|Yumi helping with the packing.
This is the only photo taken from our "trip".
Ever since departing Glacier last
July after spending two weeks in the park I have been itching
to return. It wasn't more than 5 minutes after leaving the
park that day when Yumi told me we'd come back. I didn't
think or even dare to hope that it would be this soon.
We got off to a good start and were
running about 25 minutes ahead of schedule when we received
a phone call from my son Todd. He told us that Yumi's step-mother
had called. This would not be good news as Yumi had told
her mother not to call unless her younger sister, Yuka,
who is suffering from multiple cancer's was near her end.
A few minutes later at around 9:30
we puled into a service station in St. Cloud, MN, where
Yumi called her mother back in Japan. The news was not good.
The doctor's said Yuka had only a few days left and would be given morphine
to help ease her pain in a day or two. Obviusly, we needed
to get back and get Yumi on a plane so that she could be
with her sister and family.
Yumi managed to summon up the strength
to drive the entire 6 hours back home. During this time
she insisted that I head back out the next afternoon. I
thought about it, decided not to, then decided again to
go. Then to not go. Then to go. I eventually drove out to Wyoming to visit the Cloud Peak Wilderness
We arrived back in Manitowoc shortly
after 4 AM. Yumi made her flight arrangements quickly and
went back home to pack.
I picked her up a few hours later
and drove her to Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay. All
this time she insisted that I go back to Glacier, my favorite
place on earth. Though I really wanted to I knew in my heart
that I couldn't make it out there safely by myself on only
2 hours sleep. Besides, it wouldn't be fun without her there
to share it all with.
When I got back from the Airport,
younger son Matt said he'd go with me because he didn't
want to see me depressed. What a lovely child. I would have
loved to take him with me, but knew his soccer team was
depending on him heavily for the playoffs. Thanks Matt.
We'll do it another time.
As I write this Yumi is probably
flying over Montana. I wish we could be there together,
but she needs to be where she is going.