Last week I received a call from my brother-in-law. My sister hasn’t been doing well for the past couple of years.
She had just visited her doctor and he told her that he didn’t feel good about her color and wanted her to check into the hospital. She walked in to the hospital and a couple of days later she was being enrolled into hospice. Therefore, I made plans to fly out to Phoenix to be with her and the family.
I have always loved visiting Phoenix. As I flew over the mountains located east of the city, I guess they were part of the Tonto National Forest, I could see low clouds lying in between the mountain peaks below. They are so beautiful.
After landing I made my way to North Phoenix and found the house for the Hospice of the Valley. I had spoken to my sister over the telephone the night before. I hadn’t planned to take this trip until after speaking with her. So she wasn’t expecting to see me. When I walked in her face just lit up as she recognized me.
We spoke some and I told her about my temporary job starting the following week. I also mentioned that another company had tried to call me while I was flying out to set up an interview. We even talked about the upcoming BCS Championship game. She just smiled. Wanda isn’t necessary a big fan, but she has always has gotten a laugh out of my love of Alabama Football. Then she just slipped away from us to someplace else. I then learned that she hadn’t been very responsive for most of the day until I arrived.
I never really knew Wanda until after becoming an adult. She is twenty something years older than me. Let’s just say that I was a huge surprise, and leave it at that! Her husband Ken was in the Air Force and they were stationed several places including Germany. After retiring from the Air Force they returned state side and moved to Phoenix. I remember visiting her several times as a child, but it was more like visiting an aunt instead of a sister. However, when I became an adult we grew very close.
At times Wanda would slip in and out of a state where her family and friends could communicate with her. When the time came for me to leave was hard to do so with the inevitable still hanging in the air, but I’m glad that I was able to tell her how much she means to me and also tell her goodbye.
So now I leave Phoenix for the second time in as many years. Both trips here were family emergencies and not photo opportunities. As much as I love visiting the Desert Southwest, because it so far to come I’m afraid that I’ve lost that opportunity to ever visit it again.
So in today’s picture we watch as the sun brings closure to yet another day.
Update – Sunday
I received the call today from my brother-in-law, Ken, telling me that Wanda had passed during the night. So the appointed time that we all know we have, but hope will somehow be overlooked, has come.
Goodbye Wanda, I’m going to really miss you.