I received the greatest gift. The gift of time with my mom. This hasn’t happened in quite a bit. And we had 7 whole days, just her and I. She flew out to Denver to briefly see Justin too, then she and I road tripped back to New Mexico. The one-on-one time was something we both needed more than we knew.
The car ride consisted of her bundled up with her own layers and hugging mine, and I in short sleeves.
I was a bit concerned about how her smoker lungs would do at 8,000 feet in New Mexico. I was incessantly checking her pulse oximeter readings and while they weren’t the best (85-94; normal is 98-100), she was showing NO signs of any troubles. I let it go, but I stopped short of taking her on any real hikes.
I love that every visitor we have in New Mexico brings a variety of activities. I didn’t really want to “do” much while my mom was here; we just needed some quality time together. But my mom is quite a religious woman, so I thought it might be appealing to her to tour some of the beautiful churches in Santa Fe. Then, her aunt who we both loved dearly, died while she was here and we couldn’t rearrange her trip for her to make it back in time for the wake/funeral. My proposed visit to churches suddenly became paramount!
We lit candles for A LOT of people! Our family worries are pretty high at the moment.
San Miguel Chapel: Oldest Church in continental United States built in the early 1600s
Loretto Chapel, which has a cool story about its spiral staircase
When Loretto Chapel was built in the 1870s, there was no way to access the choir loft. The nuns prayed and prayed, and a carpenter showed up looking for work and willing to take on the project. He built the circular staircase, then disappeared without being paid. The mystery of the carpenter and the physics of the design still perplexes architects, as it has two 360-degree turns and no visible means of support!
Besides churches, I did try to keep our outdoor activities to a minimum because it was quite chilly and my mom is notoriously cold. Still, I had a few sites to show her around because New Mexico is such a unique and pretty state.
Nothing stops my 72-year-old mom. She even climbed the ladder into the ruins!!
I did make sure to introduce her to all our neighbors!
And thankfully, she and Gibby became fast friends, as we secretly plot to transfer ownership of the cat to my parents when/if we ever leave Fenton Ranch … just like we did with our last cat McKinley!
I think Gibby’s love of my mom’s luggage says, “yes, I will go home with them someday.”
All in all, I am just so grateful to have had this time with my mom. Life is too short, you know?