Today was kind of a weird, unexpectedly emotional day. I got to work and my boss asked me to ride with her to go to TRX class, which I had planned to attend anyway (go me!). I actually forgot to put my gym shoes back in my car from two weeks ago when I wore them during powwow, but she had an extra pair of sneakers, so I was able to work out. When we got to the gym the guy who unlocks it was not there yet so we were sitting in the parking lot with the windows down waiting and we could hear the radio in the truck of our maintenance man. We could hear that they were forming a search and rescue party, but we had no idea what was going on.
After TRX we went back to the office and one of my coworkers, C, was walking out in the parking lot with tears in her eyes. Her Mom was recently diagnosed with cancer and they found it in several different places. I was affraid that she had passed on, but C said that she had spoken with her Dad and the Mom was just getting really weak and deteriorating fast. We went with C and sat down at a picnic bench and talked to her. It brought back so many memories of when I lost my Dad in 2008. Her Mom also just turned 70 and was also a lifetime smoker who tried to quit, but just could not kick the habit. It is hard to know what to say to someone who is grieving like that. I found when I was in her shoes that I appreciated people who were sincere and realistic so that is how I spoke to her. What I mean by that is I didn't try to sugar coat the situation by talking like there was hope and that she would make it. I think it was ok, but you just never know. One of the things she even said was she had started to think about the funeral and what she would want to say about her Mother, so I know that she is to that point and not in denial. She was planning to go the three hours to see her in the morning, but I told her I thought she should go ASAP, that I had a hard time making that call too, but don't regret for a second that last bit of time I got to spend with my Dad.
So then we found out about the search and rescue operation. Another one of my co-workers who is in charge of roads maintenance was out yesterday working on the road that goes up the mountain on the reservation getting it ready for hunting season. In that area the wind blows hard and it is adjacent to a sand dunes so during the summer the road becomes impassible because of the sand. When the monsoon rains come they pack down the sands and then the road has to be fixed to be passable in the winter. Well no one realized at the end of the day that D had not reported back in. The family called in and reported him missing so they went to find him. Apparently he got the road grader stuck in the sand (we haven't had a good monsoon this year) and tried to hike down the mountain. He did this a lot when he was a younger man so gave it no thought. He however got to a ravine and could not physically get himself out so hunkered down for the night. They were able to find him, but had to get a helicopter to lift him out because he was dehydrated. He is also diabetic, but I'm not sure if he was having complications from that too, but I would imagine so after going for the night with no water and food.
So anyway, that was my bit of craziness for the day. Since I was thinking of my Dad, and I have been scanning old negatives I thought I would share one of my family from 2002 at our family reunion. My other brother and his three kids were unable to make it that year, so it's not all of us, but still a fun picture.