Hot-lanta, here I come

The latest on my cousin Teresa is that she’s doing significantly worse, and it’s definitely getting very near to the end for her. So, my brother, sister & I (plus my cousin Catherine) are all flying to Atlanta this weekend. I’m using my mom’s frequent flyer miles to get there, which means that I have the worst itinerary ever: I leave Seattle at 9 a.m., have a layover at LAX, have another layover in Memphis (only 1/2 an hour, not long enough to see my friends), and finally get to Atlanta at 9:15 at night. Ugh. Then I fly back on Sunday morning. It’s going to be rough.

Last night, when I was calling relatives to figure out everyone’s plans, I called my uncle Brian, who is Teresa’s father. He was at the hospital when I called him, and Teresa happened to be awake (she’s on a morphine drip now, so she’s out of it most of the time), so I got to talk to her for a minute. I asked her what she thought of us coming to see her, and she said that was cool. She asked me to bring her a shot glass from Seattle, and I told her I would. [Side note: I’m now also trying to get my sister to get her a NYC shot glass, a Cincinnati one from my brother, and a Raleigh/Durham one from my cousin Catherine, just so we’ll have a complete theme.]

I know this is going to be really hard, but I feel like it’s something I should do. I have several other cousins who won’t be there, for various reasons — one has a fear of flying, one is a med school resident and is working 7 days a week (although he visited her last week), and a couple of them just “don’t feel comfortable with it”, although they’re ok with going to her funeral, which I don’t quite understand. The thing is, I don’t know what I’m going to say to her when I walk in the ICU room, and I especially don’t know how I’m going to say good-bye to her when I leave. I just know that this is important, and I hope that when the time comes, I have the grace to say something meaningful, so she knows how much she’s loved.

Anyway, that’s the story. Oh, and while I’m in town, I’ll also get to meet my lesbian new age psychologist aunt’s new partner, so that’s bound to be interesting. Wish me luck.