down my face. He is lethargic and so thin. The vet and my niece are incredibly knowledgeable and kind; he is in very, very good hands. I talk to him, kiss him, tell him we’re back to make sure he gets better.
Friday, we visit Louie again and he is better than yesterday, more alert. Later, we drive Jason home.
Saturday, we visit again and this time, Louie purrs contentedly on our shoulders and laps. In the evening, we drive in pouring rain to see Jordan’s band play at the Silver Dollar. My god, they are talented! My grandson is this incredible, tall, smart, talented young man. I can scarcely believe he’s the little boy I watched grow up. My daughter is beautiful; she looks like Jordan’s older sister. It feels so good to hug them both. I drink two beers and eat a banquet burger with fries. So far I have eaten a Tim Horton’s muffin, a bagel, Harvey’s hamburger and fries, Swiss Chalet (with carrot cake) and a Sub.
On Sunday when we visit, Louie purrs again. We also visit my mother with my sister Cindy and brother-in-law Peter. Mom is really happy to see us and once again, it feels great to hug this wonderful family of mine. I eat a Peanut Buster Parfait at Dairy Queen.