Thursday, July 21, 2016

We've Just Landed!

In early March of 2014, my parents moved to Cali, Colombia. Dad found a retirement home there where he and Mom could live together, even with her Alzheimer's. The adventure worked out surprisingly well -- for a while.
Looking back, I remember how emotional it felt to have them go. I won't forget the panic that gripped me when Mom turned to me with fear in her eyes as they wheeled her into the airport security checkpoint. What were we doing?! But Mom in her fragile state and Dad in his characteristic confidence sailed safely off into a completely unknown situation, and not for the first time. If they had gone to any other city, I doubt if I could have accepted the move. Cali, though, was where I grew up. I loved this city and never dreamed I'd get to see it again. I knew I would love visiting my parents in Cali, and sharing the country with my husband and daughters proved deeply rewarding.
The home my parents stayed in was beautiful and the people could not have been more kind and attentive.  But in the end, two and a half years later, it was just time for Mom and Dad to come home.
My brother John and his wife Karin flew down to escort them back to Atlanta, and at 5:09 pm yesterday I received a text that said, "We've just landed." I didn't realize until that moment how much I missed having them in the same country again. Relief doesn't begin to cover it.
I know I'm not the only one who will miss being able to say, "My parents live in Colombia," but living in Atlanta will be pretty cool, too. My brother Dan and his wife Michele found an amazing place for them to live called Southside Personal Care Home. This licensed facility has a team of three people who take care of five residents in a large, comfortable house. I foresee homes like these becoming the favorite choice for those in need of care. This link has a few pictures.
It's doubtful I'll grow to love Atlanta as much as Cali, but my family plans to visit my parents soon, and no international travel will be required.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cover Reveal!

Cover by Streetlight Graphics
Here's my cover! The book won't be out until the fall, but here's my cover! Thanks Red Adept Publishing and Streetlight Graphics! This process has been exciting and scary and exhilarating -- exactly like a roller coaster. I've gone through the first ups and downs, and now I'm on that long, slow chug up to the very top. My heart's pounding, I've got a bird's eye view of the world below, and I'm willing my stomach to calm down. Almost there, soon, very soon!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cartagena Revisited

La Sonesta Hotel
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
It wasn't easy, but we managed to pull it off. My parents  and Mom's nurse flew north to Cartagena, Colombia while we four kids and our families flew south. We met at a beautiful hotel on the beach and for four days we swam in the Caribbean and in the pool, drank delicious coffee and exotic fruit juices, and saw the sights. Cartagena has an amazingly rich history dating back to the 1500s. The mountain-sized fort, the 17th century monastery on a hill, the walled city with a French Quarter feel, were fascinating to share with the kids. But this wasn't my first trip here. Twenty-two years ago Chris and I saw the same sights. And though some things haven't changed in centuries, two decades completely altered others, like the dear family surrounding me. I can only hope all of us will have the opportunity to vacation together again.   (Photos by Chris Zokan)

Walled City at Night
 To read more about Cartagena, click on this link. What a world we live in!

Cartagena de Indias