Thursday, March 16, 2017

When Turning Left is Right

You may remember last spring when Tourist pulled out of Fort Myers and headed north. Our intention was to work our way back over familiar waters to the Tennessee River and make a right turn with a final destination of Tellico Lake in mind for the summer. We had gone so far as to check out a few marinas on our drive to Florida the previous autumn. It looked like a beautiful area at the foot of the Smokies to explore for a summer.

As we made our way north something just didn't seem right in either one of our minds although for a good part of the journey we never openly admitted it to one another. Finally someplace north of Columbus, Mississippi we simultaneously came to the conclusion that we should shelf the idea of Tellico Lake and make a left turn on the Tennessee River and head home. Of course this meant battling the fast moving waters of the Mississippi for 580 miles. Our trip is documented in earlier posts if you missed it.

Looking at the Tennessee River. Right or Left?

Several factors played into our decision to change plans. For one we hadn't been home with Tourist since 2009. It would be fun to spend time cruising the home waters once again.
Another was grandkids. Pam was particularly concerned that she may be losing precious time in her efforts to turn Ellie into a "Priss" like her!
And of course there was our parents who were not getting any younger.

Our left turn decision turned out to be the right one for us as we were able to enjoy friends and family and have Tourist docked just a stones throw from our house.

We celebrated my Dad's 90th birthday last August. As it turned out it would be his last birthday with us here on earth. As fall progressed into winter his health deteriorated. We were fortunate to have him with us for one last Christmas. It's as if he knew it would be his last for shortly thereafter he began to go downhill getting weaker by the day. He spent his last days at the Galena nursing home being cared for by their excellent staff.

On February 12th we met with a Hospice nurse who asked if the family lived close by because she didn't think Dad would be with us much longer. Everyone does but my son Ryan who lives in Denver and was planning on coming back mid-week. Her advice was that he should get home A.S.A.P.
Ryan made it to the nursing home by 9:30 that night. It's as if Dad knew he was coming and waited for him.

At 10:03 pm Dad made the peaceful transition into his next life with us at his bedside.

Through the years my Dad wore many hats and was always determined to make whatever venture he was involved in work to it's fullest potential.
He was my hero and I'll miss him greatly.

Lew Hillard  1926-2017

The early years.

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