I didn’t really mention how our Christmas trip to Albuquerque went. You might have seen on the Flickr page that yes, we made it there; we walked around Old Town to see the luminarias on Christmas Eve, and the next day Chris and I took the tramway up to Sandia Crest. And we spent time with my family: my aunts and my brother and my father and my mother, and it was good, but it was too short of a visit, considering the situation. Just after Christmas, my mom, who has late-stage ovarian cancer, started hospice care. (This is the part I haven’t wanted to write.)
On New Year’s Eve, I booked a flight to go out there again next week. Last night, based on what the hospice nurse is telling us, I changed my flight to this Sunday instead. I hope you can figure out where this is all going. The last time I talked to my mom she sounded comfortable. She’s comfortable and she’s at home. Some of you reading this may know her, or maybe you have some sense of who she is from stuff I’ve written, and if you want to send prayers or good thoughts her way, I’m sure she’d welcome that.
As for how I am, I don’t know. I’m not sure if it’s hit me yet.
There is this little building at the top of Sandia Crest called Kiwanis Cabin, this stone hut perched right at the edge, and from the steep side of the mountain it looks remote and wind-whipped and God-forsaken, and when I saw it from the tramway and through my camera I wondered what it was like there. It looked, well, roughâ€”like a place where you’d have to endure the elements, and someplace you’d go only if you were really lost. Later I searched Flickr for photos of the place and realized that people get there just by hiking up the other side, the “easy” side, up what looks like a pretty ordinary trail, with pinon trees, and grass, and everything looking enough like the rest of the world for you to almost forget how thin the air is getting. I can see that sometimes you might not know how close you are to that place until you’re practically there.
That’s kind of how it is right now: one side of the mountain or another.
This might be the last post for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to let you all know what is happening.