The end of this trip was the end of a lot. The flight from Manila to San Francisdo was bad, but not AS bad as the flight over, because it was two hours shorter, and we were headed home, and we were arriving at night, just in time to go back to bed.
I noticed I stopped writing in my trip journal while on the plane to San Francisco. I don't know if I just ran out of gas, or what. Getting luggage took forever, waiting for the shuttle took forever, and we just went to bed, except I spoke to Joyce from the hotel lobby and she sounded extremely off and stressed. She kept begging me to come home. I couldn't go any faster.
Next morning we said goodbye in the airport and went to our separate comcourses. I was early enough to have breakfast and used the nook to let people know where I was. I called Joyce and she sounded like utter hell, but kept insisting nothing was wrong. Flew to Denver. Both flights home were on Frontier, which is such a cheap budget airline that you have to pay for overhead luggage space. Never again. I said forget it and checked everything. Screaming kids all over, every gate, every flight.
Flew from Denver to Tampa and Joyce wasn't there. I knew something had to be wrong but had no choice but to hunt for my luggage and get a cab home. But when I got to the luggage carousel, our friend Don was there with his wife and they had to break the sad news to me about Nick. Joyce was too distraught and sick to leave the house. I held up okay until they dropped me off at home but when I got there, I was just too messed up to even function. I had to say my goodbyes to my big guy downtown the next day. His cremains have since joined the others in our family columbarium here at home.
Then we began the discussion of what to do about our scheduled trip to the Outer Banks in two weeks, and we ultimately decided to go, so there will be another blog about that soon.
So in retrospect, six weeks later, I'm glad I went. It was the right thing to do. Nick was very old and it was his time, I just wish I had been there to see him out. Luckily he died at home, in bed, with most of his family around him. I wish the same sort of peaceful death for everyone I love.