Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last Weekend in Georgia

My two youngest sons, Alex and Jeremy, flew to Atlanta last weekend to see their grandmother. I think they were fearful, if they did not, they might not see her again alive. Alex ( 27 ) brought his lovely fiance, Laura, and Jeremy ( 25 ) brought his girlfriend, Katie. Neither of them had ever met the boy's grandmother before. For me, after two weeks of dealing with my mother's stroke and cardiac problem, it meant a great deal to have them there. I picked them up at the airport, then we stopped by the extended care facility to see my mother. She seemed to recognize her grandsons but she was so tired, we did not stay long. We then drove down to Columbus where the children ( hard to call two strapping 6'4" boys "children" ) helped me finish dismantling things at my mother's house. The following day, when my brother came down with a rental truck, they loaded up furniture and we said farewell to my home town and headed back to Atlanta.

On Sunday, we returned to Gwinnett Extended Care and Grandma seemed in better spirits. She actually called her grandsons by name and responded to their banter and talked about the "pretty girls" with them. Laura showed "Grandma" her engagement ring which actually had belonged to my mother. It was all a very emotional time for me. We took pictures, of course, and, all too soon, it was time to take them to the airport.

The following day, when I visited my mother, she said, "You know, Carmen, Alex and Jeremy came yesterday with their pretty girls. It made me happy."

Since that time, my mother has had more bad days than good. The day I left to return to San Francisco, I could not even wake her up to say goodbye. At least, though, I know she is in the best place she can be and, a few times, she did know who I was and called me by name. It makes me feel good that that the visit of her grandsons afforded her some happiness.

Alex, Jeremy, Carmen and Mary Quinlan

Jeremy, Katie, and Grandma

Laura, Alex and Grandma

My boys and their girls, Laura and Katie, my brother, Charley, and his wife, Susan, my crazy nephew, Matt, who never takes a picture without making a face, and his girlfriend, Stephanie

Laura, Alex ( wearing his shirt I got at the Piazza Navonna in Rome ), Jeremy and Katie


  1. great family good that guys took some time to meet their grandma.....and i like the TEE...."Game Over" :)

    and good that you told that Matt makes funny faces while getting clicked.....i was thinking..."what happened to him....hope he doesn't have a broken jaw" :)


  2. It is nice that your family had this opportunity and it gave your mum some happiness.

  3. I'm glad your mother recognized your boys were there. I know this must be a hard time for you all.

  4. I love seeing families together, just sorry the circumstances are so sad.....:-) Hugs

  5. A very beautiful family! Your Mom looks very well now, and her hair is beautiful!!

  6. Anonymous5:43 PM

    Timeless and a strong reminder that it is indeed family that is the most important of all. Thank you for that, living on me own, about 3,000 miles far from home, very appreciated.
    Please have you all a nice Tuesday.

  7. These are awesome family photos, Carmen. They are a true treasure that will last forever.

  8. It truly saddens my heart to feel what you are going through with having to watch your mother in the condition that she is in...

    I feel you....


  9. Your mom looks awfully tired...

    You have a big family--including two very handsome sons.

  10. what emotionally charged time for you, Carmen - and you are going through it and embracing what it brings with a lot of grace!

  11. hitesh rawat -
    Isn't Alex's tee cute...I didn't think he'd wear it! The wedding is May 7th. I really appreciated that the boys, and their girls, made that weekend trip from California to Georgia to see their grandmother!

    Liss -
    In spite of my mother's confused state, I think it meant a lot to her to see her grandsons.

    steviewren -
    The day I left, my mother didn't know me. I don't think she will really show much improvement. The truth of the matter is that she wants to die, God love her.

    Bernie -
    It was nice to have these pictures of us with my mother, though I fear they may be the last ones.

    Travelingjoan -
    I was so grateful my brother made an appointment for my mother to have her hair cut and set the day before my boys arrived...what a difference it made! She always had a perm and, hopefully, we can do that when she feels better.

    ρομπερτ -
    So often, in this day and age, family are scatter hither and yon. For the last 33 years, I've lived about 2500 miles from my mother, usually visiting only 2 - 4 times a year. It is hard.

    Poetic Shutterbug -
    I am so glad we have these pictures of the boys with their grandmother...just wish Shawn had come but I could totally understand he wanted to remember his grandmother as he last saw her.

    C -
    I so appreciate your empathy and support. It has been a very sad time for me.

    Snowbrush -
    I know my mother really just wants to be left alone and would like to die. At 86, she is weary and being blind now is too much for her.
    She is tired and her heart is worn out.

    My two young sons are great...their older brother couldn't come - he's an AF reservist on alert for Afghanistan.

    Manuela -
    Yes, this has truly been one of the most trying times of my life...actually, I've had a rough year and a half!! I hope things improve soon!

  12. love this sweet

    I'm happy for all of you!

  13. Lovely family photos. I'm so glad you got to have this time with your Mom. Keeping you all in my prayers.