Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Sorrowful Summer

A few of you probably have noticed that I dropped off from my blog and other sewing places that I hang out. I've been having a very sad summer because my mother-in-law has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She will not be with us for very much longer, I'm afraid.

Arlene has been part of my life for over 25 years and I'm heartbroken to see her failing in health so fast. This picture was taken when we visited the Grand Canyon last October. My husband, son, and I are her only family so I've been busy with her care. I'm so grateful for summer break so I have had time to take care of her.

I go back to work tomorrow so we've had to hire 24 hour care for her, but I'm trying to visit her all I can. She lives over an hours drive from my home. Arlene is a remarkable woman, especially considering she is 77 years old. After high school she went on to earn a Bachelor's degree from University of Washington in Drama. Then, after raising my husband and then divorcing his father, she went on to get a Master's degree in English Literature and another Master's degree in Archaeology. For 20 years she served as a United States Forest Archaeologist working to find Indian Villages and at times in charge of field crews. I remember many stories she tells of spending 3-4 days in the middle of the forest, sleeping in a tent all by herself and living like this week after week doing her job, summer, winter, spring, and Fall. She was very good at it and is still a respected name in her field. She has authored a book, The Noontide Sun, and has published many professional papers presented to the American Rock Art Research Association.

I can't think of many women from her generation that I respect more. Please put our family in your thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult time.