Wednesday, March 3, 2010

cuenca, march 3, 2010

Post #1 of 3, 3 March 2010, from Cuenca

Hola dear friends,

This is really part one of the three part post which will be the only one from Ecuador this year.. Its my only one, first, because my time here have been so full that I haven’t had a moment to sit down and write. Second, because I will be returning earlier than expected. My mom, Mary Tonelli, who is a lively 89, is however in the early stages of dementia. Up until now she has been adamant about staying in her home, and since her memory loss was not affecting her hygiene, or her ability to go shopping, cook or clean her house, we (my brother Quentin, my sister, Giovanna, and I) left well enough alone, knowing full well that the time would come when all this would change. And did it!

My brother, who lives in Maine, and my sister-in-law, Sonnie, went down for a visit and found my mother in terrible shape. She was sleeping all the time, not bathing, not eating, and worst of all, had a serious infection in a hammer toe. So they literally kidnapped her, bringing along her cat, and took her to Maine, and to the hospital there. At first it looked like she was going to lose a foot! The infection was so bad and there was no circulation in her left leg from her knee down to her toes. But she received the most marvelous care, first treating the infection, then a procedure to restore blood flow to her leg and foot, and then the removal of the dead toe. Due to her otherwise excellent health –heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. – she is recovering beautifully, and has been moved to a rehab center in Portland.

Quentin and Sonnie have been by her side 24/7. So I am coming home on March 16 so Quentin and Sonnie can take off on a much needed vacation.

My mom is doing really well in rehab, and Quentin really wants her to stay in Portland where there are a lot more options for assisted living, etc. She is doing so well, Menig doesn’t seem appropriate. We’ll see…

Now back to the present moment…

I have been reconnecting with all my dear friends here, including, of course, the Astudillos. How lucky can a gal be, when she can stay with a family like Pepe, Ana Cecilia and their two teens, Ana Elisa and Jose Antonio. In Vermont, I live alone and LOVE IT, but maybe that’s because I do get to spend real family time here in Ecuador when I am with them – sharing meals, trips, provocative discussions and just laughing a lot. Teens anywhere are a “challenge” - a euphemism for pains in the ass! But they are also a hoot, and I love watching these two and their friends mature from year to year. Ana Elisa finally passed her drivers test (she’s 18) but she is the worst driver ever, even worse than me! Her family is always kidding her that she will never be allowed behind the wheel of the family car. Jose Antonio (16) is drop dead handsome, madly in love, and addicted to punk and heavy metal. But he can’t sing worth a damn, but that doesn’t stop him. Flora their housekeeper and my dear friend and I cover our ears and roll our eyes when he takes out his electric guitar and starts howling. He has a band and a set of drums, but thank goodness the band has a rehearsal place outside the house!!! He however is a prize winning poet and artist.

Next Post: Casa Maria Amor

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